Many Brits are unable to travel abroad this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This means that UK staycations are experiencing a boom – coastal and country house hoteliers reported nearly 100% occupancy for August.
However, it can be difficult for holidaymakers who don’t enjoy traditional British pursuits to know where to travel to.
After all, if you’re not big on wholesome family games and hiking what is there to do?
Enter dark tourism.
The dark tourism industry caters to those who have an interest in the scary, macabre and unusual.
Have you been on a staycation this year? Tell us where you went in the comments section…
You don’t have to head abroad to find cool attractions to enjoy.
The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland is a stunning location which features a number of gorgeous walks and hundreds of plants.
From cherry trees to roses and even a bamboo labyrinth horticulturists will enjoy this attraction.
But, for those with a darker interest, there’s one part of the Alnwick Garden which is sure to peak your interest.
The small, but dangerous, Poison Garden is filled with close to 100 toxic, deadly and narcotic plants.
Surrounded by black iron gates, the devilish domain is only open for guided tours due to the type of plants kept within.
The Alnwick Garden states: “Visitors are strictly prohibited from smelling, touching, or tasting any plants, although some people still occasionally faint from inhaling toxic fumes while walking in the garden.
“A combination of dark, ivy-covered tunnels and flame-shaped beds creates an educational garden full of interest and intrigue, where the most dangerous plants are kept within giant cages.”
So, if you’re of a delicate disposition, this is one to avoid.
Some of the plants within “the deadliest garden in England” include Atropa Belladona – which will kill you.
Four berries are enough to kill a child.
Trevor Jones, the head gardener at The Poison Garden, said: “Datura will put you to sleep, forever."
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He continued: “Aconitine will kill you.
“Laurel will produce cyanide… and kill you.”
Basically, every plant in the garden can, in some way, lead to your death.
They mean it when they say not to touch…
Describing some of the garden's plants Trevor added: “Hogweed will get up to around about eight foot high and it’s phytotoxic – so it will burn your skin and give you blisters for up to seven years.
“Aconitine, or monkshood, has wonderful blue flowers, but every part of it is poisonous.
“The berries, crushed up and fed to you, will kill you.
“The leaves themselves will kill you also, as will the root and stem.”
Seeds crushed and added to a curry in 2010 were used to murder a victim.
Another plant, Angel's Trumpet, causes confusion, delirium followed by hallucinations, drowsiness and coma when ingested.
Ricinus cominis is also housed here.
The innocent looking plant is used to make castor oil.
But the the seed coat can be used to make the most toxic natural substance known to man.
If injected or inhaled it causes all internal organs to shut down resulting in death within six days
Plus, if you've ever wanted to see an opium poppy – which is used to make heroin – they sit in the garden too.
The gardeners themselves have to cover their skin when tending to the plants in order to avoid being hurt.
The poison garden was originally the brainchild of the Duchess of Northumberland.
Rather than having a traditional herb garden she decided to promote more interest by having a poison garden.
Trevor added: “A lot of them are grown in many peoples gardens, but people don’t know how harmful they actually are.
“People are intrigued by poisonous plants."
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He noted: “I’m actually very worried when they come out because many of them will be growing these plants at home and they don’t realise the powerful impact plants can have on us as humans.”
The garden is open from 9am to 6pm daily until September 7 and then from September 7 to November 15 from 10am to 4pm daily.
You’ll need to book tickets online before visiting due to the coronavirus crisis and only assistance dogs are allowed inside.
Tickets for adults cost £14.30 with gift aid and children over four cost £5.50.
Children under 4 are free and family tickets are £36.30.
The gardens are situated next door to Alnwick Castle – though they are separate businesses and so tickets will only grant access to the gardens.
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