Magical Alnwick


Three years ago I heard a very inspiring woman interviewed on the radio.  She was the owner of Alnwick Castle in Northumbria.  I have a mental notebook in my head (keep meaning to write  it down) entitled ‘things I want to do/places I want to go in the world’.  And Alnwick (pronounced Annick) has managed to stay with me.
So we went and were not disappointed.


The inside of the castle is still lived in and used by the family – continuously lived in by the same family for 700 yrs!  This meant that among the centuries old treasures on display – no photos allowed- there were up-to-date family snaps and in the gorgeous old library….a huge flat screen TV!
 A shame if you wanted to watch day time TV though with hundreds of tourists pouring through your living room….


Children are extremely well catered for at Alnwick – there are numerous things to do, a dragon’s quest, dress ups, medieval crafts…


And to some of you this may look familiar too??…Alnwick was used as a location for filming the first two of the Harry Potter movies! This is the window where Prof McGonagal saw Harry flying for the first time, and we are on the lawn of the first broomstick lesson.  The quidditch pitch is just over yonder and we saw where the flying car arrived in the main inner Bailey (They had 17 different Ford Anglias!)
A bonus, really as the castle was good enough…

So Ollie enrolled in some broomstick flying lessons. IMG_2581

It took a while to get the hang of it…


But he soon caught on…


And after a wobbly start,

IMG_2593He was away! The students  were warned to stay away from the statues on the top of the towers, in case they did what Neville did and get themselves caught on a spike….

As if that wasn’t enough we still had the magnificent gardens to explore.


The grand Cascade, which got even better when the fountains come on!

And the famous Poison Gardens, which are kept locked and where some plants are grown with special permission.


IMG_2609 IMG_2613

Some are kept in cages  although we came away feeling as though we may never just want to go and pick greens for a salad anymore – so many dangerous plants!  Many, quite recent stories too of green fingered spouses using these plants to attempt murder.



With fountains, viewed from the top back to the impressive glass pavilion.



Outside of the castle grounds, open to all is this huge treehouse, home to a resturant and cafe, with swing bridges and walkways.

Allow at least all day if you are visiting – especially if you want to do the Harry Potter Tour and learn how to handle a broomstick!



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