Alnwick Castle’s remarkable past is filled with drama, intrigue, tragedy and romance, as well as a host of fascinating people including gunpowder plotters, kingmakers and England’s most famous medieval knight: Harry Hotspur. With a history beginning in the Norman age, the castle was originally built to defend England from the Scots. It was eventually transformed from a fortification into a family home for the first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland in the 1760s.
Today, Alnwick Castle is a visitor attraction of real significance, with lavish State Rooms and superb art collections, as well as engaging activities and events for all ages – all set in beautiful landscape by Northumberland-born ‘Capability’ Brown.
Behind the castle’s iconic medieval walls are sumptuous State Rooms in Italian Renaissance style, where visitors can discover one of the country’s finest private art collections, including work by Canaletto, Titian and Van Dyck. Important Meissen, Chelsea and Paris ceramics are impressively displayed in the China Gallery.
Within the towers of the Inner Bailey are museums and exhibitions which tell the story of Harry Hotspur, the Northumberland Fusiliers, and the Percy Tenantry Volunteers.
Alnwick Castle provides entertainment for Potter fans, who will recognise Alnwick as Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films, but there are also opportunities aplenty for children and families to get hands-on with history in the medieval-themed Knight’s Quest arena, with dressing up, swordplay, medieval crafts and traditional games.
There are also many exciting seasonal events such as falconry displays, Potter-inspired magic shows, jester performances, alchemy experiments and dragon walkabouts – all included in the cost of admission.