Our most recommended things to do in Alnwick

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

Join a day trip from Edinburgh to the medieval kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England. Visit Lindisfarne, once the most important center of religious learning in the British Isles. Explore the market town of Alnwick and its castle where scenes from Harry Potter and Downton Abbey were filmed. Meet your guide, hop on a bus, and make your way to your first stop, Holy Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway that leads into the quaint island village of Lindisfarne. Soak in stunning views of Lindisfarne Castle dating back to 1550. Spend time wandering through the ruins of its Priory where the Lindisfarne Gospels were produced. Sample some of the world-famous Lindisfarne ‘mead’ brewed by monks on the island, and enjoy the tranquility for which the island is renowned. Continue south passing Bamburgh, the ancient capital of Northumbria, then on to the bustling market town of Alnwick, whose greatest building is the medieval Alnwick Castle. Enjoy time in the town center or visit the castle complex which was home to the Percy Family for over 700 years. If you decide to visit the castle, step into the unexpected in the Alnwick Garden with its Grand Cascade fountain and Poison Gardens. The castle grounds were also used in the TV series Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films. In the mid-afternoon, begin the drive north to cross the River Tweed and back into Scotland at the historic border town of Coldstream. If time permits, stop at Flodden Field, the scene of the infamous battle of 1513, which ended in victory for the English and the death of James IV, King of Scots.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour

Your tour begins by following the road that connected Caledonia with Roman Britannia. You stop in Kelso where you explore this handsome town and what is thought to be Scotland’s largest market square. You also see the ruins of Kelso Abbey, a reminder of the many ancient conflicts between Scotland and England. Continuing south, you cross the border and travel to Alnwick Castle, an immense fortification that has stood strong for nearly a millennium. It was originally built to assert Norman rule over newly conquered lands. But more recently Alnwick Castle has found fame as one of the settings for the fictional Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter movie series. Book lovers can also take the opportunity here to explore one of the largest and most impressive second-hand book shops in Britain. After around three hours at Alnwick, you travel north along the Northumberland Coast. You stop on your way back to Edinburgh at one of the beautiful historic villages or castles that pepper the rolling landscapes of Southern Scotland.

Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

On this 9.5-hour excursion from Edinburgh you’ll visit the picturesque town of Coldstream and view the inspiring Bamburgh Castle. But it’s Alnwick Castle that’s the main destination of the day. It’s been a key filming location for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey and is a historic location in its own right. You will leave Edinburgh in the morning and head east to the Scottish Borders. Enjoy the views of gently rolling hills and dramatic coastlines along the way.  The first stop is the beautiful coastal town of Bamburgh. Take a stroll to the stunning beach and view the picturesque 5th-century Bamburgh Castle sitting on a natural throne of volcanic dolerite. In the afternoon you’ll visit Alnwick Castle. Admire the large stately rooms and the stunning architecture or learn a little about all the popular films and TV shows filmed at the site, including Harry Potter. After spending time in Alnwick, you will return over the border and into Scotland. Entry to Alnwick Castle is optional and can be selected at time of booking. The final stop is Coldstream's border town, which lies on the north side of the River Tweed. Hear about the turbulent past of this charming town before your journey ends in Edinburgh in the early evening.

From Edinburgh: Day Trip to Bamburgh and Alnwick Castle

From Edinburgh: Day Trip to Bamburgh and Alnwick Castle

Brace yourselves, we’re heading south into enemy territory! Passing gentle rolling hills and dramatic coastline, we’ll cross the border with England to explore Bamburgh - the laid-back seaside village in the heart of Northumberland. Don’t get deceived by its sleepy looks – the village and the mighty Bamburgh Castle was the seat of the early Kings of Northumbria in the 5th century. Run down to the beautiful beach to get some fresh air, imagine Viking longboats approaching the coast for a raid and try to keep up with the area’s turbulent history recounted by your Guide. In the afternoon, have your broomsticks at the ready as we’re off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family for over 700 years. A long, rich history and magnificent medieval architecture makes it a film lovers’ dream as seen in Downton Abbey. After a magical afternoon in Alnwick, we’ll make our way back over the border and into Scotland where we will regale you with tales of the turbulent past before arriving into Edinburgh in the early evening.

