Alnwick 

Alnwick Castle

If you are thinking about going on a day trip to Alnwick Castle, you will be pleasantly surprised. Be prepared to be cast into an ancient and rich history that dates back to the wars of the land between 1172 and 1174. This is the time period when King William, the Scottish king, took over the kingdom and created turmoil for the residents who lived in the area.

Photo by Fiona James
Photo by Fiona James

Originally constructed in the Norman Age with the intention of being an intimidating border fortress, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the country. It has provided housing and refuge for evacuees and has served as a college, military outpost and a film set.

The castle has a rich history that is full of intrigue, drama and interesting people. It has been the focal point for visionary collectors, a gunpowder plotter and has been host of Harry Hotspur who is the UK’s most celebrated knight.

Once you enter the castle, you will be able to delve deeper into the history of the site and travel through several hundred years of this ever evolving castle.

Family Adventure

Take a step back into history and experience the rich and vibrant past of Alnwick Castle. This history is brought to life in front of you by the resident artisans and knights. They work together with several other entertaining performers during the season. Do not be surprised to see jesters, dragons or wizards during your visit.

Younger princesses and knights can take a hands on approach with history and enjoy activities such as traditional games, swordplay, dress up and medieval crafts. Young and old Harry Potter fans can participate in the popular broomstick training classes that are taught by entertaining and fun wizard professors.

On the Set

In 2015, the cast and crew of Downton Abbey visited the castle in order to film the scenes for the Christmas Special. They spent one week filming in the various State Rooms, and these scenes were added to the final episode of the show.

Visitors to the castle can go behind the scenes of the popular Downton Abbey show and explore all of the exhibitions in the Italianate State Rooms. These impressive rooms feature props, costumes and photography from the television show’s episodes.

State Rooms

The inviting and magnificent State Rooms were recreated by the Duke of Northumberland in the 1850s and transformed into the lavish style reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance that visitors enjoy today. The interiors of the castle also boast some of the best furniture and art collections in the country.

These collections include works by:

  • Canaletto
  • Van Dyck
  • Dobson
  • Titian
  • Turner

There is also an extensive porcelain gallery as well as a priceless Cucci Cabinet collection in the State Rooms. The cabinet collection was originally designed for Louis XIV.

Alnwick Castle is a very important part of Britain’s history and heritage. Your family can enjoy walking within the walls of the castle that are steeped in romance, chivalry and drama. Create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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