Alnwick Castle, a majestic medieval fortress nestled in the picturesque countryside of Northumberland, has stood as a symbol of history and grandeur for over 900 years. 


But it's not just its architectural marvel that draws attention – Alnwick Castle has also become a sought-after filming location for both television shows and films. From the magical world of wizards to epic battles, the castle's versatile rooms, grounds and stunning surrounding landscape, have made it a perfect backdrop for stories being brought to life in the cinema. 


So lights, camera, action, as we delve into the top 10 TV shows and films that have used Alnwick Castle as a captivating filming location.


Harry Potter and The
Philosopher’s Stone 


Perhaps the most famous of them all, Alnwick Castle played a prominent role in the Harry Potter film series as the iconic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The castle's stunning exterior and enchanting grounds  brought to life many memorable scenes, including Harry’s first flying lesson with Madam Hooch, quidditch training with Oliver Wood, as well as the backdrop for students and teachers heading to and from lessons. 


Experience the magic for yourself and visit one of the best castles in Northumberland, home to the exciting Alnwick Castle broomstick training, where every aspiring witch or wizard can brush up on their  broomstick skills. 


Harry Potter and The
Chamber of Secrets


Returning as home to Harry, Ron and Hermione, Alnwick Castle continued its role as the spectacular Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the second Harry Potter film ‘The Chamber of Secrets’. The sequel's use of the castle further solidified its status as an integral part of the magical world, captivating both fans of the series and film enthusiasts alike.


Alnwick Castle starred as the location for one of the most pivotal scenes in the second film, where Ron and Harry return to Hogwarts using Arthur Weasley’s flying car, dramatically crashing it as they arrive back at school. 


On your next visit to Alnwick Castle, step in the footsteps of Harry and his friends and spot the filming location used for this scene, as well as the route they take as they make their way to Hagrid’s hut.  


Downton Abbey


The beloved historical drama series ‘Downton Abbey’ chose Alnwick Castle to represent Brancaster Castle, using it as a filming location for two key episodes, including the fifth series finale ‘A Moorland Holiday’ and the 2014 Christmas special of series six. 


The grandeur of Alnwick's State Rooms perfectly mirrored the aristocratic elegance the show aimed to portray, providing an opulent setting for the Crawley family's visit.


Scenes were also filmed on the ramparts, capturing the beauty of the castle and the surrounding landscape, as the Earl of Grantham and Lady Edith exchange dialogue, played by famous British actors Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael. 


Visit the State Rooms for yourself and feel like Lady Mary Crawley, as you explore all that the castle has to offer


Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves


This swashbuckling adventure film starring Kevin Costner featured Alnwick Castle as the imposing Nottingham Castle. The castle's architecture provided an authentic medieval backdrop  to the film's action-packed scenes. 


Experience the film's historical backdrop for yourself and visit Alnwick Castle. Enjoy the medieval history of our Artisans Courtyard, including trying your hand at medieval crafts and dressing up in medieval costumes, or why not enjoy one of our medieval events hosted throughout the year. To find out more visit our what’s on page. 


Transformers: The Last Knight


Even science fiction found its way to Alnwick Castle as it appeared in the ‘Transformers’  film series.


The castle served as a versatile canvas for filming, with a multitude of its captivating locations used during filming, including the Library, the Inner Bailey, the majestic Lion Bridge, and the charming Bowburn area, situated just beyond the castle walls, all playing  significant roles as filming backdrops.


During filming famous Hollywood actors called Alnwick Castle home, including Sir Anthony Hopkins and Mark Whalberg. 




The British beloved sitcom ‘Blackadder’ used Alnwick Castle as a filming location for a number of episodes across its seasons. The castle's distinctive features served as backdrops for the show's historical satires, blending humour with the charm of centuries past.


Dungeons and Dragons


In the realm of fantasy filmmaking, Alnwick Castle's allure extended to the epic world of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, where it became a key filming location


This fantasy adventure, known for its mythical creatures, found a perfect match in the castle's atmospheric and awe-inspiring exterior. 


As the cameras rolled, Alnwick Castle transformed into the perfect location for magic and mystery. The historic and towering walls of the castle provided an authentic backdrop for filming, showcasing once again how Alnwick Castle seamlessly weaves itself into the narratives of even the most otherworldly tales.


On your next visit follow in the footsteps of award winning actor Chris Pine, whilst he played bard Elgin in the film, as he enters the castle through the iconic Lion Arch. 




In the historical drama ‘Elizabeth’, Alnwick Castle was transformed into the royal palace for the film's scenes set in England's Tudor era. The castle's intricate details and regal aura added authenticity to the film's depiction of the 16th-century court, combined with the dramatic portrayal of Elizabeth by Oscar nominated actress Cate Blanchett. 




The first historical drama to use Alnwick Castle and put it on the map for film directors as the perfect filming backdrop was ‘Becket’. 


This series chronicles the tumultuous relationship between King Henry II and Thomas Becket, using Alnwick Castle to capture the essence of medieval England. The castle's stone walls and sweeping landscapes contributed to the film's authenticity.


The Hollow Crown: The Wars
of the Roses 


Shakespeare's timeless tales of power, politics, and ambition were brilliantly brought to life in the BBC series ‘The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses’, and Alnwick Castle played a significant role in this adaptation. 

The castle's historical charm and architectural grandeur seamlessly transported viewers to the turbulent era of the Wars of the Roses. 


As the backdrop for key scenes in this gripping narrative, Alnwick Castle embodied the medieval world where royal alliances and rivalries were forged. The castle's stone walls and historic courtyard served as the canvas for dramatic encounters and pivotal moments, adding an authentic layer to Shakespeare's complex characters and their intertwined destinies. 


Visit Alnwick Castle Filming Locations


Alnwick Castle's rich history, captivating architecture, and stunning surroundings have made it an irresistible choice for filmmakers seeking to bring their stories to life.

Its appearance in numerous TV shows and films has solidified Alnwick Castle's status as not only one of the best cultural and historical treasures that Northumberland has to offer,  but also as a spectacular filming location that continues to mesmerise audiences worldwide today.

Experience Alnwick Castle for yourself, whether it's the magic of Harry Potter, the grandeur of Downton Abbey or the mystery of the Transformers that you want to explore. 

Purchase your tickets online today and visit free for a year.