Alnwick Castle
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On 3rd April 2005 we took Stanley to one of our favourite places - Alnwick Castle.  This is one of the finest castles in England offering lots of historical interest and fantastic views over the River Aln.  On the left you can see the castle and the first example of the views.  This is a truly amazing place.

You might recognise the castle anyway - this is Hogwarts!  Yes, the Harry Potter films are all filmed here, so you might recognise a lot of the following photos.

Click on any photo to get a bigger version.

This is the Gatehouse, and was built in the 14th Century.  Very impressive!
Abbots Tower, another part of the castle.
This is the view from the Gun Terrace.  The landscape below was modelled by a famous gardener called "Capability Brown" - back in those days the gardens were a bit bigger!

Guess what's on the Gun Terrace?  Yup, that's right, GUNS!  Cannons, to be precise, ancient cannons that fired heavy cannonballs.  People are allowed to climb on them, and Stanley wanted to do just that.  Just how many places can you see stuff like this?

It really is magic, but not in the Harry Potter way!

If you look at these two pictures, you can see exactly where one of the Harry Potter shots was filmed.  Compare the top shot with the second, where Stanley is pointing at the wall.  This is where the young wizards learnt to fly!
This is a courtyard within the castle.  Look at the huge light and the high walls.  There are spots like this all over the place in the castle grounds.
Uh-oh, looks like Carter and Stanley have done something wrong!  In olden times, when somebody committed a minor crime, the were put in the device for a day.  Called the "Stocks", the person would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables and generally shamed in public!
Taylor and Stanley too?  I think we can see what's happening here, Stanley is obviously a bad influence!

This area was "Knight School", where you can learn how to build castles, use a sword, joust on a horse (a wooden one anyway), wear armour or other medieval clothes, and find out all about how the toilets used to work.

You wouldn't want to have to unblock the toilets, we can tell you!

Also at Alnwick Castle is Alnwick Gardens, a huge area of gardens, walks, fountains and other attractions.  One of the newest features is the treehouse shown here, a huge wooden structure with rope walkways and high balconies.
It may not look too impressive here, but this whole area up to the top of the hill is covered with fountains that come on from time to time.  In this picture we've just been playing under some of the fountains and got very wet!

We also went to the Poison Garden, a new garden where all of the plants are poisonous and you can only go around with a guide.  Cool!

There is also now a long Woodland Walk through the woods and along the river.  Great fun climbing on felled trees, plodging through mud and naming all the flowers!

This was a cracking day out and we had great fun, I'm sure Stanley did too.  This is our last outing with Stanley, we've had him for quite a while so we're sending him on to another part of of England for someone else to have fun with him next!

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