Latitude: 55°23'25.85"N, Longitude: 1°36'51.26"W
We are staying in Alnmouth very close to Alnwick, England. This is another self-catering place (Midwood Lodge) and it seems brand new. Our luck! The owner left a bottle of wine, some lemon cake and cookies to welcome us.
Latitude: 55°24'55.50"N, Longitude: 1°42'21.12"W
We went to Alnwick Castle this morning. This castle was on our plans at the outset of the trip. It was billed to us as the "Harry Potter" castle. I imagined the castle of the large spires and rustic setting next to a lake. This is not that one. I think that castle is in Romania somewhere. This castle was okay. The first two Harry Potter films had some filming done on the grounds of the castle. I think that scene where Harry learns how to ride the broom is in the bailey. But still, I don’t have many castles in my American life and any castle provides some intrigue. This castle has been in the Percy family since the 1300's. Yes, they are royalty and no, no other people but the Percy's will ever be able to own or live in this castle and this concept is difficult for an American to take on. Happy Fourth of July, by the way. This is a unique castle in that it is or was both a castle (an armament) and a palace (the place where the duke and duchess lived). The current residents live there in the "off season" after the tourists are no longer allowed to see the place. When they come to live in the castle, they actually use the space; their pictures are all over the place. It was kind of creepy. And when they come to Alnwick, they hunt ground birds. No, that is not a life I am familiar with.
Alnwick Gardens, close to the Castle, were beautiful. The kids really liked the maze made of bamboo. I find those scary and claustrophobia-inducing. The perennial garden and rose garden were stunning. Be sure to go through the poisonous plants walk and see all the medicinal plants that are used for all sorts of cures and that the pharmaceutical industry wants to now label as "dangerous." There was even cannabis in the garden.
These photos and more from the trip are located on my Flickr page.