Alnwick castle?

Feb 23rd, 2003, 07:43 PM
  #1  
Ani
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Alnwick castle?

We're considering going approx. 2.5 hours out of our way (round trip) to visit Alnwick castle (driving from Kelso, then back up to Tantallon castle on our way to Edinburgh). Has anyone visited Alnwick? As a medieval history lover and castle enthusiast, would the trip be worth it?
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Feb 23rd, 2003, 09:37 PM
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Ani: Alnwick is wonderful - but with your limited time I would skip it. tantallon's setting is even more dramatic - and then after Tantallon you can stop at Dirleton Castle which would not require any detour at all. Dirleton is a great castle with an absolutely gorgeous garden on the road between Tantallon and Edinburgh.
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Feb 23rd, 2003, 09:55 PM
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Alnwick is worth the trip if you can afford the time; it has the distinction, I believe, of being either the largest or second largest castle in Britain still inhabited by the owners (not sure where Windsor ranks.)

It's not terribly spectacular visually, mainly just big and sprawling. If you want a spectacular castle to view in Northumberland, IMO nothing comes close to Bamburgh Castle, which looms over the village football pitch and the cute town of Bamburgh, on the coast north of Alnwick and just south of the Holy Island. If you're a medieval history enthusiast, a visit to the North of England without seeing Lindisfarne would be a pity. Ditto Durham Cathedral, but that's another trip...
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Feb 23rd, 2003, 10:13 PM
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Gardyloo - you are right about Bamburgh and especially Lindesfarne. But unfortunately Ani is on a whirlwind tour and only has a couple of days in the entire Border area (including travel time from the north). They are going to miss those plus St Abbs Head and lots of other things but with their priorities and time limitations the detour down to Northumberland would eliminate other "musts" for them.
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Feb 24th, 2003, 06:58 AM
  #5  
Ani
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ACtually, Bamburgh was in the plan on the way back North from Alnwick (we are very ambitious!)..but it is closed!

Dirleton is in the plan after Tantallon as well.

Still not sure though! I'll have to get a more fixed itinerary to make the decision but really, Tantallon and Dirleton are the only other places on our itinerary that day...
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Feb 24th, 2003, 08:32 AM
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OK, I saw your itinerary on the other thread. Let me suggest you approach the coast from Kelso via the A698/A697, then cut over to Bamburgh via the B6349 from Wooler. This way, you can stop for a pint at the northernmost thatched pub in England in the tiny village of Etal (also a ruined castle thingy too.) Even if Bamburgh Castle itself is closed, the view from the village is not to be missed. The drive isn't half bad, either.

In the additional time you would have spent in Alnwick, plus not having to tour Bamburgh Castle, you will have gained enough time to hustle out to the Holy Isle at least for a drive-around, time and (especially) tides willing (causeway closed at high tide, timetables all over N. Northumberland.)

Tantallon IMO is good for about an hour before "been there done that" sets in; Dirleton worth the stop, but I think you'd have enough time in one day to accomplish all this, especially if it's during the summer when days are quite long ;-)
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