Alnwick CastleView map
From Harry Hotspur to Harry Potter
e know what you’re thinking: ‘Isn’t that Hogwarts – the school of wizardry attended by Harry Potter in the eponymous films?’.
Well yes it is, sort of. Alnwick Castle has had a rather distinguished film and TV career, and aside from being used as the stand-in for exterior and interior shots of the world’s most famous school of magic, it’s also appeared in other screen classics like Blackadder (starring Rowan Atkinson), Elizabeth (with Cate Blanchett) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (a much younger Kevin Costner).
Located on the outskirts of Alnwick, a pretty market town just 15 minutes’ drive from the Northumberland coast, the castle dates back over 700 years – and has been at the centre of several sieges and attacks in its time.
Things are a lot more peaceful nowadays, though, especially if you’re strolling round the Capability Brown-designed gardens. It’s a great place to bring the family, with Harry Potter-inspired magic shows, bird of prey demonstrations, archery lessons – and of course guided tours of the castle itself. Just don’t try any of your old tricks…