Visiting Alnwick, pronounced to sound like ‘panic’, 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 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 of the Duchess of Northumberland’s family home.
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 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.
Just a short walk through Alnwick’s winding streets and past the archway of Bondgate Tower, the only remaining chunk of the town walls
, will take you to Barter Books
. Undoubtedly one of the cosiest cafes in the county, this once Victorian railway station is now one of the biggest antiquarian bookshops in the UK. 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.