Alnwick Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in England; it has been home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family for over 700 years. The State Rooms boast one of the finest private art collections in the country. Alnwick Castle featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films and also starred in ITV’s Downton Abbey. The castle’s history is brought to life by our resident knights, ladies and artisans, together with a host of entertaining performers throughout the season.
Castle Grounds - 9:30am until 2:30pm (last entry)
From 6th September
Castle Grounds - 10:00am - 5:30pm (last entry at 2:30pm)
Combining magnificent medieval architecture with spectacular Italianate State Rooms, Alnwick Castle is one of the UK’s most significant heritage destinations and one of the largest inhabited castles in England; it has been home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family, the Percys, for over 700 years.
Alnwick’s lavish State Rooms boast one of the finest private art collections in the country, including eight paintings by Canaletto and extensive works by Titian, Van Dyck, Turner, and Dobson. Impressive services of Meissen, Chelsea, and Paris porcelain are displayed in the China Gallery, while the Saloon is home to the priceless Cucci cabinets, originally created for King Louis XIV of France and his palace at Versailles.
Alnwick Castle famously featured as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films. The Outer Bailey is the location where Harry first learned to fly, as well as learning the rules of Quidditch. Visitors can recreate some of the magic with a tour of filming locations or a Broomstick Training lesson, courtesy of our resident wizarding professors.
In addition to Harry Potter, Alnwick Castle has had starring roles both in cinema and on television including ITV’s Downton Abbey, with Alnwick Castle featuring as Brancaster, home of the Marquess of Hexham. Scenes in the grounds, surrounding parkland and throughout the State Rooms saw characters enjoy everything from dinner in the Dining Room to dancing in the Library.
Other small screen appearances include the BBC’s Hollow Crown Shakespeare adaptations, 1980s cult classic Robin of Sherwood and, famously, the first series of Blackadder. On the big screen, the castle has appeared in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Elizabeth and Transformers: The Last Knight.
Families can spend quality time together in Artisans Courtyard, a vibrant and bustling medieval themed area where adults and children can dress in medieval costume and set forth to train in swordplay, play medieval games, become a craft-making artisan and make a souvenir to take home, and take photos on our thrones (or in the stocks). In Dragon’s Quest join forces with Harry Hotspur and the Dragon Catcher to battel mystical forces, conquer challenging obstacles and come face to face with a terrifying Dragon.
The castle’s rich history is brimming with drama, intrigue, and extraordinary people, from a gunpowder plotter and visionary collectors, to decadent hosts and England’s most celebrated knight: Harry Hotspur, brought to life by our resident knights, ladies and artisans, together with a host of entertaining performers throughout the season. You might meet wizards, dragons, jesters and falconers on your adventures!
With gift shops, cafes and museums to add to your visit, there is plenty to see and do at Alnwick Castle. And if it all gets too much, simply relax in some of the most spectacular and picturesque countryside in England and absorb 950 years of history – and magic.