A Trip to Alnwick
I finally managed to travel somewhere! It was so nice to be able to get away from the local area and explore more of the United Kingdom. Hopefully I'll be able to do more of it as we go forward into a (hopefully) brighter future! Today, I'm detailing my trip to Alnwick, a large English town near the border to Scotland. Famed for its beautiful castle and grounds, it's the perfect place to visit on a lovely sunny day like we did!
Our trip down was super easy. From the Edinburgh area, it takes around an hour and a half on the A1 to get down to Alnwick, unless you want to stop and take some pictures at the border of Scotland and England! Alnwick itself has a large car park just off the A1, so it's really easy to find. The car park costs £3, currently only payable by card.
We arrived into Alnwick at around 9.30am, and took the 10 minute walk from the car park to the town centre and had a little explore. The town of Alnwick is beautiful. So tranquil and quaint; it's like walking back in time! There are so many beautiful walls and archways to find. If you're coming to the town to explore its tourist attractions, I highly recommend taking the time to explore the town itself as well.
We then headed in to Alnwick Castle for our 10am booking time. This castle is a sight to behold. It's so large and so beautiful, it will take your breath away! It's exactly what you think of when you picture a castle! I recommend taking some time to walk around the exterior of the whole thing just to take it in.
Once you're in there's loads of outside space to explore and relax in. There's lots of activities to take part in as well, including Dragon's Quest (an escape room-type experience), and broomstick training. Why broomstick training? Well Alnwick Castle was used as the exterior of Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films!
For medieval enthusiasts, there's a place to sit and relax that's themed like a renaissance courtyard - they've done a fantastic job with it!
There are also the State Rooms, which is a space inside the castle with rooms decked out in beautiful and ornate pieces of furniture. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures in there! Alnwick Castle is so nice to just walk around and take it all in. That being said, I'm not sure I would strongly recommend it. It's got a steep price tag, currently sitting at £18.50 for one adult, and there's really not all that much to do. After about 30 minutes, we felt like we'd done everything we wanted to and had seen everything we needed to, which wasn't what we were expecting for such an expensive entry fee. The customer service also left much to be desired, with staff blocking the entrance to the gift shop for example, and only letting you in if you ask...very strange! Overall, we had a nice time at the Castle, but I'm not sure we'd be back in a hurry! I personally would rather walk down to the river that runs beside the castle walls and enjoy the view from the outside.
From there, we walked over to Alnwick Gardens, which are the grounds of the castle, but run by a separate company. The entry cost of the Gardens was £14.30 per adult. Again, a steep cost, but I felt a bit better about this fee as you can see that your money is going into the maintenance of such beautiful grounds. When you first walk in, you are taken back by quite possibly the biggest fountain you will ever see in your life!
And the fountain really is the piece-de-resistance of the entire place. Periodically it also splashes water out, so we saw lots of young children challenging each other to run through it - it's a lot of fun! There's also plenty of space around it to sit on the grass and enjoy the sunshine. We got ice cream (which was delicious) and sat and appreciated the sun for a while.
From there, we walked around the Poison Garden. This is a walled area of the gardens that features deadly and dangerous plants - it's a really unique concept and we had a lot of fun walking around and trying not to touch anything! The rest of the gardens act like a small botanical garden, with lots of nice floral displays and seating areas. We had a great time casually strolling around the grounds, taking in the nice weather.
And then it was time to go! We were planning on going back into Alnwick to have lunch at The Dirty Bottles, but we were suitably full after our ice cream, so headed back on the journey home over the border. We had a fantastic time in Alnwick. It's certainly not a cheap place to visit, but there's so much to enjoy and it looks beautiful on a bright, sunny day - I highly recommend it! If you've been to Alnwick before, what was your favourite thing to see and do?
Twitter - _globalsolo
Instagram - _globalsolo
Until next time,