Home to the real-life Hogwarts castle that was featured in the “Harry Potter” movies, Alnwick is a traditional market town on the banks of the River Aln. It’s home to magnificent contemporary gardens and a social history museum and is a stone’s throw away from one of England’s most impressive castle keeps.
Things to do in Alnwick
Spend an afternoon wandering through the historic centre of Alnwick, which is framed by the medieval Hotspur Gate and the 18th-century Pottergate Tower. Visit the Bailiffgate Museum, which explores the social history of Alnwick through coal mining artefacts, agricultural equipment and vintage homewares.
Appearing as the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the “Harry Potter” film series, Alnwick Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. Join a guided tour to explore its medieval architecture and Italianate staterooms while hearing intriguing tales involving gunpowder plots and England’s most celebrated knight, Harry Hotspur.
Adjacent to Alnwick Castle is the Alnwick Gardens, which showcase elaborate tree houses and contemporary water features dotted around its themed gardens. Of particular note is the Poison Garden where intoxicating and poisonous plants are showcased, including hemlock, foxglove and opium poppies.
A short drive from Alnwick takes you to the 14th-century remains of the Dunstanburgh Castle, which was built on the foundations of an Iron Age fort by Earl Thomas of Lancaster. Follow the spectacular coastal walking trail that leads to the castle’s striking twin-towered keep and soak up the dramatic views of the North Sea.
Getting around Alnwick
Alnwick is just under one hour’s drive from Newcastle Airport, while trains make the 70-minute journey to Edinburgh from nearby Alnmouth. Buses connect Alnwick with surrounding destinations and the town centre is easy to explore on foot.