The Wizard of Alnwick Trail

This post was published by our writer Bethanie in October 2023. 

In this blog post, I want to share with you an exciting and alternative way of exploring your local area whilst following a treasure map and solving clues. 

I will explain a bit more about the Treasure Trail maps further on, as you can buy them for loads of different locations across the UK and they make for a fun family trip out. 

We were kindly given a Treasure Trail map by my parents as a gift, and they chose one for Alnwick. There are two different Alnwick trails you can do, I noticed on the website. 

The one we did was the Wicked Wizard of Alnwick treasure trail so that is the one I shall be talking about in this blog post, just to give you an idea on what to expect. 

With Halloween just around the corner, I also thought this would be a great alternative for a trip out that involves a bit of magic and some spooky history of the area. 

Luckily, the trail also leads you past Alnwick’s many coffee shops, where you will of course need some refreshments from all your exploring! 

The Wizard of Alnwick Trail  - Need to Know

  • You need to purchase the trail ahead online, it is £9.99 per trail and you can buy in physical or digital form (personally, I prefer the physical form)
  • Suitable for all ages but we recommend ages 6+ to get the best out of it 
  • Best suited to groups of 2-6 people 
  • The trail is a self-led detective mystery which will take you around Alnwick - can you help the Bureau of Magic find their culprit? 
  • No additional entry fees required (you do walk past Alnwick Castle but don't need to go inside)
  • An excellent way to learn more about your local area / get the kids out for a walk / get your bearings if you're not too famililar with Alnwick 

Access Info 

  • Circular 1 mile loop, suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs 
  • Should take around 1.5 hours to complete but there is no time limit
  • Lots of cafes along the route to stop off at for refreshments 
  • Starts at Alnwick Market Place 
  • Dogs on leads welcome 
  • Disabled parking available nearby 

Parking and Public Transport 

  • Recommended Parking - Greenwell Road (NE66 1TD) has free parking and 150 spaces including accessible spaces or Dispensory Street (NE66 1LN) has free parking with 80 spaces including accessible spaces. Do check time limits which vary between 2 hours to all day.

    Most parking in Alnwick requires a Northumberland parking disc to be displayed on your dash - these can be purchased for £1 from Alnwick Library/Tourist Info and several local businesses (and can be reused across Northumberland). 

  • If using public transport, lots of buses stop in Alnwick town centre including the X15 (Newcastle-Morpeth-Alnwick-Berwick), X18 (Newcastle-Morpeth-Alnwick-Seahouses) and X20 (Newcastle-Ashington-Alnwick). This is a pretty easy day out to enjoy by bus. 

Hogs Head Inn 

  • Looking for somewhere to eat with kids? I recommend Dirty Bottles or (ad) The Hog's Head Inn (which has an outdoor play area)

  • If you'd like to make a day of it, you can easily combine this trail with a trip to Alnwick Garden, Lilidorei, Hulne Park and/or Barter Books 

  • If you'd like to stay over in the area, I recommend nearby Doxford Farm Lodges or (ad) The Hogs Head Inn 

We were given one of the Treasure Trail maps, as a gift from a family member. These would also make great gifts for Christmas, for those family members you never know what to buy. 

These Treasure Trails can be bought online for £9.99 and are available for areas all over the UK, including the north east, Yorkshire, Scotland and the north west. 

In Northumberland you can buy maps for Alnwick, Hexham, Morpeth, Rothbury, Berwick and Seahouses, to name a few. 

The idea of the Treasure Trails is to explore a local area, discovering hidden gems whilst cracking clues along the route to unlock incredible stories from the past and to solve the mystery. 

Each trail has its own introduction about a mystery that you, the detective, must solve. It is a brilliant way to learn more about your local area or to take somewhere new for a proper adventure. All the trails are self guided. 

Our family consists of myself, my husband and three children, who at the time of writing this are ten, six and three. So when I say “us” you know who I mean and can also perhaps gauge the age range this is most suitable for. 

Initially, my eldest didn’t seem very up for the challenge. I think he thought the trail was going to be aimed more at his younger sisters, however, it turned out that Charlie enjoyed it the most and soon took over reading the clues and working them out. 

My six year old enjoyed the mystery and crossing off the suspects and my three year old just enjoyed the outing and kept asking when we would see the wizard. 

Based on this I would recommend the trail for ages six upwards, for the kids to really get the most out of it. 

I don’t want to give too much away about the trail we completed around Alnwick, just enough so you know what to expect when doing it with children. 

We started off in the market square as the trail guided. It told us where to stand and then gave us our first clue which I will share here as an example: 

Clue 1

“Detectives, you’re looking for an ancient timepiece on cream walls at the corner of the square. Inspect it to find two letters above. These are the initials of one of the sorcerer suspects on the back page of the trail. Cross them off, they are not the Wicked Wizard.”

In total there were nineteen clues and directions that led us around Alnwick, sharing interesting facts along the way. 

We walked approximately one mile in total and it took an hour and a half. 

Some of the clues were harder than others and we actually missed one completely. If this happens, and you simply cannot find what it is you are meant to be looking for, there is a “helpline” you can text to ask for some help. You can only message this number three times - so no cheating! 

I would describe the trail overall as being fully immersive, fun and challenging all at the same time. The kids enjoyed it and I loved discovering new parts of the town which I thought I knew really well. 

There are so many lovely independent shops in Alnwick that are tucked down side streets, so this was a brilliant way to amble past and look in the windows. 

Of course, part of the trail involved the Alnwick Castle but only the outside walls, and it was nice to be away from the usual touristy areas for the rest of the trail. 

Our favourite part was searching for clues in names on the gravestones at St Michael’s church. 

As I mentioned before, the Treasure Trails are a great alternative day out and perfect way to explore our local towns. 

You can purchase the Treasure Trails here (search 'Alnwick Wizard) for this particular trail. 

If you'd like to make a day of it, you can easily combine this trail with a trip to Alnwick Garden, LilidoreiHulne Park and/or Barter Books 

Barter Books 


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