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Visiting Alnwick Castle is something I have been wanting to tick off my wishlist for a while. Not only is it a gorgeous castle and grounds, but it’s Hogwarts. Yes, actual Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! The first two Harry Potter films used Alnwick Castle as the school. And the Harry Potter geek in me needs to see it. I finally had my chance to wander around it during our Northumberland holiday.
About Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle is in the heart of Northumberland, England. It has stood since the 1300’s so has a rich history.
As well as being the (probably) most famous school ever, Hogwarts, it has been the set for other films and TV shows. You can see it as Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey and in Robin Hood Prince of Theives.
Entry to the castle is £14.40 for adults and £7.65 for children. You can also visit the gardens too whilst you are there, visiting the castle and gardens is £25.26 for adults and £11 for children. Parking at the castle is £3.
Visiting Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle is visible from the road so as you drive around Northumberland so you can get a little glimpse of it before you get there. A winding pathway leads you up to it and it is instantly recognisable as Hogwarts. Despite knowing it is a large castle that is lived in I was really amazed by it. The castle is huge and looks in near perfect condition.
You are able to walk all around the castle and some of the wall. Visitors can explore some of the rooms inside, the Percy family still live in the castle so some parts are out of bounds. There are a few different tours you can go on both inside and outside the castle. They are weather permitting and some do get booked up so I would book when you arrive. Unfortunately on our visit the weather wasn’t on our side and the broomstick lessons were full. Sad faces!
The views from Alnwick Castle
It is well worth walking to the edge of the grounds of Alnwick Castle as the views are just stunning!
Alnwick Castle Courtyard Cafe
There is a cafe inside the castle where you can grab a cuppa and a biscuit, like us, or sit and have a full meal. The cafe is pricey but the giant cookies are delicious and the main meals look really good too.
Alnwick Castle Harry Potter gift shop
And for the Harry Potter fans there is a Harry Potter gift shop. The gift shop has reasonable prices and there are some gorgeous things, the jumpers are especially nice.
Alnwick Castle exhibitions
As much as I loved visiting Alnwick Castle to see it as Hogwarts it is a really interesting place. The grounds are gorgeous and I love the historical things you can find around and about. Some rooms are historical exhibitions where you can see historical documents and artefacts as well as items from the war. The state rooms are stunning too and I really recommend walking through them.
My final thoughts of Alnwick Castle
I absolutely loved our day at Alnwick Castle. I do wish the weather had been better as walking around the outside was chilly and wet. Even in the grey skies and showers there is still plenty to do there.
If you are visiting just because it was Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies it will be a quick visit. Take some time to really explore the castle, its history and the exhibitions and it is a full day out.
Have you ever visited Alnwick Castle? Would you like to see the locations of any of your favourite films?