Alnwick Castle, seat of the Duke of Northumberland, is a well-preserved example of a medieval fortress. The oldest parts of the castle are the fortified walls, dating from the 12th century, which were strengthened in the 14th century by the first Lord Percy and given towers. Around this time the massive main gateway was also built, which gave entry to the outer courtyard. In the 18th and 19th centuries the castle underwent substantial restoration. Its artistic treasures include French period furniture from the 17th-19th century; Roman antiquities; a collection of paintings including works by Titian, Palma Vecchio, Sebastiano del Piombo, Tintoretto, Canaletto, van Dyck, William Dobson and Turner; valuable porcelain (including a Meissner dinner service in the dining-room); the state coach of the third Duke of Northumberland and an extensive library with 8,000 volumes, including handwritten prayer books and rare examples of early printing.
Alnwick Castle's Abbot's Tower houses the Regimental Museum of Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.
Estates Office, Alnwick NE66 1NQ, England
Northumberland Walking Trails
This informal trail traces the Heritage coast to the Roman Wall. The trail begins at Greenhead, going past Hadrian's Wall to Twice Brewed, Bellingham, Otterburn, through the Northumberland National Park and finally to Rothbury.
A second trail begins at the Alnwick Castle, heading towards the coast at Alnmouth, going north to Craster, past the Dunstanburgh Castle to Banburg and up to Berwick-upon-Tweed. It is suggested that these trails be done over the course of about two weeks.