Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle: Hours, Address, Alnwick Castle Reviews: 4.5/5

Alnwick Castle
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Alnwick Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. Home to the Duke of Northumberland's family, the Percys, for over 700 years, it has witnessed drama, intrigue, tragedy and romance. From stunning art collections and sumptuous State Rooms to medieval crafts and Potter-inspired magic, a visit to Alnwick Castle fires the imagination.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5,633 reviews
Very good

Carlisle, UK157 contributions
We visited here last week during the half term. We booked a month in advance and managed to secure the first entry time slot.

Having read the reviews before hand we were determined not to miss out on the activities. We arrived at the gate prior to the timeslot and the gentleman explained where we needed to go on entry to collect the tickets for the activities. This needs looking at and better organisation as we had to go to the Broomstick area first to collect the tickets and then we had to walk back across a courtyard to join a queue to collect tickets for the state room and the dragon quest. Why can't these be arranged with the initial booking like other places we have visited recently? Far more streamlined and not great for the kids to trail from area to the other to pick up all the different tickets. There was also lots of tours going on and my son found out speaking to a member of staff about a film that they had film tours on that day but we were at the end of the day and too late. This information was not visible or mentioned at any point which was disappointing.

Broomstick training was fantastic and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it along with dragon quest.
We visited the state room after lunch and I can only describe the experience to get in as chaotic. They were not running to time. People in the queue in front had later timeslots than us and others, some were asked to move out the queue some were let in. This area also needs looking as was packed with people and zero social distancing which some may not have been comfortable with. We enjoyed the state rooms when we finally got in there

Birds of prey and jester were excellent to watch and very entertaining. The grounds are beautiful and we did enjoy our day. Every member of staff at came in contact with were friendly and helpful. I'd recommend taking your own food if on a budget as not cheap that said we did have cakes and scones and they were lovely.

I hope they take note of the theme of the reviews to improve other people's experience as the queues, lack of information before hand regarding slots and tours is disappointing this could simply be included in the booking email.

Taking everything into account we did enjoy our day and our tickets are valid for 12 months so if we are back in the area we will return.

Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Monty The Prof
55 contributions
Well worth a visit. This castle has something for everyone. From Broomstick Flying lessons for the kids – in homage to its role as the setting for broomstick classes in Harry Potter - to informative guided tours of the castle walls and keep, all included in the entrance fee.
Our guide, Alan, was a mine of information not only about the castle’s history but also about places to visit in the town and local folklore. His recreation of the series of challenges faced by enemy forces trying to breach the castle’s defences was funny and gruesome in equal measure.
Despite being extensively restored many times over the centuries, the castle has many surviving original features and a rich history. Don’t miss the carved walking sticks when you visit the keep!
Written July 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Geoff H
18 contributions
Visited on Tuesday 19th July. Two sixty somethings.

Our first impression was that it wasn’t cheap to get in, but once inside we thought it was great value for the money. The place is very well kept (which can’t be easy given the age, size etc). The exhibitions are interesting, well set out, with something for all ages and the guides are very knowledgable and pleasant. Surprisingly we found the cafe reasonably priced and with a decent choice of light meals.
Written July 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

76 contributions
We thought this would be a great day out given the reviews we read so decided to book. To be honest, it was a waste of a day out. The castle is very over priced, queues were ridiculous and added expense when you get inside for extra activities. We found staff to be rude and unhelpful.

You can go into 6ish rooms on the tour, but we stood and queued for this for 30 minutes, and we arrived at 10.30am. The whole place is very pretentious, photos of the family displayed as the Queen does. Every room has an advert for the owners book and security in each room who watch your every move, as if you are a criminal. Given that they push what has been filmed at the castle on you, you can't visit the rooms in which some were filmed so seemed very pointless. The green screen photography area was closed during our visit, even though signs claimed it should be open.

We went to book in for the Dragon Quest only to be told they were fully booked, this was at 11.30am. The castle gardens are booked at an extra cost of £15pp which has seating in for the café but you cannot use the seating unless you have purchased tickets. We ended up having far more fun at the crazy golf than we did anywhere at the castle. We just found the whole visit so underwhelming and an absolute waste of money. Very much a cash trap to pay for someone's pretentious life. We also found it incredibly cheeky you also have to pay extra for parking on the way in also. Turned out to be a very expensive day.
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carol B
Birmingham, UK5,777 contributions
Monday 23rd August 2021, we awoke to a hot and sunny day that continued that way all day. My husband and I went to visit Alnwick Castle, which we had pre-booked tickets for.

We arrived at the car park around 11.30pm and paid the three pounds car parking fee. We then took the half hour walk through the extensive grounds to the castle. The castle is the home of the Percy family who are the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and the castle has been in their family for over 950 years.

The castle exterior itself is very impressive, although you can only visit the state rooms full of collected treasures; the only trouble here is the rooms are very dark, so the ‘wow’ factor is lost. There is a museum you can visit but with the amount of visitors that were there, there were lots of queues to see things and social distancing was just maintained. Both my husband and I did not think it was good value for money, as thirty pounds was a lot for the little we both saw.

