Saturday, 10 May 2014

Days Out | Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle is just a mile or so off the A1 in Northumberland and was used to film scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. As a child of the north I've been to Alnwick Castle many times but last week I took advantage of a rare sunny Bank Holiday and headed to the castle for some history and fun.


For the last 700 years Alnwick Castle has been home to the Percy family and is one of the UK's largest inhabited castles - yes, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland still reside here! The entrance fee is a little hefty at £14.50 per adult or £38 for a family ticket. Luckily I got a deal on Living Social last year and validated the ticket for 'free' entry for 12 months. Definitely worth doing if you know you'll be in the area again or are a local lass like myself!

There is lots to do at Alnwick especially in the summer months, including visiting the State Rooms, the Harry Hotspur Exhibition and Knight's Quest - where young and old alike can dress up and have some fun playing with Medieval toys! On Monday I took part in one of the various tours that are available - The "Battleaxe to Broomsticks Tour."

"Best known for its starring role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films, Alnwick Castle has made many appearances in film and television over the years.

Now, be entertained as our costumed guides regale you with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the days of filming and take you on a guided tour of the various film locations within the castle's grounds, and hear tales of more than 700 years of the castle's turbulent history."

Our tour guide Chloe was friendly and knowledgeable and clearly a huge Harry Potter fan herself. She also had the most gorgeous shade of red lipstick but I didn't muster the courage to ask her what brand it was! She took us around the castle and showed us where a lot of the scenes had been filmed. She pointed out where the Whomping Willow had been stationed, and Hagrid's Hut, as well as the vast expanse of lawn where Harry & Co. had their first flying lesson. She also told us about the tricks they used in making the film! There was the opportunity to take part in broomstick flying lessons, which looked like great fun. I've heard that in the summer holidays there are often people dressed as characters from the films and it isn't unusual to see Harry and Hagrid pottering around (see what I did there...?!)

Whilst there I also watched the Jester Show which was quite funny plus the guys juggled with knives and fire so it was quite impressive. The children in the crowd enjoyed it and there were a few jokes for the adults too! There was also the opportunity to shoots some arrows at the archery tent.
I'd definitely recommend a day out to Alnwick Castle when the sun is shining; there is lots to do and see and the grounds are beautiful. It's great for lovers of history and for those who just want to see the spot where Hermione overheard Ron calling her a "nightmare"! Don't forget a trip to the Alnwick Treehouse with walkways in the sky and fun rope bridges to cross as well as a cafe and restaurant!

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Are you a Harry Potter fan? Have you visited Alnwick? Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Would love to visit this huge fan of the harry potter films really imaginative & great films

  2. I love HP - I wanna go! I live just off the A1, will have to see what junction this is.

    1. It's really worth it, especially on a sunny day! Alnwick itself is a lovely town too :)

  3. I love Alnwick. My Granny was from there so my Mum spent many of her holidays there, in Seahouses and Bamburgh. When we were kids she kept up the tradition. Hubby & I went back not so long ago and I fell in love with Barter Books, a brilliant way to pass a rainy day if you are a book fiend like me. :-)

    1. I've got a post about Barter Books lined up actually. I love it there. I love Alnwick in general and the whole area - Seahouses included! Can't beat fish and chips watching the tide come in :)

    2. Ah so true and a Coxon's ice cream! Look forward to your Barter Books post, although I suspect it will make me want to go back and spend more money. ;-)

  4. Wow this is so great!

    Do you want to follow each other? Let me know in my blog.
    Lou of,

  5. Glad you had a good time sweetheart! We would definetly visit if we ever make it up north for a little holiday (one day!!) Elli xx


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