A Day Trip To Alnwick

So this is Alnwick (pronounced Annick), the county town of Northumberland (the administrative centre). It has two major tourist attractions: the castle and the garden.

Alnwick Castle has the feel of a theme park, without the park. It feelsl ike it’s set up to have a lot going on but it wasn’t going on.

At the centre there’s a ring of buildings (the state rooms) which started with a Norman keep and were extended over the centuries. Unlike most older buildings that tend to push their history onto you, there’s very little here. (That enhances the theme park feeling.) There was some working over into a gothic fantasy in the 18th century and then a major renovation in the 19th century which an emphasis on excess and flamboyance.

And then surrounding this,  the usual walls and towers. The Constable’s Tower. In medieval times [the middle] room was used as a lodging for a senior officer at the castle, providing providing privacy, heating and a toilet en suite. Following its use as an armoury (1798 to 1814), it becamse a store for military equipment and curiousities collected at home and abroad.

Another tower has a little museum with lots of interesting bits.

“The Carync was a Celtic war trumpet” says the card there.

Into the heart of the castle.

The castle gateway. (The modern entrance is through a fence to the right there.)


This gate, once part of the town’s walls, is on what seems to be the main street, which is a two way street but the gate’s tunnel only has room for one car.

Now the Alnwick Garden, and you might wonder why it’s worth visiting a garden in mid-autumn. This is why.

Also, the poison garden is still interesting even if the herbaceous plants are not at the their best (they die back for winter).

There’s still a lot of greenery and the stories are the same. (The cages are for the more deadly plants, like the castor bean plant here, or the restricted ones, like cannabis.) There are usual garden suspects like rue, rosemary and rhubarb.

This garden is the Serpent Garden. It is a serious of hedge-rooms each with a water feature. Instead of a bunch of photos of ech one, I compiled them into a little video

The entrance to the Ornamental Garden at the top.

The Market Square,  and time to leave. By the time I arrived back in Bamburgh the sun was setting, so I wandered down to take some more photos of the castle.

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