Alnwick Tourist Information

The beautiful market town of Alnwick has had a long and varied history and is (according to the October 2002 edition of the magazine Country Life) “is the most picturesque market town in Northumberland, and the best place to live in Britain".

The town is set in beautiful countryside - just 5 miles inland from the coastal resort and harbour of Alnmouth, which is on the London to Edinburgh East Coast main rail line. Alnwick is also easily accessible by road, lying close to the A1, midway between historic Berwick and bustling Newcastle.

Alnwick was established around AD 600 and was the home of the most powerful northern barons in mediaeval times - the Earls of Northumberland - who built the castle which lies above the River Aln and has a commanding presence over the town. Much of the town still has an ancient feel to it, with winding cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and the market cross in the Market Place.

The castle is a must for visitors as it is extensive and full of interesting things. It houses the Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland, and its grounds encompass two parks (the Pastures and Hulne Park), Hulne Priory, Alnwick Garden (including the “Poison Garden” and the Treehouse Restaurant). Despite being involved in numerous battles and various parts of it having to be rebuilt the castle is in a very well-preserved state - so good in fact that it has been the setting for numerous TV programmes and films including two Robin Hood films and three Harry Potters.

Alnwick has a weekly market on Saturdays and is a great place for shopping, and for dining out. It is also a haunting ground of many bibliophiles as Alnwick’s former railway station is now home to Barter Books - described by the New Statesman as “The British Library of second-hand bookshops”. And there are many more cultural attractions to the town including craft shows at Northumberland Hall or the Alnwick International Music Festival and Alnwick Fair.

The Alnwick area is renowned for its natural beauty, stately homes, castles and an abundance of quaint villages, all close to the Cheviot Hills.
Alnwick is surrounded by some of England’s most breathtaking scenery - wild heather-topped moorland and rolling hills, and it’s ideal for fishing, hiking, cycling and horse-riding. Northumberland is one of the least populated parts of the country and it’s easy to escape the crowds - even in the busiest holiday seasons. And the beaches on the renowned Northumbrian coast have long stretches of golden sand, occasionally interrupted by rocky headlands and cliffs, and often backed by sand dunes.

Interesting fact: Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, after Windsor Castle.

Things to see and do around Alnwick:

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Garden
Alnwick Markets
Alnwick Playhouse
Amble Marina
Bailiffgate Museum
The Bakehouse Gallery
Barter Books, Alnwick
Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens
Bondgate Gallery, Alnwick (a gallery within the Alnwick Playhouse)
Brinkburn Priory (near Rothbury)
Cragside House, Gardens & Estate (Rothbury)
Coast and Castles Cycle Route
Coquet Yacht Club, Amble
Cullernose Point
Druridge Bay
Druridge Bay Country Park
Dunstanburgh Castle
Edlingham Castle (between Alnwick & Rothbury)
Embleton Bay
Howick Hall Gardens (Nr Longhoughton, Alnwick)
Hulne Priory
Hulne Park
The Jolly Fisherman (Craster)
Longframlington Gardens
Low Newton Square
Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland
Newton Haven
Newton Pool
Newton Point
The Northumberland Coast Path
L Robson & Sons Ltd (Craster)
Ros Castle
Shire Pottery
Warkworth Castle and Hermitage
Willowburn Leisure Centre