Alnwick Castle, Northumberland’s most iconic visitor attraction, is excited to announce the opening of its gates for the 2023 season on Friday, 31 March.

Visitors can expect a fun-filled day of history, entertainment, and activities with the added benefit of each ticket serving as an automatic annual pass, allowing for multiple visits throughout the year to benefit from the full events programme. Booking online will also provide visitors with a cost-saving option.

Catherine Neil, Head of Alnwick Castle, said: “There is great anticipation as we look forward to welcoming back our returning and new visitors to Alnwick Castle for the 2023 season. Our team has worked tirelessly to create a fantastic line-up of entertainment and performers and we hope people coming to the castle will have a wonderful time exploring our rich history and enjoying activities perfect for visitors of all ages and interests.”

To mark the coronation of King Charles III on the 6 May, a new exhibition entitled “Crowns and Coronets” will open this season in the castle’s State Rooms. Featuring three coronets, robes, historic illustrations, music and artefacts, this exhibition is for anyone who would like to explore the history of the royal ceremony and recall the splendour and ceremony of previous coronations.

Other highlights for the 2023 season include a new Dungeons and Dragons themed trail, Tile Making with Company of Artisans, Tom the Fool’s entertaining family show, the Alnwick School of Magic, and Archery & Longbow Demonstration. Visitors can also enjoy majestic birds of prey with Raphael Historic Falconry and witness the circus tricks, stilt walking and juggling from jesters Baldwin the Fool and Godfrey Pugh.

The opening events schedule includes:

  • Hands on History with the Company of Artisans – from March 31st to April 2nd, visitors can become an artisan’s apprentice in our marketplace and witness the creation of crafts from centuries gone by, taught by our resident costumed artisans.
  • Tom the Fool! – from April 1st to 3rd and May 27th to 31st, the entertaining family show will return to Alnwick Castle for an exhilarating performance including stilt walking and fire.
  • Have-A-Go Ancient Artillery & Crossbows – from April 1st to 5th, visitors can learn about medieval warfare and have a chance to test their skills with a variety of historical artillery.
  • Raphael Historic Falconry – from April 6 to 12, May 27 to 31, July 15 to 20, July 31 to August 6, and August 29 to September 3. Witness an exceptional display of medieval falconry, worthy of entertaining the old Earls of Northumberland, from two of the country’s finest historical falconers.
  • Alnwick School of Magic – from April 6 to 12, put on your most enchanting robes and summon your favourite wand! The Wizard Earl returns to his castle and opens the doors of the Alnwick School of Magic. Join him in a thrilling family show as good battles evil.

All events are free admission as part of entry to the castle except where stated. Visitors should check the castle’s website (https://www.alnwickcastle.com/) for new events and refer to the ‘What’s On’ board upon arrival for timings and locations, as these can vary throughout the season.