Snapshots #29: Alnwick Castle & Gardens

My last snapshot post talks about part of my Shetland adventure, so be sure to catch up here!


Alnwick is a small historical town nestled in the heart of Northumberland, on the east coast of England. Alnwick is famous for several things, mainly its incredible castle and gardens. The castle itself is the second largest castle in the UK to still be inhabited, second only to Windsor castle.

Alnwick castle clocktower
Alnwick Castle Clocktower

Alnwick castle may look familiar to Harry Potter and Downton Abbey fans, as it is one of the great houses used in both dramas.

Unfortunately, no photography is allowed on the interior. The stately rooms on display are still used by the 12th Duke of Northumberland, so it is a matter of privacy more than anything else.

alnwick battlements
Part of the wall battlements of the Castle

The castle was initially built after the Norman conquest of 1066, but of course, has seen some remodeling over the years. It is a beautiful mix of British architecture from medieval to modern. If you want to know about the castle find their website here.

alnwick gardens main water feature lined in hornbeam walkways
Alnwick Gardens

Opposite the castle, the Alnwick Gardens is a more modern project directed by the Duchess of Northumberland. Beginning its construction in 2000, the Alnwick Gardens is a melange of art, sculpture, and traditional garden.

tunnel of hornbeam leading up to the top of the alnwick gardens.
Inside the tunnels

The gardens are so varied and well designed. Starting with a bamboo maze, proceed to get lost in the tunnels on either side of the 120m water feature up to a manicured walled garden.

gates at the top of the water feature
At the top of the gardens

The Alnwick garden also has a curious small plot, separate from everywhere else, that plays host to around 100 toxic plants, known as the poison garden. Each plant in this garden has the potential to maim and kill. The tour of the poison garden is a must!

Laburnum or golden chains, a yellow flowering tree popular in the victorian times but highly toxic
Laburnum, one of the many plants in the poison garden

Overall, a must-see castle and gardens for whenever you are up in the North of England!

Have you got a favourite castle? let me know in the comments

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Published by Briony-Molly

Reader, artist and Politics lover.

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