Article Written by Sofia Korol.
Student trips are always a great opportunity to enrich your life with new experiences and get unforgettable impressions. One of the fascinating and historically rich places located in the northern part of England is Alnwick Castle, where the British campus of St Cloud State University is located. This castle attracts tourists with its rich history, impressive architecture and unique recreation opportunities.
What exactly can students do after visiting Alnwick Castle? Let’s start with the fact that this is not just a castle, it is a huge complex that offers interesting tours, exciting events and unique experiences.
First of all, the main tourist attraction is Alnwick Castle itself. Students can explore the historic rooms and architecture of Alnwick Castle on guided tours or their own, and learn about the castle’s rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. During the tours, the student has a unique opportunity to see the stately halls, including the drawing room, library and dining room, which demonstrate the grandeur of the castle.
“At first, I was impressed by the huge architectural wonder, which is located in the middle of a picturesque natural landscape. The walls of the castle, rising high into the sky, atmospherically immerse you in the Middle Ages. The courtyards and towers interweave history and tell of a great cultural heritage. No less impressive was the panoramic view that opened from the towers of the castle. Picturesque landscapes with green forests and mountains are mesmerizing, and the view of the surrounding countryside allows you to understand how the castle fits into the life and image of the neighboring settlement,” says Valentina, a student at the British campus.
The second attraction is Alnwick Gardens, a beautiful and modern garden located next to Alnwick Castle. The garden was created by the Duchess of Northumberland and opened in 2001 as a public garden. One of the unique and notable features of Alnwick Gardens is the Poison Garden, filled exclusively with approximately 100 toxic, intoxicating and narcotic plants. The boundaries of the Poison Garden are kept behind black iron gates, open only during tours.
In addition, the Great Cascade is located there – a stunning water feature consisting of 120 water jets and impressive pools. It is a popular place for visitors to enjoy the scenery. The next stop is the beautiful rose garden, which features a variety of roses of different colors and varieties, and the cherry garden, a huge area with blooming cherry trees that create a picturesque setting.
For those who like to try British cuisine, there is a tree house, which is one of the largest in the world. The tree house has a restaurant that offers unique dishes.
“Immediately upon entering the garden, one feels the aroma of flowers and greenery, which creates a unique atmosphere. It was no less impressive to go down to the stylized gazebos and summer terraces, where you could enjoy quiet moments and the beauty of nature. The garden turned out to be a wonderful place to relax, where history and modernity come together,” student Makar shares his impressions.
Lilidorei, a magical, mysterious village full of games and home to 9 clans who worship Christmas, has recently opened on the grounds of the castle. They are ruled by Lord Elfwyn, King of Lilidorei, who lives in Elfwyn Drin, the largest in-game structure in the world.
When you visit Lilidorei, you can create your narrative; visit clan houses, play in the world’s largest game structure, take part in daily activities and join stories with one of the Story Keepers.
For Harry Potter Fans
As Alnwick Castle is famous for being one of the filming locations of the Harry Potter film series, visitors are offered the chance to experience Broomstick flying lessons where participants can learn how to ride a broom similar to the iconic scenes from the Harry Potter films. During these lessons, instructors guide how to set up the broom and simulate the experience of flying. Attendees often have the opportunity to dress up as a wizard or witch to enhance the magical experience. These lessons are a popular destination for Harry Potter fans and those looking for a unique and entertaining experience at Alnwick Castle.
“Broomstick flying lessons in the castle turned out to be an exciting adventure that allowed us to feel like real wizards in a medieval fairy tale. This unparalleled activity turned the castle into a place not only of history but also of fantasy,” recalls student Elise.
Alnwick Castle also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including medieval re-enactments, an open-air theatre and special exhibitions.