Alnwick Castle wins prestigious heritage award

Alnwick Castle. Picture by Pawel Libera
Alnwick Castle. Picture by Pawel Libera

Alnwick Castle has won a prestigious national award.

It has clinched the title of Best Family Day Out in the UK Heritage Awards 2018.

Broomsticks at Alnwick Castle.

Broomsticks at Alnwick Castle.

David Hawke, head of Alnwick Castle Ventures, who collected the award, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious national award. It’s a huge accolade for everyone who works here at Alnwick Castle.

“This is great – not only for Alnwick Castle, but also for Alnwick, for Northumberland and the North East too. It’s recognition of the huge amount of professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment that the whole Castle team has demonstrated over the last few years to make a visit to Alnwick Castle a day out like no other.

“This fabulous, national award is for everyone who works here.”

The castle was the only heritage attraction in the North East to be shortlisted. Its nearest rivals in the shortlist were Floors Castle in the Scottish Borders and Castle Howard in Yorkshire. Others shortlisted included Hampton Court, Blenheim Palace and Beaulieu.

A jester at Alnwick Castle.

A jester at Alnwick Castle.

Previously known as Hudson’s Heritage Awards, the UK Heritage Awards recognise the finest historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites in the UK.

The awards ceremony was held at Goldsmiths Hall in London. The other awards categories were: Great Places to Eat; Wonderful Places to Stay; Hidden Gem; Best Event or Exhibition; Best Shopping Experience; Best Loos; Best Wedding Venue; Best Contribution to Heritage.

The judging panel was formed of country house consultant Simon Foster; author and TV presenter Lucinda Lambton; architectural writer and author Jeremy Musson; tourism consultant Ken Robinson CBE; writer and art historian Helen Rosslyn; and director of Visit Heritage Paul Bridle.

Alnwick Castle has been the family home to the Dukes of Northumberland and the Percy family for more than 700 years and has been the location for numerous films and TV dramas, including Harry Potter, The Hollow Crown, Transformers and Downton Abbey.

Open annually every day to visitors from April until October, it offers an array of activities and events for all ages – from the fire-breathing Dragon Quest to film location tours; medieval games; Harry Potter-themed events; stateroom tours; broomstick training; archery and historic tours.

It opens again on Thursday, March 29, for the 2018 season. Find out more at www.alnwickcastle.com or by calling 01665 511100.