A magical adventure…


Hagrid
Hagrid was really HUGE!

Now that we’re south of the border again, there are countless new sights to be seen, and since we’re now in the October holidays, we decided to take a trip to one of them yesterday. We’re big film fans in our house, so the chance to visit a castle which has featured in such films as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (starring Kevin Costner), Robin Hood (starring Russell Crowe), and the Harry Potter films (starring pretty much everyone) was irresistible, especially as there would be some of the Harry Potter characters there and Tadpole would be able to take part in a broomstick flying lesson.

So, off we went to Alnwick Castle… yes, that’s the place that was used for all the outdoor shots at Hogwarts!

enthroned
My noble knights sitting on their thrones

It really is a beautiful castle – one of the most castley-looking castles around, with turrets and crenelations all over the shop – it’s very impressive. It costs a bit to get in but there’s plenty to do and if you validate your ticket you can gain free entry for a further 12 months, so it’s well worth it (it cost just over £30 for 2 adults and one 5 year old – under 5s go free). We booked online and saved 10% which was great!

Dragon slayers
Dragon slayers!

Obviously, as I had the buggy with Button in it, I couldn’t get into all the places, such as the dungeons or the battlements or the upper part of the military museum, but Tadpole and Hubby got into every little place and I still had plenty to see.

We loved the Dragon Quest and Knight’s Quest bit – medieval fancy dress for ALL ages (so even the grown ups can get involved!), various crafts to try (this time it was wand making) and games to play, Hubby got put in the stocks while Tadpole joyfully hurled rats at him. Not real rats, obviously, but stuffed toy ones were good enough. There was a scary dragon’s lair with a mirrored maze which was quite freaky, but Tadpole held my hand and told me it wasn’t really real, so that was alright – LOL!

Entering the dragon's lair
Entering the dragon’s lair…
broomstick boy
Tadpole ready to learn to fly…

The weather was starting to turn a bit by the time we got our broomstick flying lesson, but it didn’t detract from the enjoyment. Incidentally, if anyone wants to try this, get to the castle early and book your place (the class is free once you’re in) because all sessions were fully booked and an extra session added and booked solid by 11am.

We also wandered round the very impressive state rooms which, although are up a bunch of stairs, once you’re up there it’s all on one level, so Hubby carried the buggy up for me. Next time, as Button will be a bit bigger, I think I’ll just use a sling instead.

We’ll be going back when the castle reopens again in the spring as there were still things to see and do and the activities are changed regularly to keep things fresh.

We didn’t visit the gardens as it costs extra and the weather wasn’t great, but they are stunning too and we’ll definitely visit them at some point in the future!

Visit Alnwick Castle HERE.

Dragon lady
I actually found the dragon quite tame and rather friendly!
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