Things to do in Alnwick
We spent a super fun day exploring Alnwick this summer. This time we didn't visit the castle with its Harry Potter connections though. It will give us something to do next time!
Barter Books is a unique experience. It's a second hand bookshop based on the swap system. We took in 8 assorted paperbacks and in return were given a credit of £20. The bookshop is huge and we spent nearly two hours browsing the shelves. There is something for everyone from novels to OS maps. Cookery books to rare first editions. Poetry to horror and everything in between. Squashy sofas and roaring fires are the order of the day. After choosing our books we had a coffee in the old waiting rooms, now a cafe. Did I mention the whole thing is in the Alnwick Railway station - a listed building? Wonderfully nostalgic and enormous fun.
The Alnwick Treasure Trail starts in Barter Books. We had a friend with us who had a great time solving the clues. We stopped for lunch in Lilburns which had been recommended by Tony, the local Trail Writer. The route of the Trail passes the beautifully photogenic castle. Tony also recommended that when we got to the clue on the outside of the White Swan, we went into the building. Inside is the first class lounge of the sister ship to the S.S. Titanic - the S.S. Olympic! Incredible. The clue on the outside was a clever one too! Just after that we saw the archway that the A1 used to go through. Talk about a bottleneck!
In the evening we treated ourselves to a meal at the Treehouse Restaurant. What a treat it was. I had fantastic local oysters done three different ways - one with champagne which was heavenly. Stone bass which was fantastic followed and then sticky toffee pudding to finish filled me to bursting. The setting is wonderful and we highly recommend it.
If you are heading to Alnwick, remember there is more to the town than the Harry Potter castle and gardens.