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Visiting Hogwarts castle: the restrictions in place
Posted on 14/09/2020

CultureUnited Kingdom

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"We are sorry to report that we are currently experiencing a high volume of verbally violent behaviour towards our staff." These are words from Alnwick Castle, one of the locations of the Harry Potter saga.

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
bnoragitt/123RF

"We know that the visit to Alnwick Castle this year is different: new procedures are in place and some areas are not accessible. We understand that visitors may be frustrated, but we cannot justify offensive behaviour towards staff or other visitors. We hope that everyone understands the current safety measures and that you will treat our staff with courtesy and respect. Any kind of abuse will not be acceptable, and rude and violent visitors will be removed from the property."

These are words from the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, owners of Alnwick Castle, better known to the Potterheads as Hogwarts Castle. Sadly, because of restrictions imposed to visitors because of the Covid-19 pandemic, real assaults on staff have been reported.

The restrictions

In order to maintain social distancing, attractions such as the Constable's Tower, the bar, the Fryery Chip Shop, the Craftsmen's Courtyard, the Dungeon, the Ramparts Walk and the Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland are closed, as well as the main toilets located within the Courtyard.

People's anger seems really unfair since they bought their tickets online, and the site clearly explains how the visits have changed because of the situation. Given the context right now, it is a dangerous behaviour.

The Duke and his family share their home with the Staff, the American students from St Cloud State University's residential program, and the public. Recently, there has been an extensive program of conservation, repair and renovation, both outside and inside the castle. The roof cables have been replaced; there has been some essential repairs and renovations, as well as conservation and interior renovations. Thanks to that, we can keep on visiting the castle.