Visiting Hogwarts

In the Harry Potter movies, pieces of lots of different places (castles, cathedrals, universities — plus a good bit of CGI) were used to depict Hogwarts Castle. So, there isn’t really a single place you can go to visit.

20120910-233534.jpgToday, though, we went to Alnwick Castle, which was used for a lot of the exterior shots in the first two movies. Honestly, we went mostly because I wanted to see “Hogwarts”, but we ended up having a fantastic time for entirely other reasons, too.

20120910-233645.jpgWe arrived just in time for B and I to take part in the daily broomstick flying lesson (an homage to a part of the movie filmed there). It was silly, but really fun, and B and I enjoyed doing it together (Liam joined in for small portions). After that, we wandered around for a bit before coming to the knights and dragons section, specifically for little kids. (They also have some kind of tour not appropriate for little ones, so we skipped it.)

20120910-233712.jpgBenjin and Liam used the foam swords we purchased in the gift shop to slay a dragon. (We gave them the titles Brave Sir Benjin and Liam the Wise for their relative tendencies to charge in or hang back.) We had sword practice, got dressed in appropriate attire, made shields, played chess and galloped around on horseback (not a real horse — Daddy was being equine). The boys had a great time, and so did we. (I would call it a not-to-be-missed attraction for kids in northeastern England.)

20120910-234226.jpgBy the time we headed to our hotel for the night, the boys were tired and happy.

(Another highlight from our day was the drive down from Edinburgh. We came down along the coast and got to see some spectacular views on our journey.)

We had another great day at a beautiful castle (and no ER visit this time!). Although, in retrospect, buying them swords and then telling them not to use them on each other may not have been the wisest plan ever.

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