Alnwick Castle is second only to Windsor Castle in terms of being the largest inhabited castle in England, and has been the ancestral home of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. The earliest mention of Alnwick Castle appears soon after 1096 when Yves de Vescy became baron of Alnwick and began the construction of the castle.
A tour of the interior of the castle includes the State Rooms, Library, Drawing Room and Dining Room. All of these areas are furnished and decorated with items collected by many generations of the Percy family.
In the courtyard is the coach house which displays many examples of coaches from the 19th century. The prize exhibit is the state coach which now carries the Percy livery although it once carried that of royalty when it transported the 3rd Duke as King George IV's personal representative to the coronation of Charles X in France in 1825.
Film enthusiasts will no doubt be attracted to Alnwick as many of the exterior scenes of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School were filmed here. The castle has featured in several movies including Elizabeth in 1998, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves in 1991 and The Spaceman and King Arthur in 1978. The magical world of knights and dragons is on display in the Knight’s Quest, where children can dress up as knights or princesses and meet the Dragon Master to learn all about dragons.
Light lunches and snacks are available at two locations and the castle gift shop has a wide range of gifts and souvenirs.
Most areas of the castle are accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs but some parts do have limited access. Wheelchairs are available for visitors and should be reserved in advance.
Tel: 01665 510777