Welcome to the second post in our journey through Harry Potter’s England. See the complete list of other Harry Potter travel posts at the end of this post.
Step into Alnwick Castle and step inside the magical world of Harry Potter and his friends.
Yep, Alnwick Castle played a starring role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films, The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets.
You don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy Alnwick Castle!
Alnwick Castle is truly a great destination for anyone, no matter your Harry Potter fan status. So take a walk through the castle, and witness some of the action you might encounter while exploring Alnwick Castle.
Alnwick Castle – Hogwarts & Quidditch
The quest for Harry Potter begins as soon as you walk through the same passage as the magical flying Ford Anglia car flew through. Feel it? See it? You’re now standing right smack in the middle of the magical world of Hogwarts.
Step out into the center of the bailey. Take a look around. Imagine Professor McGounegall peering out of these windows, as she watches Harry fly his broomstick, chasing down Neville’s Rememberall.
Check out the medieval lanterns hanging on the castle walls – search for the same lantern that Professor Dumbledore lit at the beginning of the school year, and extinguished at the close of the school year.
Quiddich anyone? Look across the Outer Bailey and find yourself immersed in the middle of Madame Hooch’s flying lessons high above the Quiddich field.
Imagine yourself transported to Honey Dukes, in the nearby village of Hogsmeade. Order up some sweet treats while there!
Wander outside the castle walls and take pause. Ponder the field in front of you. Look closely. You can almost imagine Hagrid coming out of the Dark Forest on the other side of the field. Yep, envision Hagrid’s Hut was somewhere “out there, those trees the back drop for The Dark Forest. Ohhh spooky! Hope Aragog and his friends don’t come running out, else I’m going the other way!
Mingle & Mix with Harry Potter Characters
Time your visit to Castle Alnwick just right and you might find yourself bumping into Professor Dumbledore, staring up at Hagrid, and who knows – sharing broomstick stories with Harry Potter himself! Ok, not the actors themselves, but some very convincing people dressed as your favorite Harry Potter characters.
There’s even a special Broomstick Training class. Now that would be a high-flying adventure! Check Alnwick Castle’s website for special Potter-inspired character days. Then pull out your own robe and wand, and join the magical fun.
Harry Potter not your schtick? Alnwick Castle should still be on your travel list. It has so much more to offer everyone, even the muggles! Check it out.
Take the Knight’s Quest Challenge
It’s not all about Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle! Transport yourself back to the medieval world of 1389. Test your skills in the Knight’s Quest! Can you complete the eight tasks to being “crowned” an honorary knight of the castle? Don’t forget to dress the part! Don your knight’s clothes and design your own shield. Build your own castle. Take the “view and sniff” task – the garderobe. What’s a garderobe, you ask? It’s a medieval bathroom! The kids will love that one.
Last but not least, test your prowess as a knight. Show off your new-found swordmanship skills – make your stand against the “knights” circling you. Ride your “horse” in the jousting tournament. And the ultimate challenge – slay the dragon!
Tasks completed – you are now fit to be knighted! The Knight’s Quest is sure to be a “family favorite” activity. As for us? Yep, we were crowned knights! Ok, so I wasn’t – somebody had to take the pictures and hold our stuff.
Don’t miss the Castle Shop!
Castle Alnwick’s shop is fun just to browse. It’s also got some pretty cool magical wands, Hogwarts robes, and many other medieval items to remember your visit with. Our purchase? A pretty sweet wand. The dragons were pretty cool too.
A Little Alnwick Castle History
Alnwick Castle was the ancestral home of the Duke of Northumberland, and remains the Percy family home today as it has since it was purchased by Henry Lord Percy in 1309. It’s also one of the largest inhabited castles in the United Kingdom.
The castle and the surrounding grounds along the River Aln are steeped in history. Several castle buildings date back to the 14th century, and little has changed since then. Though the current castle dates from the 14th century, humans have been living and protecting these lands for over 1000 years. With it’s strategic location, one can imagine why this most impressive defensive site was chosen so many long years ago.
Now that’s a lot of history, so much more than Harry Potter!
Where is Castle Alnwick?
Castle Alnwick is located in the heart of Northumberland, England, and is easily accessible by car, train or bus. No need to hire a tour guide here. Alnwick Castle’s website and staff will keep you well informed and on top of all the fun.
The Journey Continues To … In & Around London
Next up on our journey through Harry Potter’s England is A Muggle’s View of Harry Potter’s London. Don’t miss entire series about our journey through Harry Potter’s England:
- A Muggle’s Exploration of Harry Potter’s England
- A Muggle’s View of Harry Potter’s London
- Lacock Abbey: Inside A Hogwarts Classroom
- Gloucester Cathedral: In The Halls of Hogwarts
- Oxford: It’s More Than Hogwarts Dining Hall
- Plan Your Own Trip To Harry Potter’s England
Have you been to Castle Alnwick? What was your favorite activity? Let us know in the Comments section below.
It’s July and I’m on vacation. But don’t take a vacation from my blog! I will continue to post through-out the month. Don’t forget to also leave a Comment. I might be delayed in answering them, but I will get right on that when I return from my travels. I promise.
Images from AlnwickCastle.com and CBiederman.