About Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is one of the largest castle complexes in England and has been the historic home of the famous Percy family for over 700 years. It has risen to more recent fame due to its role as the location of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movie franchise.
A great medieval castle, akin to Windsor, the foundation of Alnwick was laid sometime after the great Norman invasion of England in 1066. The castle was, however, substantially rebuilt by the Percys in the 14th century and it is the fascinating tale of them, the Duke of Northumberland’s family, which echoe throughout Alnwick’s walls. From political clout and military achievement to failed rebellions and gunpowder-plotter, the Percys have often played a crucial role in English history.
One of the most famous members of the family was the young knight Harry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, who was immortalised in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV. A statue of Harry Hotspur stands at Alnwick Castle today.
More recently, Alnwick has become even more recognisable as the set for the film adaptations of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. While it’s not recommended that you travel here via platform 9 and 3/4, a visit to Alnwick is definitely a must for fans of the franchise. Seasonal tours and themed activities – broomstick training and archery to name but a few – mean a day packed full of friendly fun for all the family.
The new attraction, the ‘Lost Cellars’ is sure to excite with top of the notch visual and audio effects to heighten the sensory experience – just be sure not to face the cellars alone!
The gardens are also not to be missed featuring one of the country’s largest tree-houses to keep the children entertained; moreover, many of the attractions can be toured with a guide and the poison garden is a particular highlight.
If that isn’t enough, the castle also boasts an impressive picture collection, chapel and a series of museums that are weaved throughout the interior celebrating the history of both Alnwick Castle and the wider Northumberland area.
Contributed by Rebecca Lewis