First stop, Hogwarts! Or Alnwick Castle, to be accurate - star of the Harry Potter films. Home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, watch your children's faces light up as they gape in awe at its impressive ramparts. They can dress up as medieval knights, learn how to joust and step inside the dragon's lair! Other less thrilling but no less enjoyable activities include archery and brass rubbing, not forgetting seasonal concerts and festivals.
Next stop, The Alnwick Garden, a short walk from the castle and perhaps the most amazing contemporary garden on earth! Brainchild of the Duchess, this dazzling attraction is a riot of colour, brimming with unique features. There's the Poison Garden, the Bamboo Labyrinth and its crowning glory, the Grand Cascade, a gigantic water feature. Children will have endless fun dodging the water jets, exploring the huge tree house and walking across wobbly rope bridges.
Alnwick is made for browsing, with its cobbled streets and elegant stone buildings housing traditional inns, stylish restaurants and specialist shops - look out for second-hand books and the ultimate in fishing tackle. The medieval Market Place buzzes come market day and hosts annual music and food festivals. Expect lively evenings too, with regular local music and live theatre.
The breathtaking Heritage Coast is a short drive away, offering glorious beaches, coastal walking, cycling trails and fantastic wildlife watching.
Whatever you decide to do, do it in Alnwick!