Located in Northumberland, the historic market town of Alnwick has a whole bundle of history at its heart. From its meandering cobbled streets and Victorian railway station turned book shop to its iconic medieval castles and Saxon church, Alnwick should top the list for anyone fascinated by English heritage.
Alnwick’s market place was once bustling with artisan wares of old but is still home to local, continental and monthly farmers’ markets brimming with seasonal produce – there’s also a Food Festival each September. Once a year, the market place comes alive with Alnwick’s International Music Festival too, a melodic medley of Scottish and African groups to Balkan and Ukrainian bands.
Alnwick Castle, home to the Percy family and the Dukes of Northumberland for more than 700 years, is one of the largest inhabited castles in Britain. As well as boasting striking state rooms and the Northumberland Collection, this Norman castle was the filming location for Hogwarts. In honour of its connection to both Harry Hotspur (a Percy ancestor) and Harry Potter, attractions at the castle include the Dragon Quest and Broomstick Training – mystical, magical fun for all the family!
Your next stop should be Alnwick Garden, a sensory experience whatever the season with the impressive grand cascade water feature, the ornamental garden which is always awash with texture and colour and the tremendous treehouse among the limes. The perfect end to an afternoon in Alnwick should include tea and cake at the Pavilion Café.
But if that’s not enough nature for you to relish, you should explore the wider Alnwick countryside by foot or bike. Breathe in the fresh sea air and feel the golden sand between your toes while ambling around nearby harbour town Amble or stopping for kippers at Craster. And an Alnwick holiday cottage by the sea or in the historic town centre would be the perfect base for your adventures…