• Alnwick Area Guide

Historic Alnwick

Find the historical town of Alnwick (pronounced an-ick) near Northumberland’s beautiful coastline. Enriched in both magic and mystery, the little town of Alnwick is nothing short of enchanting. With its snaking, cobbled streets and quaint high street, this picturesque market town is definitely worth a visit.

The Market Town

There’s plenty of things to do and see in Alnwick, from wandering past the Bondgate Tower to getting cosy by the fire in Barter Books. If you’re looking to sample some delicious local foods, Alnwick town hosts a weekly market every Thursday and Saturday, as well as a monthly market on the last Friday of every month. It’s held in a charming square and local farmers and traders sell fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other goods. The market square is also home to a number of historic buildings, including the Town Hall, the Guildhall, and the Bailiffgate Museum, housed in a Grade II* listed building. 

The high street boasts some wonderful shops, cafés and restaurants too. You could spend an afternoon browsing the independent boutiques, stopping for a coffee or a bite to eat as you please.

Take A Tour Around Alnwick Castle

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you will likely have heard of Alnwick Castle – the famous setting of the Flying lesson in ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’! An attraction for adults and children alike, immerse yourself in the magic of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on the castle’s opulent grounds. 

Even those who aren’t interested in the franchise are bound to have a great time. With a relatively cheap tour, you explore the castle’s heritage. Spellcasting aside, Alnwick Castle is rich in history, and was once the home of the Percy Family for over 700 years, one of the most powerful noble families in the North throughout much of the Middle Ages. The castle now belongs to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland who still live there today. 

Visit The Alnwick Garden

Located adjacent to Alnwick Castle are the stunning grounds of Alnwick Garden. With a truly unique, futuristic design, and a treehouse, Alnwick Gardens is a true botanical spectacle. Made up of 12 acres of meandering plant magic, Alnwick Gardens is the perfect place to enjoy the wonder of nature – just beware of the Poison Garden! 

Home to 4,000 species of plants, a Grand Cascade and the world’s largest collection of Japanese cherry blossoms, the charming oasis of Alnwick Gardens is sure to captivate everyone who visits! 

If you’re looking for an incredible spot to dine – the treehouse you’ll find as you enter is, in fact, a restaurant. A magical retreat that is so much more than an eatery, we recommend booking in advance!

Explore Barter Books

A true hidden gem for every literary enthusiast, Barter Books could be lifted out of Diagon Alley. Nestled within Alnwick’s old Victorian railway station, it’s one of the largest second-hand bookstores in Europe and is often named ‘The British Library of second-hand bookshops’. The store’s owners made history in 2000, when they discovered the WW2 poster “Keep Calm And Carry On” in a box of old war books that had been donated in an auction. Since then, the poster has boomed in popularity, with the slogan appearing in Buckingham Palace, and even the US embassy in Belgium. 

Play Some Golf

If you’ve exhausted Alnwick town, castle and gardens – you might be looking to escape into the countryside for some golf. Alnwick Castle Golf Club and Alnmouth Village Golf Club are located a short drive outside of the town, and are the perfect retreat for golfers of any skill level. The Alnwick Castle Golf Course is nestled in the heart of the rolling green countryside, whilst the spectacular views from Alnmouth Village Golf Club include the beach, Alnmouth Bay and Coquet Island. 

Warkworth Golf Club is also just 15 minutes from Alnwick and offers a brilliant view of the ocean whilst you play. Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course, less than 20 minutes from Alnwick by car, is well worth a visit too. With the grounds right on Embleton beach and a view of Craster Castle in the background, it’s certainly a day well spent.

Go On A Ghost Walk

If you’re looking for an experience a little on the spooky side, then you’re in luck. Not only is Alnwick an area rich in history and enchantment, but it’s also had its fair share of hauntings! You can explore many of Alnwick’s darker past in one of Chillingham Castle’s night ghost walk tours, with stories told from expert guides. 

Rumour has it that Alnwick was once haunted by a vampire, the former master of the castle, and many people have noticed the ghost of the Grey Lady in the tunnels of the castle. Whatever your beliefs, you can expect a few jump scares and a load of fun on one of Alnwick’d ghost walks. 

Alnwick ghost walks
Birdwatching in Northumberland - Rosy Starling

Enjoy Some Birdwatching

Northumberland is home to a vast array of wildlife, and is a particular haven for birdwatchers. Thanks to the region’s diverse array of landscape, you can expect to see a wide selection of your winged, feathered friends – from puffins, Eurasian curlews, American widgeons and rough-legged buzzards. There’s bound to be a bird that takes you by surprise! And if you’re looking to get up close and personal – why not book a falconry day?

Now you’ve planned your Alnwick excursions, all that’s left is to book your accommodation! Our modern apartments in Beadnell are less than a 25-minute drive to Alnwick, and offer easy access to more of Northumberland’s incredible towns, like Newton-by-the-Sea.