Alnwick is home to the magnificent Alnwick Castle and the inspired Alnwick Garden. It also has one of the largest second hand bookshops in the UK - Barter Books which is housed in the town's old railway station, and the House of Hardy, makers of fishing tackle since 1842 and now a fishing shop and museum.
Alnwick originally prospered as a medieval market town, and it still retains many of its cobbled streets, narrow alleys and fine stone buildings which now house a range of specialist shops, family businesses and some of the original coaching inns.
Alnwick’s Market Place is a centre for local events including an international music festival and its own food festival. The town also has a lively night life with its own theatre and pubs which often host live music.
The castle dominates Alnwick and is well worth a visit. It has been home to the Percy family for seven centuries and boasts spacious grounds designed by Capability Brown, beautiful state rooms with Italian renaissance design, and paintings by Canaletto, Van Dyck and Titian.
Nearby lies The Alnwick Garden, one of the most exciting contemporary garden developments in the world which features one of the world's largest treehouses and even a poison garden packed full of rare and dangerous plants. Make sure you take a change of clothes for the children as many of the water features are interactive!
There's also Hulne Park, a stunning walled park that contains the ruins of the former Alnwick Abbey.
Bailiffgate Museum is located in a beautiful former church in the historic and atmospheric Castle Quarter of Alnwick, near the castle’s imposing barbican. It has fascinating displays, music and video presentations, which celebrate and bring alive the colourful history and heritage of the town.
Bailiffgate Museum is a great place to start a visit to the area, providing an excellent introduction through its permanent collection, a printing exhibit celebrating Alnwick’s famous printer William Davison, a Victorian Classroom and an excellent gallery with up to ten temporary exhibitions each year, covering a very diverse range of subjects including; art, photography and craft exhibitions.
Visitors can also enjoy a film made by the Museum for a national project, the People’s record for the Olympic Year, about Alnwick’s historic and quirky Shrove Tuesday football match. The museum has been selected as one of the 25 best days out in the country for early years children.
Barter Books is one of the largest secondhand bookshops in Britain! Housed in the old railway station, Barter Books is full of quirky rail-themed features, from the station buffet and old waiting rooms (now the cafe) to the model railway wynding it's way above visitors' heads as they browse. A thoroughly entertaining attraction to visit.