We visited Alnwick Castle during our stay in Northumberland last year and we had a great fun-filled day. I thought this would be an hour or two of entertainment, but we spent the whole day there and there was lots to do. Our eldest daughter who is six loved it here and she reminded me today what a great time she’d had.
We bought a family ticket which can be validated for 12 months allowing us to return at some point if we visit the area again.
There were several activities and attractions throughout the day including tours of the castle, wizard demonstrations and crafts for the kids. It is best to plan what you want to see so you can book yourself on if necessary. I believe different things are on offer at different times of the year, so our day may or may not be typical for the activities available.
As you enter there is a board on the wall showing the activities and times so you can easily plan your day. We wanted to do Broomstick Training, Dragon’s Quest and a tour showing how the castle has been used as a location for many films and television programmes. Alnwick Castle is particularly famous for being the location for filming of Harry Potter. There are many references to the castle being Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Broomstick training was very popular so you need to be early to guarantee your place. We arrived at opening time and had to queue to book onto the Broomstick lesson.
This was a 10 minute walkthrough attraction, which my girls both loved (aged 2 and 6).
It involves dragons and swords and fire, so perfect for little adventurers. However I have heard other people say it was too scary for their kids, so you may wish to consider this before going through. There is a short film at the start and you can probably gauge whether your kids will like it from that.
This was a great activity run by two funny ladies. They teach you how to summon the broomstick and then you learn to mount it and ride it. Then you have a little time to master your technique and take photos. We just about avoided the rain as this would have spoilt it a bit. Others were less lucky on the day we were there.
Our two year old was a little restless, at times, but she did get involved. Our six year old loved it and it was fun for the adults too. I would definitely recommend this.
As mentioned earlier, you do need to get there early to book onto the Broomstick training and avoid disappointment. You may well see and hear the Broomstick training throughout the day so it would be a shame to miss it if your kids would enjoy it.
Our girls loved making things with clay. I was pleased to see this was included within the entry price as I thought we may have to pay extra. The lady running the clay session was lovely and patient with all the kids.
You can collect your piece as you leave and we managed to keep ours intact and take it home.
Alnwick Castle is not open all year round so it is best to check the website before you go. Normally it closes the last weekend in October and opens again at the end of March. You can save 10% on admission if you book in advance.
We stayed in a holiday cottage in Embleton when we visited Alnwick Castle. It was a short drive, about 20 minutes to get to Alnwick. Please click on the link if you’d like to read my post about our cottage in Embleton.