Jousting, wizards and broomsticks all summer at Alnwick Castle!

Jousting at Alnwick 1   Alchemist reduced   Broomstick training at Alnwick Castle 018

Fantastical fun; amazing adventures; and hot-blooded history all meet up at Alnwick Castle this summer to offer magical and exciting days out for everyone.

ll activities are free with admission and if you pay to visit once (and retain your ticket), you can return free for a full 12 months!

The big highlight of this summer will be the magnificent Joust of the North from Saturday 3rd to Wednesday 7th August inclusive. It’s set to be a truly international event with talented performers and horsemen riding in from all over the world, including Australia. Witness at first hand the drama, noise, fear, pageantry and passion as knights and their horses – in authentic medieval armour and colourful regalia, engage in full combat in this gripping – and at times terrifying – 15th Century tournament.  To make the experience even more nerve-wracking for everyone involved, the contestants will be using solid lances, rather than lighter replicas. So, the riders will have to be immensely skilled to avoid getting hurt. This Joust of the North is the only Joust on mainland Britain where solid lances are used. Held in a purpose built “arena”, this is set to be one of the North’s most thrilling and colourful spectacles this year.

In between the jousting performances, you can enjoy many other aspects of life in medieval England. Prepare to be entertained by the zany antics of the Alnwick Castle jesters, Zooted and laugh at their amazing circus tricks and medieval mischief. Otherwise – it will be off with your heads!  The art of Falconry was widespread during 15th Century England and you can watch exceptional displays by Raphael Falconry, combined with enchanting story telling.

If you’re visiting during the Joust of the North, you can still enjoy all the usual fun and games which take place every day at Alnwick Castle including broomstick training, location tours, craft making, scary Dragon Quest, historical tours and more.

You can enjoy additional special events and themed weeks right through the summer holidays.  These include a wonderful Wizarding Week from Saturday 20th July to Thursday 24th July, featuring lookalike characters from Harry Potter; wizard trails; and magic wand-making craft workshops. If you can’t make this week, then there’s another Wizarding Week from Saturday 24th August to Saturday 31st August which includes real life magical beasts.  Or come along to both!

There’s a Castle Construction theme at Alnwick Castle from Saturday 27th July to Wednesday 31st July where visitors of all ages can learn how to build a strong castle and see what techniques were used in the Middle Ages. Work with the Company of Artisans and test your strength at lifting stone or try using some of the ingenious medieval engineering techniques to make the task much easier.

This week, as well as every week throughout the summer, children and grown-ups can make authentic medieval crafts to take home in Artisans Courtyard, play traditional games in the square, choose from many wonderful king and queen costumes to wear during your day here, and take your place on the throne of Hotspur Hall!

Chivalrous knights and beautiful princesses will descend on Alnwick Castle in Knight School from Saturday 17th August to Wednesday 21st August. Families can enjoy a host of activities and events including trying on authentic reproduction medieval armour, princess dresses and crowns.  You can feel the crushing weight of a breastplate, experience the claustrophobic sensation of a knight’s helmet and view a vast array of specialist medieval-style armour and weaponry. Learn how important armour and weaponry was in medieval times from engaging professional experts. You can also witness magical, live English longbow demonstrations from the highly entertaining longbow expert Andy Rice.

Every day, as ever, young and old Harry Potter fans can try Alnwick Castle’s famous Broomstick Training in the exact same spot where Harry Potter was taught in the film.   Film Location Tours will be taking place at regular times throughout the day and visitors can discover a few behind-the-scenes secrets of the great films and TV series that have been located here including Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, Transformers, The Hollow Crown and more.

For history fans, there are fascinating Historical Tours given by knowledgeable and engaging guides, tours of the magnificent State Rooms and additional on-site museums and exhibitions.  You can discover fascinating stories of the bravery of soldiers from the Northumberland Fusiliers; explore Constable’s Tower, see an ever growing collection of archaeological finds in the Antiquities Museum and delve into the history of the famous Percy family, owners of the Castle for over 700 years.

Finally, are you brave enough to venture into Dragon Quest to meet the terrifying Alnwick Castle Dragon who lurks deep in the dungeons of Alnwick Castle? Join forces with Harry Hotspur to battle mystical forces, conquer obstacles and prepare for battle with this most fearsome beast! Book your time slot on arrival.

Visitors to Alnwick Castle can enjoy a great choice of tasty food, drink and snacks. You’ll find a newly refurbished restaurant – The Courtyard – serving a delicious affordable menu. The Courtyard also has its own bar selling a good range of drinks as well as local brews. There’s now a take-away in Artistans Courtyard – The Armoury Takeaway – which is handy for this fun children’s activity and craft area. A Piaggio cart will also be in the grounds selling hot drinks and snacks.

All activities are free with admission.  For more information on Alnwick Castle please visit  www.alnwickcastle.com or call 01665 511 100