Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

1. 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.

Alnwick: Self-Guided Walking Tour with Audio Guide

2. 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 and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

3. Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

On this 9.5-hour excursion from Edinburgh you’ll visit the picturesque town of Coldsream and 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.  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 Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

4. 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.

From Edinburgh: Alnwick Castle and Scottish Borders Day Tour

5. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alnwick Castle

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What people are saying about Alnwick Castle

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 630 reviews

Our driver cum guide, Nestor, an enthusiastic biological scientist, kept us regaled throughout the day, informing us of a vast array of interesting aspects about Scotland, the sights we visited and kept all of us engaged with his interactivity, ready willingness to answer questions and quiz us on interesting facts.

Fantastic trip, highly entertaining guide. My knowledge of sheep and whisky has been broadened considerably.

Good amount of time at each stop, Paul is very personable & fun

Tour guide was very friendly and happy to answer any questions.

Great tour and enough time to discover both places.