After visiting the state rooms, My husband and I were in need of refreshment so we went into the courtyard cafe at the castle. It was a den of screaming kids, shouting teenagers and families chatting and shouting to be heard, not the nicest place to be. My husband had a long wait in a queue to get us both a coffee and slice of cake. Whilst I was waiting for him I wrote two poems ‘A Shadow At Alnwick’ and ‘Courtyard Chaos’.

After we had eaten our cake we had both had enough of the crowds and we decided that we would leave and strolled back to our car in the car park.

Sadly, we will not be returning to visit Alnwick Castle again.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Katy C
2 contributions
There are a number of positives about Alnwick - the state rooms are impressive, the staff are friendly and helpful, the views are lovely. But, like others, I was misled into believing that the fairly hefty entry fee covered both the castle and gardens and wasn't too impressed at being expected to pay again for the gardens - particularly at this time of year when what is available in the gardens is pretty limited.

I also felt that what can be seen inside the castle is very limited: for this sort of price I would have expected to see a wider range of rooms including, for example, bedrooms and kitchen areas. Compare this with, for instance, Hampton Court - entry is £7 more, but that covers the entire garden, numerous rooms and exhibits including the kitchens (where there are often Tudor cookery sessions), the Maze, and free entry to events happening on site such as Christmas fairs. Alnwick offers all the Harry Potter related activities, but arguably they rely too much on that connection and should remember that a hefty portion of their clientele are adults.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Normanton, UK23 contributions
We visited Alnwick Castle in August 2021 and found it very commercialised you could not touch a thing in the rooms you are watched by cctv and a member of staff in every room watch your every step.
And you could not take any pictures inside the posh state rooms.
The Alnwick Gardens are not included in the castle price another £29.70 for two to see gardens .
Our visit to Chillingham Castle cost £10.50 each and was a far better visit you could touch items as you walked around and it gave a real feel as to life back in the days of the castle how horrid and brutal life was.
Not like Alnwick Castle all you here and read while there is the owner’s past and present blowing there own trumpet.
Will not return to Alnwick Castle
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Manchester, UK117 contributions
Booked on line only to discover on arrival that the 'Castle and Grounds' did not include the Gardens (on a separate website and an extra £12). When you get to the carpark they want an extra £3 to park. In the car park a member of staff was shouting at visitors for not walking on the right path even though it wasn't signposted. When we got to the entrance building about a dozen other visitors were milling about confused because there was a sign saying 'no entry' and no other signage or staff. I walked around the side of the building to discover you could walk straight in. When I told a member of staff about the entrance he simply said ' it's sometimes like that'. When we booked the State Rooms were closed but we were inside the castle before we discovered they are now open, however you have to go back to the entrance to buy tickets, another £12. When we told them the the entrance building appeared closed the staff member didn't seem concerned and said 'there is supposed to be someone there'. There were 30 min queues for each of the two towers (on showery and cold midweek afternoon) so we didn't bother. All our ticket bought us was a walk around the castle precincts. The castle itself is impressive but the experience was poor. it trades a lot on Downton and Harry Potter but that's not enough to make it value for money.
Written October 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anthony R
London, UK6 contributions
Had high hopes for this place and was excited to see a few filming locations also! However, save your time and money and go to Bamburgh Castle instead where for £11 you have access to the grounds and state rooms.

For £8 at Alnwick (you have too book a timed slot) you enter the outside walls which you can cover in 10-15 mins. For an extra £12 there are tours of state rooms/inside. However for these tours the tickets are only released 2hrs before start time and other than that you have only your 15 min walk you paid for, so unless you live locally what are you going to do!?

Try queuing at the gift shop for an 1hr maybe or try queuing for the museum for 1hr maybe for the literal one person out one person in system. The crazy golf (£5) will take up a bit of time which was actually good and the gardens were far too crowded and an extra £14!

So my point here being...if there are a few of you the price for everything rockets up. If you don’t want to do the gardens but just tour the castle what are you going to do if you have to wait 2hrs for tickets, play golf continuously?! I was wearing a mask the whole time but there are quite a few narrow bits around the castle walls where people were just congregating. Pointless and no proper communication! What was the point then of the times entry slots into the castle grounds only to do a 15 min walk at £8 around the walls and the point of the timed tours!!!?

I really get that the purse strings for them must be tighter because of Covid and the logistics a bit tough, I really do, but the pointlessness of some of their logic was astounding. They have had enough time to plan for this and even if they didn’t, communicate the fact that it will be very limited with what you can do. As many reviews here will point towards the point that they feel they will have been cheated even if the castle does actually look impressive!
Written September 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

2 contributions
I visited Alnwick Castle on a rainy day in July with 2 friends. We bought timed tickets in the morning and arrived at the given time. We thought these would give us direct access to the State rooms but were told on arrival that we would have to queue for about 45 minutes for entrance to the rooms. There was no shelter from the rain for those queuing so we went away and returned later when there was still a queue and it was still raining. The information on the website says that timed tickets for entrance to the State rooms are available at the entrance to to the Castle but this is not so. If they had been available we could have returned at the specified time and had direct access to the State rooms. As it was we were not prepared to wait in the rain, especially as there was no shelter, so went home. I wrote complaining about this and asking for a refund but have still not received a reply after 3 weeks . Given that many people would decide to visit this Castle on a rainy day, the arrangements are misleading and inadequate.
Written July 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Alnwick Castle is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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