The Alnwick Garden: Entry Ticket

The Alnwick Garden: Entry Ticket

Step into one of the most beautiful contemporary gardens, the Alnwick Gardens, which offers an enchanting landscape, adventure and intrigue in the heart of Northumberland.  Scale the treetops above the world's largest wooden treehouse, lose yourself in the mysterious Bamboo Labyrinth, steal through the Poison Garden or gaze upon the Grand Cascade.  No 2 days in the garden are ever the same, as it greets all visitors with a cacophony of colors and geometric designs, including a traditional ornamental garden and innovative water sculptures.

From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

Follow the sweeping coastline of the North Sea on a scenic drive towards the historic border town of Berwick-on-Tweed. Cross the ancient Scotland/England border into Northumberland and visit Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, a tidal island settled by Irish monks from Scotland circa AD 635. From here the Christian message spread throughout the north of England. In 793 a fierce Viking invasion heralded the beginning of the Viking Age. Take a short walk through an area of outstanding natural beauty to 16th century Lindisfarne Castle, and visit the Priory where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created and enjoy the spectacular views of Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands. You may also wish to buy some delicious souvenir Lindisfarne Mead from St Aidan’s Winery. Arrive back at Alnwick Castle at lunchtime after a short drive. This magical place (the 'Windsor of the North') is one of Europe’s finest castles and has been at the center of key historical events – from bloodthirsty battles between the Scots and the English to the intrigues of the Guy Fawkes plot. Alnwick Castle's sumptuous setting and exquisite architecture has famously been used as a film location for ‘Downton Abbey’, 'Harry Potter' (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves', 'Elizabeth' and 'Blackadder'. Enjoy ‘Harry Spotter Tours’ and revisit some of your favorite scenes. Go with costumed guides on a historical and magical tour. Be sure to check the events board on entry to make the most of your time. With fun and interactive activities for children, you'll have 2.5 hours to fully appreciate and enjoy the castle. The tour returns north via the beautiful Border country and, subject to timing, may also visit the East Lothian coast to the south of Edinburgh.

Alnwick: Self-Guided Walking Tour with Audio Guide

Alnwick: Self-Guided Walking Tour with Audio Guide

Explore the beauty of Alnwick, a quaint Northumbrian town on a self-guided audio walking tour. Put on your headphones and stroll through the streets of the Alnwick at your own pace. Download the MP3 audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area and start your adventure with your audio device as your guide. The culturally rich audio tour will take you on a journey through a place rich in history. Walk through the old cobbled stone paths of the town and see the marketplace, community gathering place, and the fine stone buildings. Learn about the past of Alnwick and discover how it evolved into the vibrant and beautiful market town of today. Visit the most popular attractions of the town like the old Market Cross, the Alnwick Garden, a famous castle, a quaint market, historical buildings, and a beautiful cozy bookstore. Enjoy a hassle-free audio tour of one of England’s iconic market towns.

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland & Scottish Borders 1-Day Tour

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland & Scottish Borders 1-Day Tour

Visit the rolling, beautiful hills of the Scottish Borders and hear tales from your guide about the infamous Border Reivers who raided villages and settlements in this part of the country for centuries. You’ll see for yourself why Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s greatest cultural figures, loved this landscape. Learn all about Scotland’s Outlaw King, whose heart is said to be interred in Melrose Abbey. Then, cross the English border and head to the magical Alnwick Castle. See where Harry Potter learned to fly and play Quidditch and take part in the famous broomstick training sessions with the resident Wizarding Professor. There is something for everyone in this historic fortress which has links to the Norman Conquests, wars of independence, War of the Roses and Oliver Cromwell. In the late afternoon, depart Alnwick and travel North along the rugged Viking Coast towards the Scottish border.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

