Things to do Alnwick Castle review
Alnwick Castle is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, and a castle has stood here since 1096, though it has been remodelled several times. In fact, the current duke and his family still live in part of the castle, making it the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle.
It formed a vital part of the northern stronghold against Scottish invaders for many years, and so over the centuries became heavily fortified. It still stands as an amazing example of mediaeval building, as it is remarkably intact.
It is best known as a shooting location for the Harry Potter series of films. Many of the exterior and interior scenes of the fictional Hogwarts were filmed using Alnwick castle scenery. And it attracts thousands of visitors a year due to this fact alone, which can also make it very busy. There are often Harry Potter events, including a broomstick training workshop.
The perimeter towers of the castle host archeological exhibitions. The Dukes of Northumberland have long held interest in history and archeology, and there are exhibits from Pompeii, Ancient Egypt and ancient Rome.
There is an Artisans Courtyard where you can see how craftsmen make the tools and equipment needed using their fascinating artistic techniques.
The main part of the castle is open to the public. Here you can see the stately home of the Duchy of Northumberland, and tour its state rooms and artworks. As you would expect, it is richly furnished with grand decor and wonderful tapestries.
However, just as interesting is the land surrounding the castle. As was the fashion of the day, this park was artificially landscaped in the 18th century to resemble rolling pastoral fields. And this was done by the most famous landscaper of the age, Capability Brown.
You can even join in with some broomstick training. Lessons are an additional £12 per person and open to all visitors aged 6 years and over (currently Saturday and Sunday only). You can also have a go at archery at the castle.
Finally, as you can expect, Alnwick castle has a gift shop, and cafe. And plenty of wide-open space within its wall. It is a lovely place for a great day out.
Covid 19 – Please check the website or social media of an attraction before visiting. Many places may be open differently and some remain closed. Reviews do not mention all of these changes or possible price changes. Most places still require you to pre-book online in advance.
FAQ and Further Information Alnwick Castle
Is there food and drink available?
There is a cafe on-site serving hot and cold food and drinks. They also have a picnic area.
What are the main things to do?
Historical castle with lots of different parts to explore. You can also have a go at archery and for an additional cost you can learn how to fly a broomstick. There are toilets and a cafe.
What are the ticket prices?
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *Cheap – Tickets are just £8 for an adult and anyone under 16 years of age is free. Members of HHA can visit for free.
Is there parking?
There is a small charge to park.
When are they open?
Alnwick castle is open for most of the year. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Only assistance dogs are permitted.
Are they accessible?
Guest post with thanks to Jo from A Rose Tinted World