Conflict and marriage on display

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle

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Alnwick Castle, one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK, is now open for its 2014 season and tickets are valid for unlimited visits for 12 months.

Home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family for more than 700 years, the castle’s Italianate State Rooms boast one of the finest private art collections in the country, including works by Canaletto, Titian and Van Dyck.

Plus there are two new exhibitions to attract visitors this year.

On display is the wedding dress worn by Lady Melissa Percy, the Duke of Northumberland’s younger daughter, for her nuptials in June, 2013.

Designed by Bruce Oldfield, it will be on display in the castle’s Drawing Room, alongside a bridesmaid dress and outfits of a flower girl and page boy.

Visitors this season can also explore the Edwardian below-stairs corridor of the Castle, opening in July.

This area has been newly-restored in light of recent discoveries in the Castle’s archives, with rooms never before opened to the public.

These rooms will hold a significant new First World War exhibition, which examines the impact of the war on those who lived and worked at the Castle and on its estate.

At the moment, the Easter holidays promise excitement for youngsters with magic from the Harry Potter-inspired characters, music from the Trouvère Minstrels and madcap tomfoolery with Peterkin the jester.

Events throughout the season include falconry displays, longbow demonstrations and a Knights Tournament.

l The Gazette has teamed up with the castle to offer our readers the chance to win one of five 12-month family tickets.

To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question and fill in the form found in this week’s paper. Send it to Castle Competition, Northumberland Gazette, 32 Bondgate Without, Alnwick, NE66 1PN, by Friday, April 25.

For how long has Alnwick Castle been the home of the Duke of Northumberland’s family?