Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Poison Diaries Trip - Alnwick Castle

As a blogger, I often receive wonderful emails - telling me about delicious forthcoming titles, inviting me to blogger parties, asking me if I want to be part of a blog tour. It isn't often that I receive an email so good that I'm slightly disbelieving it is actually real. Two weeks ago, I received exactly that!

Dear Amanda,

We will be celebrating the launch of ‘Nightshade’, the second book in The Poison Diaries trilogy by Maryrose Wood and the Duchess of Northumberland, with a Poison Diaries event at the magnificent Alnwick Castle in Northumberland on 27th-28th July 2011.

The book is due for release in the UK on 1st September 2011 and the event will aim to provide guests with a unique insight into the world of The Poison Diaries. The trip will include a tour of Hulne Abbey (the childhood home of Jessamine the lead character), a candlelit tour of the famous poison gardens at Alnwick (the inspiration for the book), a special themed dinner at the renowned Alnwick Tree house restaurant as well as a reading from ‘Nightshade’ in the beautiful castle library. All guests will be staying overnight in the castle to further enhance the experience. We will be joined by the Duchess of Northumberland who will also be available for interviews and a couple of q&a sessions.

The event will be attended by a range of journalists from national & regional press, specialist teen media, Harper Collins publishers, a handful of competition winners and specialist influential teen/YA bloggers.

If this sounds like your kind of thing and you are able to attend on 27th/28th July then I’d love to have a chat.

Well! I honestly didn't know whether to jump up and down first, or let out a rather undignified squeal of delight!

And, finally, the trip is almost here. Tomorrow at 9.05 am I depart Havant station and arrive at Alnmouth at 15.09, meeting other bloggers along the way at Kings X station in London (how I wish we really were travelling from platform 9 3/4!) Some of my best blogging buddies are along for the trip as well, and it feels like a massive sleepover!

This is where we're staying for the night:

And here is the itinerary:

Not only will you get to see where Jessamine and Weed’s love flourished, but you will also get to stay at the castle made famous in recent years as the home of ‘Hogwarts’.

You will arrive at Alnmouth Station on Wednesday July 27th where a coach will take you on the short journey through the beautiful Northumbrian countryside to Alnwick castle to begin your Poison Diaries experience…


3.30pm - Welcome and refreshments

4.00pm - Jessamine’s World tour

5.00pm - Tea in State Dining Room

6.00pm - Free time / Bloggers social media session

7.00pm - A reading from ‘Nightshade’ in the Library

7.30pm - Drinks and dinner

9.30 - 10pm - Poison Garden candlelit tour


9am - Breakfast

10am - ‘Inside the Poison Garden’ tour followed by Q&A session

11.30am - Guests depart

And here is the book that we're going to be celebrating!

So today I am beyond excited. I've already started packing my little overnight case, and thought about what I might wear for the dinner in the treehouse restaurant. I simply can't wait for tomorrow to arrive - it feels like Christmas! And I have downloaded the first Poison Diaries novel to my Kindle, ready to read on my train journey *grins*


  1. I'm so excited!!! Can't wait for tomorrow :-) See you at Hogwarts!!!

  2. I'm so excited too, it sounds amazing. Looking forward to meeting you all x

  3. I am so excited for you all and look forward to reading more about it soon. x

  4. That is amazing! I can't wait to read all about it. I think undignified squealing is acceptable in such unusual circumstances.

  5. What an amazing opportunity! Sounds like you'll have a wonderful, wonderful time.

  6. Sounds brilliant. Have fun!

  7. I've totally missed out on this news, but that sounds AWESOME! Why can't more book launches have events like this? I'm gonna scour the web looking for ones in South Wales that I can gatecrash :P