Alnwick Castle may have beaten out all other castles as one of my favorites this far! On our trip to Scotland, I wrote down Alnwick Castle on my possible "things to see" list on the drive back home. I hadn't even mentioned it to Van until the day we left Edinburgh and he seemed totally cool with it so we headed out. On the way, I explained to him that I had seen this castle on many history shows in the UK and that is was also famous for having Harry Potter scenes filmed at the castle.
It only took about 90 minutes to reach the castle from Edinburgh and of course, the drive was incredibly gorgeous along the coast. Alnwick Castle is located just inside the English border and is set in the beautiful town of, you guessed it, Alnwick. Upon arrival to the town, we knew this was going to be an awesome castle.
We were able to get a discount to the privately owned castle with our English Heritage passes which was great, because it wasn't a cheap castle to visit. There are also gardens as well but since we were pressed for time, we decided to see the castle only and we later realized we would have needed an entire day if we saw the gardens as well!
We walked up to the castle and Van was immediately in love. There was something about it. As we walked through the castle gates, there was a large lawn in the center of the castle. Luckily, we had arrived just in time for the falconry show. About 10 different hawks, eagles and owls were out for display on their perches. We were so excited we made it before the show started because what better way to spend the day then hanging out in a castle watching falconry??? It was pure bliss!
The falconry show was amazing. They showcased three different birds during this showing and this included the golden eagle. The last bird was some hybrid falcon that I was unable to photograph because he was so darn fast! He literally would circle the castle towers, tuck his wings to his sides, and free fall to the falconer. It was mind blowing! He was a quick little guy and clearly enjoying himself and the show he was putting on for the crowd.
We then headed over to the State Rooms. Remember, this is a privately owned castle. Owned by the Percy family for over 700 years to be exact. As soon as we walked into the State Rooms and were told no photography was allowed I knew we were in for a treat. Plus, the amount of security that were in the rooms told me that this place was fancy. And I was right.
The rooms were absolutely incredible. Gold ceilings, gorgeous art, statues and trinkets. The rooms seemed unending. And what I particularly love about privately owned castles, is that there are always family photos throughout the castle. I love getting a glimpse into royal life. I so wish I had pictures to show you!
We explored the rest of the castle and just sat in admiration of this beauty of a castle. It reminded me a lot of Leeds Castle, but multiplied by 10! Plus, I mean come on......Harry learned how to fly a broom here!!
|Look familiar?? This is where the Harry Potter bunch learned to fly!|
We could have spent all day here. It truly is a stunning place to come and hang for the day.
I love that we continue to mark different castles as our "new favorite". It seems like each castle has it's own feel and charm and I love experiencing this. Alwick Castle, you did us well.