Monthly Archives: July 2014

Alnwick Castle

My sister and I live at almost opposite ends of the country and I don’t get to see her much. When I decided on a trip to Edinburgh to see the Great Scottish Tapestry and my sister had a few days off work, this seemed like a good chance for a visit.

It was a long train journey to Northumberland but it only arrived 4 minutes late, which was quite impressive as I have terrible luck with trains. I’m not looking forward to next year when I will no longer be able to use a young person’s railcard and have to pay full price for tickets, it might be the incentive I need to learn how to drive. At the moment I’m on so much medication and my brain is so fried that I would be quite dangerous behind the wheel but I really hope by next year that might have improved.

My sister is a history geek and specialises in medieval things (with the excuse for any history she doesn’t know that it’s “not my period”) so I got taken to see Alnwick Castle after the necessary cup of tea. I couldn’t complain too much because some of Harry Potter was filmed there and, although I like to yell at the TV when they change things from the book, I’m a big fan.

We didn’t have time to look round the inside so we just wandered round the grounds. Alnwick is very big and mostly intact; even I thought it was impressive. One of the most famous residents of the castle was Henry Hotspur who led various battles against almost everyone from what I can gather (can you tell I’m not the historian) and although my sister took the piss when I suggested Tottenham Hotspur was named after him, it turns out by complete fluke that I was right.

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Statue of Henry Hotspur ©Rachel Gibbs

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any small children we could borrow to take part in the dressing up and broomstick lessons. We finished the day with a browse in Barter Books, a very large second hand bookshop housed in the old station building. Their selection of knitting books was very small but my sister was quite tempted by a first edition The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

I’m currently on the train the Edinburgh and enjoying the WiFi, even if I have to pay for it. My sister will meet me there tomorrow and I will try and interest her in the amazing stitchwork and she will try to interest me in the historical significance of the contents of the tapestry (or embroidery if we’re being pedantic).