With uni classes officially over and my cold finally deciding to clear out I could wait to get out of Sunderland at least for a day. I was starting to get cabin fever and the weather has been so beautiful I felt like I was wasting my days away. Despite still having two final essays to hand in, I was in desperate need of an adventure.
Alnwick castle had been on my list for a while now and only a short two hour trip away. It was the perfect day trip. Located in Northumberland we had to take the metro then a bus which would take us to the town of Alnwick and then it was just a five minute walk to the castle.
Sitting up on the top level of the double decker bus gave us beautiful views of the English country side. The fields were exactly how I imagined them and being Spring there were lots of little baby lambs jumping around in the greenest grass I have ever seen.
What we realised when we arrived at Alnwick is that it is pronounced without the “L” or “W”, like Anick. The “L” and “W” is just there to separate the tourists from the locals. The town its self is as charming as any little English town could be.
Now as I stated before the weather all week had been beautiful and sunny yet on the day we decided to venture out England had decided to set the scene with lovely overcast and mist all day long, adding a mystical feel, perfect for the castle. The castle still home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland was also the place where the shot the broomstick training for Harry Potter and part of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Along with episodes of Downtown Abbey.
There were lots of free tours around the castle and grounds and they even offered broomstick training which I was disappointed to find out that it was for little kinds only. The castle its self is magnificent and the state rooms are absolutely royal in every way. My favourite was the two tier library and casual lounge room for the family during their October to March residence. While we were walking around we noticed so many stuffed animals from cats and dogs to mice which I found quiet disturbing, along with cards against humanity among their games pile in the lounge room.
After I was finished getting extremely frustrated that I could not call it my home we proceeded to the gardens. The Alnwick gardens were magical, as soon as we entered I thought to myself this would be a perfect wedding spot, then as I looked to my right there was a bridal party.
When walking around the gardens half the time I was expecting fairies and pixies to jump out, sadly they did not. Being the start of Spring only half the flowers were in bloom, I couldn’t even beginning to imagine the beauty it would hold in the Summer. We were even able to sign up for a tour of the poisonous garden which we just made it in time for after getting stuck in the maze. The poisonous garden housed all plants that could kill or severely harm you. We were reassured that as long as we didn’t touch, smell or ingest the plants we would come out alive. The tour was short but highly interesting informing us of not only rare dangerous plants but many household name plants that are highly toxic. Now I will be thinking twice about someones motives when they serve me a rhubarb pie.
Despite the pricey entry fee I am glad that I went, both the castle and the gardens were amazing to see. Going to Alnwick only reminded me of how many little hidden gems England has on offer.