Newest Review: ... down the Potter stuff in order to concentrate on other aspects of the castle. They still manage to have lots of different things to do ... more
Alnwick in General
Member Name: miffy1
Alnwick in General
Advantages: Great Town. Good parking. Lots of lovely little shops. Fantastic castle. Barters Books!
Disadvantages: Castle very expensive.
Alnwick (pronounced Annick) is a small market town in Northumberland and is home to one of the most beautiful castles in England. It is about 5km from the east coast.
We have visited this lovely little town many times when up in Northumberland. The castle was the main reason the first time we went as my daughter wanted to see where Harry Potter was filmed. The castle was used as Hogwarts in the first two films. When we first visited the castle they still had a lot of Harry Potter exhibits on show and had even used Haggrid's hut as a sweetshop. The subsequent times we went there they had wound down the Potter stuff in order to concentrate on other aspects of the castle. They still manage to have lots of different things to do for kids though, so it's a very entertaining day out.
The castle really dominates the landscape, with masses of land surrounding it and formal gardens, all of which you can visit for a price. Worth visiting at least once though, but rather expensive as it costs £22 for an adult to visit both castle and gardens. There are also some good gift shops and a café on site, though again, rather expensive goods.
The town itself is very quaint, with a lovely archway that leads through to the main street. The town square is a pleasant place to stop and usually there is some event or another going on. On Saturdays there is a lovely market where you can buy all sorts of things, from vegetables and other foods to clothes and homewares.
There are too many different types of shops to mention, but you can buy most things in the town and there is a good Morrisions supermarket for groceries of all kinds as well as lots of little gift shops too. It's a lovely place to explore with lots of little alleyways that hide little gems of shops that you might otherwise miss. There are plenty of places to stop and eat too, with good pubs and cafés which serve food of all kinds.
The best establishment in Alnwick though is Barters Book Shop! Set in an old disused railway station, Barters is where you can buy secondhand books of any kind. It's an old dusty shop and usually packed with customers! They sell secondhand records, CDs, DVDs and videos as well as books of all kinds. While you browse, a huge model train runs round a track overhead. It's an amazing place! My kids love it and my hubby HAS to go there whenever we are up that way. Ususally we spend more money in Barters than anywhere else in Alnwick!
So if you are in Northumberland and want to visit a really lovely town, Alnwick should be your first port of call. Do take plenty to spend though, particularly if you visit the castle or are a book-lover!
Summary: A lovely place to visit with a lot of history attached.
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