Your full-day tour begins in Edinburgh and continues further south through the Scottish Borders, where you’ll stop at Melrose Abbey. This is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful ruins in Europe. The heart of Robert the Bruce is said to be buried at the Abbey, which is also the final resting place of a number of other Scottish Kings. From here it's on to England, where you'll have lots of time to explore the tour’s main attraction, Alnwick Castle. Alnwick is the 2nd-largest inhabited castle in England, having been lived in for over 700 years. It’s filled with fascinating things to see and mysteries to uncover. You may recognize it as a location from some of the Harry Potter films. You will then visit Howick Hall Gardens, home to the Grey family, for whom the Earl Grey blend of tea was created and named after. Here you would be able to enjoy a cup of tea in the cafe, learn more about the history of the Hall by exploring the visitor centre, or taking a walk through the extensive gardens.

Northumberland Castles & Coast (Interactive Guidebook)

Northumberland Castles & Coast (Interactive Guidebook)

-This online travel guidebook helps you create a bespoke road trip to help with planning your break before you travel as well as when you are on your break, with 12 months of access. -Therefore, we suggest you don’t wait until your travel date, purchase the guidebook in advance to help you with your planning. Choose an early date and get planning straight away! • Explore the rugged beauty of Northumberland's coastline and its breathtaking beaches. • Uncover a wealth of Roman history and delve into the fascinating stories behind the region's fortified castles. • Immerse yourself in the history of iconic Northumberland castles. Visit islands, nature reserves, and northern Europe's largest man-made lake, surrounded by lush forests to explore. Northumberland Castles & Coast: • The online guidebook's suggested mapped route is fully flexible, helping you plan your trip with places to go and things to see and do, whether for 3 to 14 days. • The route is a fully flexible linear route that starts in Newcastle-upon-Tyne or Hexham and heads to Kielder Water before heading back to the coast and following the coastline. • The route can take 3 or 4 days (plus you will need to wait for the tide!), depending upon stops however you can adjust this to between 3 and 14 nights. • The distance of this Northumberland road trip is around 177 miles (286m), with a drive time of around 5.5 hours without stops. This doesn’t factor in stops for Hadrian’s Wall - as there are several parts to visit and you may wish to spend a couple of days visiting all. Online & Interactive Destinations Guidebook: • Save hours using our inspiration and signposting to plan your perfect Northumberland Castles & Coast driving route. • The destination guidebook covers 12 destination locations and information on detours and nearby on the route. Don’t miss any of the iconic Northumberland castles. • The destination guide includes over 50 attractions, experiences and activities to uncover your own England. • The Uncover More map includes: 40+ Viewpoints, 70+ Places of interest, 30+ Hidden gems, 4 Wild swim spots • The Overnight Stay map includes: 60+ Campsites, 40+ Motorhome stops, 40+ Hotels, 80+ B&Bs, guesthouses and lodges

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What people are saying about Alnwick

Overall rating

4.6
(673 reviews)

It was a really fun and exciting experience! Jim Scott was an amazing tour guide, provided lots of interesting information about Scotland and its culture and history and we generally had a good time. Would definitely do it again! Thank you for the amazing day!

Brilliant. Could have done with another couple of hours. Not enough time to walk out to the castle at Lindisfarne. Spent whole 2 1/2 hours in the gardens only at Alnwick. no time to visit castle or the town.

We went to Alnwick Castle and the Holy Island. The Tourguide was Paul B. He was very nice, had told us many things. It was very interesting and funny. Thanks a lot!

Beautiful, fantastic guide. The stop at the castle was long which allowed for an in-depth visit. Excellent transport, exceptional and fun driving

Loved going into alnwick castle and seeing everything inside and the Harry Potter experience outside