Feel the magic in Alnwick
Visiting Alnwick, pronounced to sound like ‘anick’, is like stepping into a fairytale, where you can dine in the twinkling treetops of one of the world’s largest treehouses, fly a broomstick at Alnwick Castle, and visit a sleeping Giant at The Alnwick Garden.
Alnwick Castle is (quite literally) spellbinding, as its starring role in its starring role in the Harry Potter movies
as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry casts
a hint of magic over the grounds. Spot Harry Potter wand-ering the corridors, have a guided tour
led by Ron Weasley, and take a broomstick lesson on the very spot where Harry, Ron and Hermione learned to fly. Harry Potter aside, get lost in the history of the medieval architecture and opulent Italianate State Rooms and admire the collection of fine and decorative art. Home to the Percy family for over 700 years Alnwick Castle, the second largest inhabited castlein the UK, remains a family home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.
Combine your visit with a trip to The Alnwick Garden, the enchanting site that holds 4000 different plants, a Grand Cascade, a mysterious Poison Garden full of deadly plants and a seasonal cherry orchard. From the end of April - early May, the largest collection of Japanese Taihaku cherry blossoms in the world blooms here, so perch on one of the swinging benches and watch the delicate petals flutter in the breeze.
Explore The Alnwick Treehouse
, where indoor branches are intertwined with sparkling fairy lights and a flickering open fire takes centre stage. Those who are a little more adventurous can reach the restaurant via a wobbly bridge that becomes even more spectacular at night as fairy lights line the outdoor area.
Don't miss Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery, which holds over 10,000 years of history in its charming stone walls. Based in Alnwick's Castle Quarter, it was previously a church, meaning you can admire its beautiful architecture while you discover artefacts, photographs and audio visual displays that showcase fascinating stories through time.
Just a short walk through Alnwick’s winding cobbled streets and past the archway of Bondgate Tower, the only remaining chunk of the town walls, will take you to Barter Books. Settle into an armchair by the open fire and grab yourself a coffee as you immerse yourself in the literary world while toy trains chug above you.
Alnwick farmers market takes place on the last Friday of each month in Alnwick market square. You'll find a mouth watering selection of food from local producers including cakes, artisan breads, Northumbrian meats and fish. Alnwick's traditional stone buildings house a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants; you'll be spoilt for choice.
Burn off those calories with a stroll round Hulne Park, once the hunting grounds of the Percy family, there are now a range of circular walks with clearly marked paths ranging from 4 to 6 miles in length.
Situated close to the Northumberland Coast, Alnwick is a great base to explore the surrounding areas and other great attractions, such as Embleton Bay and Howick Hall, the home of earl grey tea.
Within 5 miles of Alnwick lies the picturesque village of Alnmouth. With its huge sandy bay and fascinating history, it is worth a visit to experience another natural wonder of Northumberland. For a true coast and countryside experience set aside a day to head inland to the Northumberland National Park.