Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle has been home to the Dukes of Northumberland for over 700 years. Fans of Harry Potter and / or Downton Abbey might recognise it, as it has starred in both. If you so wish, you can sign up for broomstick training on the very spot where Harry had his first lesson, and you can see in the State Rooms an exhibition of photographs, costumes and props from the Downton Christmas specials of 2014 and 2015 in which Alnwick doubled as Brancaster Castle.

As with Lindisfarne, I’d never been here before and enjoyed discovering the castle. The exterior is imposing, and I particularly liked the figures on the ramparts. They, and the numerous cannon lying about, could have been intimidating, but fortunately John, Valerie and Kenn look quite relaxed.

However, what I enjoyed most – and we didn’t know it was on before we went – was the falconry display. It was so well done that we watched it twice.

Afterwards, John was able to get up close and personal with some of the participants. Well, maybe not too close. Those beaks look scary!

Alnwick Castle is also famous for its gardens – however these operate as a separate attraction, and I think to do both we’d have needed more time. On the way out, we had a peek through the beautiful gates and there wasn’t much colour yet (this was a month ago) so we’ll save that up for another day. The gardens ticket includes admission to the intriguing Tree House, also a reason to go back.

This was the third day of our short Northumbrian break. One more castle to go!


  1. This is fabulous. I love Castles and the history behind them. I also love raptors, so you have a new fan. Thank you so much for posting your marvelous work. I look forward to reading much more.


  2. Such an outstanding sight! No wonder this castel features in a few films, it looks beautiful.

    And what about falconery shows? I love them! I had the good fortune to see quite a few of them.
    Isn’t it fascinating that these birds are trained following a manual written centuries ago, and still they do jobs that are so modern and so useful in today world?


  3. Isn’t Alnwick the place with the Poison Garden? I’ve always wanted to visit that, but I can see why you didn’t have time, especially if there was a separate fee! Hanging out with owls and falcons seems like a good substitute though!


  4. OMG that first photo of Alnwick Castle with the flowers in the front is like something out of a dream. I think I want to come back in my next life as the Duchess of Northumberland! And those falcons were AMAZING. Nice shots.


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