Here's a place that my kids would love to visit. Alnwick Castle is located in the historic market town of Alnwick in the northeast of England about 450 km from London and is instantly recognizable as Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter movies. Alnwick Castle was built as a medieval fortress and has been the home of the Percys, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. Today it is the second largest inhabited castle in England as it is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and their family.
The castle is open each year from April 1st to October 31st and is one of the premier tourist attractions in the area drawing more than 200 000 annual visitors. The castle has been a widely used film location for quite some time but has become an even more popular tourist destination because of the Harry Potter connection. The castle was featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies. Scenes that were filmed at Alnwick include the flying lesson on broomsticks in The Philosopher's Stone and the crash landing of the flying car in The Chamber of Secrets.
The castle offers a number of daily activities for families and many of these have ties to Harry Potter. Among other activities, there are guided tours of the castle and grounds available, archery lessons, magic and wizardry with a Harry Potter theme and a Knight's Quest. The Knight's Quest allows children the opportunity to pick out a costume and complete challenges such as sword fighting, jousting and other fun and games to qualify for knighthood. Harry Potter activities include a Battlesticks to Broomstick tour, three sessions a day of Broomstick Training with Hogwarts prefects and Magic with Hagrid and Dumbledore.
This would definitely be a fun addition to the itinerary for any family visiting the Northumberland area of England and would almost be mandatory for those that have dedicated Harry Potter fans in their midst. It has certainly been added to our family's list of places that we would like to visit.
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