Northumberland: Our Favourite Places to Visit in Alnwick

Tuesday 1st February, 2022 by hs-admin

If you’re planning a family holiday in Northumberland, then Alnwick is the perfect place to stay.

Aside from being a delightful market town with plenty of its own attractions, it’s also close enough to the coast and some of Northumberland’s famous castles, meaning there’s never a dull moment.

It’s also easy to access, just off the A1, and offers a wide variety of places to eat, drink and shop.

Here are just some of the magical places to discover…

Alnwick Castle

Fans of Harry Potter need to make sure this castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, is top of the list.

It was used as a filming location for both the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets films in the popular series, replicating Hogwarts. Visitors can see the spot on the castle’s Outer Bailey where Harry and his classmates learned to fly broomsticks as well as where they learned to play Quidditch.

The castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the UK, and has been owned by the Percy family since the 15th century. In recent decades, it has been developed as a significant visitor attraction by its current owners, along with its magnificent gardens.

The castle is closed over Winter, reopening on March 25th. Tickets, which last a full year, must be booked for a specific timeslot in advance.

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, NE66 1NG

Alnwick Garden

The gardens of Alnwick Castle are an attraction in their own right. The brainchild of the Duchess of Northumberland, they were opened more than 20 years ago, and offer a range of experiences for visitors.

With water features, sculptures and, of course, plants, it’s much more than just a garden, and hosts special events throughout the year too.

The Treehouse restaurant, at the entrance to the garden, is a sight to behold; the largest wooden treehouse in the world, it offers guests the chance to eat, relax and even get married among the lime tree branches.

Once again, tickets, which last all year, must be booked in advance.

Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB

Barter Books

Barter Books, near the centre of town, is infamous among bibliophiles, being one of the largest bookshops in the UK.

Housed in the town’s Victorian former train station, it holds thousands of second-hand books, ranging from fiction, non-fiction, signed copies editions and a dedicated children’s section. However, it offers so much more than books, with a café, ice cream parlour, cosy reading rooms (with open fires) and a model train track running around the ceiling.

It was also where the original Keep Calm and Carry On poster was unearthed in 2000.

Alnwick Station, Northumberland, NE66 2NP


If it’s the beach you want from a holiday home in Northumberland, Alnmouth is a coastal village just along the road from Alnwick.

The village itself, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beaty, features pastel-coloured houses lining the River Aln from which it takes its name. 

Added to this is an abundance of bird and wildlife species, and a tranquil beach where the river meets the sea, making it the ideal place to get away from it all and reconnect with nature.

It is also home to the much-photographed St Cuthbert’s Cross, which is thought to be the location where St Cuthbert agreed to become Bishop of Lindisfarne when petitioned by the king.

Alnmouth beach, NE66 2RW

The Lion Bridge

For a picture-perfect look at Alnwick Castle, head to the Lion Bridge, which was built for the first Duke of Northumberland in the 1700s in an early example of Gothic Revival style.

Originally known simply as the Alnwick Bridge, it has since become known for the Percy Lion which stands in the centre of one of the parapets.

The lion was restored in 1994 after it was knocked into the river by a fairground wagon crossing the bridge, and floods in 2008 further damaged the bridge – however, the lion remains standing guard over the town and the castle.

Perched high above the River Aln, it offers unrivalled views across to the castle, with the sculpture itself providing an imposing centrepiece for photographs.

The Peth, Alnwick, NE66 2JX

If you’d like to explore Alnwick and the surrounding area, check out our range of beautiful Northumberland holiday cottages.

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