Alnwick: A Magical Weekend

This weekend (April 14-15) we had an optional house trip to Alnwick. Alnwick is a small town in Northern England and home to Alnwick Castle aka "The Harry Potter Castle." Parts of the first two Harry Potter movies were filmed there. Considering how many people in the house love Harry Potter, I was surprised only 10 girls signed up to spend the night in the castle.

We took a train on Saturday morning and arrived at Hogwarts (Alnwick Castle) before 10am. After settling into our rooms, we had the rest of the weekend to explore the castle and town.

Barter Books

First we walked through the small town and visited the market before heading to Barter Books, one of the largest used bookstores in the UK, housed in an old train station.

Back at Hogwarts we took advantage of the "From Battle-Axes to Broomsticks" tour which pointed out all the places and scenes that were filmed at the castle. We also took our first flight on our broomsticks where Harry took his!

Broomstick Training

St. Cloud State has a study abroad program very similar to the WIS program and they stay in Alnwick Castle. We had a pizza party in their dining room and met some of the students. We finished off the night with a walk out into the pasture next to the castle in hopes of seeing some stars. The night was cloudy so we didn't see many stars, but we did get a great view of the castle lit up at night!

The next morning we got into the Alnwick Gardens for free and toured the poison garden (every plant in that area can harm, if not kill you), walked through the ornamental garden, and completed the bamboo maze. After lunch in one of the world's largest treehouses, Gabby, Courtney, and I explored the town a bit more before sadly heading to the train station to go back to Edinburgh.

Kathy, Courtney, Gabby, and I coming out of the Bamboo Maze

Sunday night, back in Dalkeith House, we held a talent show for some elderly and community members. I did not perform, but watched as other students entertained with some extraordinary talents! After the show, we roasted marshmallows in the dining hall fireplace and made s'mores for the elderly, who had never heard of them before! It was really neat to share some of our culture and sit and chat with them.


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