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Alnwick- Places to Visit

Andrew Clarey Out and about

Let’s Go on a day trip... to Alnwick and Alnmouth!

Alnwick is most famous for being the home of Harry Potter's Hogwarts (Alnwick Castle) but there is a wealth of things to do and it is surprisingly easy to get to from Newcastle, being 20 mins by train (Alnwick/Alnmouth) station or a limited bus service from Newcastle bus station, taking just over an hour.

The best way to arrive is by train as the views are beautiful at any time of the year. You will know you have arrived when you see the pretty multi-coulored houses of Alnmouth to your right. Alnmouth is worth a visit. It has a fab beach and a high street full of olde-worlde English pubs including the Schooner hotel which is reputedly one of the most haunted hotels in the world.

There is a frequent bus service from the High Street into Alnwick Centre, which only takes around 10 mins. The pretty multi-coloured houses of Alnmouth are the first thing you notice when arriving by train.

Alnmouth High Street has a selection of atmospheric old pubs, the Sun Inn being one of the best.

When you arrive in Alnwick, you’ll be struck by how pretty is. The castle is closed for the winter. But it dominates the town from many vantage points, so you are still able to appreciate how spectacular it is.

The Castle Gardens and the Tree House are open over the Christmas Holidays however and both are probably at their best with spectacular Christmas lights and a buzzing Christmas market.

The Tree House looks like it is straight out of Lord of the Rings. It has a great (but expensive) restaurant, and a cute little bar where you can grab a coffee or beer called the Potting Shed. It’s just great fun though, with walkways amongst the trees that make you feel like a big kid. Entry is free to the Tree House.


The biggest winter attraction at Alnwick are the gardens. They are best viewed in the early evening when you can appreciate the Christmas lights and soak up the atmosphere of the Christmas Market. There are also different events going on throughout the day, a jazz band was playing when we visited. You can find out more about prices and student discounts here.


My favourite place in Alnwick is Barter Books, the world-famous book shop that is so much than a book shop. It is located in the old Victorian Railway Station a short walk for town centre. As soon as you walk in you know the place is special. As well as an outstanding collection of books, the place is soaked in atmosphere, with big open log fires and dogs snoozing next to their owners. There is a great restaurant and café located in the old station waiting room, which is excellent value. The owners are happy for you to grab a pile of books and a beer/coffee and just spend the afternoon there relaxing.  

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