07 September 2015

Birthday at Hogwarts

I turned 45 this past Saturday (05 September 2015).  To celebrate my birthday, my wonderful wife planned a weekend trip to Northumberland.  She knew I've always wanted to visit Alnwick Castle, which was used for Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies.  It was also used for last season's Christmas episode of Downton Abbey.  Before visiting Alnwick Castle, though, we had one little stop to make.

The bus ride north from Newcastle provided us with great vistas as we rode along the North Sea coast.  We hopped off the bus at Warkworth to see Warkworth Castle.  Wow, that place is amazing!  Dating to the 12th century, Warkworth Castle is as fun a castle to tour as we've ever visited.  My daughters, wife, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring all the rooms that are still intact.  It was fun getting lost in the castle!  Check out the photo I snapped below (click on the image for a larger view).
The flag on top is that of English Heritage, an organization we rejoined recently.  After a fun time there, and lunch at a local pub, we hopped back on the bus and headed for Alnwick.

Alnwick Castles is glorious!  Check out the photo I took below and see if you spot any resemblance to Hogwarts (click on the image for a larger view).
The castle dates to the 11th century; the Duke of Northumberland and his family still live there.  Because of the Harry Potter success, and all the other films and television shows that have made use of the castle, Alnwick Castle is much more commercialized than English Heritage castles.  It was still neat to see the magnificent castle and grounds.  I even took a broomstick lesson, and learned to fly after just that one lesson!  Don't believe me?  Check out the two photos below (click on the image for a larger view).
After I figured out how to call my broom, flying was a piece of cake!

I'm not sure if I've ever had a better birthday.  If you're ever in England, I highly recommend visiting Warkworth Castle.  We could have spent hours exploring there.  Visit Alnwick Castle, too, but keep in mind that it's more commercialized and some parts of the castle are off limits.

No comments:

Post a Comment