As my friend and I were planning our trip to Edinburgh in Scotland, we decided to drive from Yorkshire (our home) and make the most of the journey through Northumberland.
By chance, both places we decided to visit were home to magnificent castles. Driving down those country lanes singing to Taylor Swift (yes, I am using cheesy Ed Sheeran lyrics in this blogpost) we found ourselves in awe at the sights we saw (and now I’m rhyming …). The Castles in both Alnwick and Bamburgh stand high over the village. They hold prominent positions in the skyline, seen on many a horizon.
Alnwick Castle was our first stop on our mini road trip. It is best known by a lot of people as the set for Hogwarts from both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. With my trusty student card, it was £13.50 entry on the day, which I think was a bargain for all the experiences we had that day.
The Castle itself is in the most beautiful surroundings. The cherry blossom was in full bloom, the fields were full of daffodils, the sun was shining. It was just the perfect setting.
As we entered the castle through the lion’s gate, it literally felt as if we had been transported to Hogwarts. The courtyard was being used for ‘broomstick training’ which added to the Harry Potter magic. In case you hadn’t gathered from this blog already, I am a true Harry Potter fan. I can watch the films again and again … and again! So seeing where scenes from the first 2 films were shot was a fun experience.
The Alnwick on Location Film Tour, a free guided tour of the castle grounds whilst discussing all the film making that has occurred at the castle (yes there is more than just Harry Potter!), was really enjoyable. There was also the opportunity to learn Archery, but unfortunately we didn’t have time. Something that was slightly bizarre was something called ‘Dragon Quest’. This involved transforming into a knight and slaying the evil dragon – ah that classic story right?! It reminded me of an escape room but this one answers the puzzles for you. I think it is something aimed at children, but was weird and fun none the less!
There are a number of museums within the Castle displaying it’s history. You can also tour parts of the Castle, which in the winter is used as a family home (imagine that!) But if I’m honest, the visit to me was all about the views and the aesthetics of the castle.
On our way home from Edinburgh, we decided we had to stop in the village of Bamburgh. Such a quaint English village next to the sea, here you’ll find a beach in some stunning surroundings. A local on his run told us about pod of 20 dolphins and some porpoises living off coast in the area. Sadly we didn’t see any. With the view of the castle along the beach, it is literally picture perfect. Can you spot the Castle in the panoramic shot below?
We stopped for a quick bite to eat in a quintessential tearoom called The Copper Kettle Tea Rooms. Both of us had to have a scone with clotted cream and jam. What else could you possibly have in that setting, right?! Sadly (for you guys reading this) the scone was eaten too quickly to get a picture, but I promise you it was amazing.
Have you been to either of these places, or other places in Northumberland I should visit next time? Let me know!