It was hard to choose where to take our first international trip, and then once we settled on the U.K., I had an even harder time narrowing down which castles to visit! However, once I realized you could visit the Harry Potter castle in real life, I knew we had to make the detour. We listened to the Sorcerer’s Stone audio book style on our Yellowstone road trip and after watching the movie were excited to try the broomstick training in real life! Visiting Alnwick Castle with kids was a no brainer and there were a ton of fun options while we were there in early October.
I included this castle in my post about 25+ of the best castles to visit with kids around the world, go read it for more inspiration!
There are even more shows and options if you visit during the summer season, but I’ll take fewer crowds and no lines over that any day! Do keep in mind that several of these activities are ticketed during busier times, so be sure to go straight in to the artisan’s courtyard and reserve time slots first thing.
Pin this post about the harry potter castle in real life with this link or collage:
Alnwick Castle with kids
Located in Northern England, in the Northumberland region, Alnwick Castle has gotten a lot of press and attention since the first Harry Potter movie was filmed in part there! Its history dates back to 1309, with the same family living in it for over 700 years.
If you plan to visit, know that you can save 10% off tickets by buying online! The neighboring Alnwick Gardens were also a fun visit although we didn’t have as much time there as I would’ve liked, there was too much fun to be had at the castle first. The combo was easily a full day visit for us; there are lots of food options in both locations.
Scheduled activities – what’s there to do at Alnwick Castle?
- Historical tours of the castle interior
- Talks about movies & tv shows filmed at Alnwick Castle
- Broomstick training
- Hands-on make & take crafts
- Arms & armory talk
We started off with broomstick training! This is a fun, 30 minute creative exercise for Harry Potter fans. The staff running this did an *amazing* job, they were so enthusiastic and fun. Students of all ages learn how to ride their broomsticks and then have time to pose for pictures. My kids had so much fun with this and I laughed often watching them!
My husband joined in on the fun!
The artisan’s courtyard is a fun spot, with free dress-up clothes to wear while you’re in this area! It can’t go back out into the main area, so plan accordingly.
My kids both enjoyed the armory talk; they got to try on helmets and learn about the history behind a few of the weapons.
I didn’t expect arts or crafts, but they had those back in this section too! While we were there, soap making and tile making were the options. My kids made tiles to take back home. There were also stockades for photo opportunities and a few random games in the middle, along with lots of picnic tables.
The last major activity in this section was Dragon Quest. This was a 5-10 minute walk through a small section with different videos playing, almost like a mini haunted house. My kids are pretty sensitive and weren’t scared, although we did hear one kiddo scream bloody murder after we left. I wasn’t a huge fan of this, it felt pretty hokey, but my kids liked it.
Leaving to explore the castle grounds was just as fun as the organized activities! It’s easy to get swept up in imagination surrounded by a real, medieval castle.
Some random weapons along the side, and some history and views along the side.
Last but not least, we popped over to try archery! This was for kids 9 and up, so my husband and I tried it. The instructor was very patient and kind, and there was no extra fee for trying it out.
This castle was one of our favorite stops on our trip, full itinerary for the 10 days coming soon!