Rita Hazelton

Written by Rita Hazelton

Modified & Updated: 18 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Visitnorthumberland.com

Alnwick Castle, located in the picturesque county of Northumberland, is a majestic and historic landmark that has captivated visitors for centuries. With its rich and fascinating history, stunning architecture, and notable connections to literature and film, Alnwick Castle has become a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and fans of pop culture alike. Dating back to the 11th century, this iconic castle has witnessed centuries of stories, battles, and royalty. From being a medieval fortress to a luxurious stately home, Alnwick Castle has evolved through the ages, retaining its grandeur and charm. In this article, we will delve into 20 captivating facts about Alnwick Castle, shedding light on its intriguing past and highlighting the reasons why it continues to be a beloved landmark today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alnwick Castle, a historic fortress, offers a magical experience with its ties to Harry Potter, stunning gardens, and thrilling activities like the Alnwick Castle Joust and Dragon Quest.
  • From its impressive size to its haunted legends, Alnwick Castle is a treasure trove of history, offering visitors a glimpse into centuries of captivating stories and enchanting charm.
Table of Contents

The Construction of Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle has a rich history that dates back to the 11th century. It was initially built as a motte-and-bailey castle and later transformed into a stone fortress.

The Castle’s Impressive Size

With a total area of over 5,000 square meters, Alnwick Castle ranks among the largest inhabited castles in the UK.

Alnwick Castle as a Film Location

Alnwick Castle has been featured in numerous films and TV shows, including the famous Harry Potter series, where it served as the magical Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Beautiful Gardens of Alnwick Castle

Adjacent to the castle is the stunning Alnwick Garden, boasting enchanting water features, elegant gardens, and remarkable landscape design.

History of the Percy Family

Alnwick Castle has been the seat of the powerful Percy family since medieval times. They have played significant roles in British history, including being involved in the Wars of the Roses.

Alnwick Castle’s Connection to Shakespeare

The infamous “Percy Folio,” a rare collection of Shakespeare’s plays, has been preserved at Alnwick Castle for centuries, making it a literary treasure.

Jumping off the Alnwick Castle Walls

Brave souls can enjoy a thrilling experience by taking part in “The Alnwick Castle Joust,” where they can witness knights in action and even have the chance to jump off the castle walls onto a safety mat below!

The Poison Garden

Alnwick Castle is home to the unique Poison Garden, which showcases various toxic plants and offers educational insights into their history and uses.

Alnwick Castle’s Military Past

During its long history, Alnwick Castle has served as a military outpost, a refuge during wartime, and even a training ground for the British Army.

The Magnificent State Rooms

The interior of Alnwick Castle features opulent State Rooms, adorned with exquisite artworks and furniture, providing visitors with a glimpse into the grandeur of centuries past.

The Alnwick Castle Dungeon

Explore the eerie depths of the Alnwick Castle Dungeon, where you can learn about the castle’s darker history through interactive exhibits and spine-chilling storytelling.

Alnwick Castle’s Dragon Quest

Embark on an exciting Dragon Quest at Alnwick Castle, where visitors can join interactive activities and seek out various dragon sculptures hidden within the castle grounds.

Alnwick Castle’s Ghostly Residents

Legend has it that Alnwick Castle is haunted by several ghosts, including a Pink Lady and a knight who roams the hallways, adding an extra layer of intrigue to its already captivating atmosphere.

The Alnwick Castle Archives

The extensive archives of Alnwick Castle contain a wealth of historical documents, including family records, letters, and manuscripts that offer a glimpse into the castle’s past.

Alnwick Castle’s Spectacular Views

Perched atop a hill, Alnwick Castle provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Northumberland countryside, making it a photographer’s dream.

The Alnwick Castle Bookshop

Book lovers will delight in exploring the Alnwick Castle Bookshop, stocked with a wide range of books, including ones about the castle’s history, literature, and local culture.

Alnwick Castle’s Educational Programs

Alnwick Castle offers a variety of educational programs, allowing visitors to engage with history, art, and architecture through workshops, tours, and interactive exhibits.

The Alnwick Castle Christmas Market

Every year, Alnwick Castle hosts a magical Christmas Market, where visitors can shop for unique gifts, enjoy festive entertainment, and immerse themselves in the holiday spirit.

The Alnwick Castle Tea Room

Relax and indulge in delicious treats at the Alnwick Castle Tea Room, which offers a delightful selection of teas, cakes, and traditional British fare.

Alnwick Castle’s Enduring Legacy

As a treasured heritage site, Alnwick Castle continues to captivate visitors from around the world, preserving its history and enchanting charm for future generations to enjoy.

So, whether you’re a history buff, a fan of Harry Potter, or simply seeking a captivating experience, Alnwick Castle with its 20 captivating facts has something extraordinary to offer.


Alnwick Castle is a truly captivating landmark that has a rich history and offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. From its medieval origins to its role in popular culture, this iconic castle continues to enchant visitors from around the world. Whether you’re a history buff, a fan of Harry Potter, or simply looking for a remarkable place to explore, Alnwick Castle has something for everyone. Its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and engaging activities make it a must-visit destination in England. So, plan your visit to Alnwick Castle and embark on a journey through time and imagination.


1. Is Alnwick Castle open to the public?

Yes, Alnwick Castle is open to the public. Visitors can explore the castle’s interior, including its grand state rooms, as well as the surrounding gardens and grounds.

2. Can I take a guided tour of the castle?

Yes, guided tours are available at Alnwick Castle. Knowledgeable guides will provide interesting insights into the history and highlights of the castle during the tour.

3. Are the gardens worth visiting?

Absolutely! The Alnwick Castle gardens are renowned for their beauty and variety. With manicured lawns, stunning flower beds, and unique features such as the Poison Garden, they are a delight to explore.

4. Can I bring my children to Alnwick Castle?

Yes, Alnwick Castle is family-friendly and offers various activities and attractions for children. From broomstick flying lessons to interactive exhibits, there is plenty to keep kids entertained.

5. Is Alnwick Castle accessible for individuals with mobility issues?

Alnwick Castle strives to be accessible to all visitors. While the castle itself may have limitations due to its historic nature, there are provisions in place to accommodate individuals with mobility issues, including accessible parking and ramps.

6. Is photography allowed inside the castle?

Photography is allowed in most areas of the castle, but restrictions may apply in certain rooms and exhibitions. It’s always best to check with the staff on-site for any specific guidelines.

7. Can I host events or weddings at Alnwick Castle?

Yes, Alnwick Castle is a popular venue for weddings, corporate events, and special occasions. The castle offers a stunning backdrop for memorable celebrations.

8. Are there any dining options available at Alnwick Castle?

Yes, there are several dining options available within Alnwick Castle. From cozy cafes to elegant restaurants, visitors can enjoy a range of culinary experiences during their visit.

If you're curious about more fascinating facts, why not explore the magical world of Harry Potter, uncover the historic buildings of Ghent, or discover the breathtaking tourist attractions at Machu Picchu? Each destination holds its own unique charm and captivating stories waiting to be revealed. So, let your curiosity guide you on your next adventure, and embark on a journey of discovery that will leave you enchanted and inspired.

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