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Alnwick's Attractions and Things To Do

Just ten years ago, The Alnwick Garden Site was derelict and forgotten. Then the Duchess of Northumberland imagined creating a beautiful public garden for families to enjoy, and from her bold vision, The Alnwick Garden project began. The
Alnwick Garden is now a vibrant place, with beautifully landscaped gardens, magnificent architecture and unique features, all brought to life with water. It's a garden for gardeners, with a design that looks to the future. From the country's largest collection of European plants in the Ornamental Garden to the very unusual plants found in the Poison Garden, there's an enormous variety of plants and trees.

Many interesting planting styles can be seen during a walk around the landscape, and the gardeners are always happy to chat and to answer questions. It's also a garden for families, with lots of chance to get wet and play! Collect water in the mini tractors, paddle in the rills, see the many ways water can move in the Serpent Garden and dodge the Grand Cascade's jets. Play hide and seek in the Bamboo Labyrinth, and bounce on the world's largest Tree house's wobbly rope bridges. The Alnwick Garden is a unique educational and truly inspirational place, testament to the Duchess's vision and commitment. If you only visit one attraction during your visit, make it The Alnwick Garden.

Postcode for your SatNav: NE66 1YU

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Alnwick Castle is one of the most beautiful Castles in the UK and it's a great day out for the entire family. They offer tours that reveal the history of the Castle from Harry Hotspur to Harry Potter! The Castle has also been used in films such as Elizabeth and even TV comedy Blackadder. The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland still live in the Castle as their family has for hundreds of years. They offer an exciting calendar of activities and events including hands-on workshops, theatrical falconry magic and re-enactments. More information about Alnwick Castle can be found under our Castles Section.

Postcode for your SatNav: NE66 1NQ

Barter Books
Alnwick also has one of the largest second hand book shops in the UK – Barter Books, which is housed in the town's old railway station. Described as the 'British Library of Second Hand Books', the building itself is incredibly ornate, which is due to the station's frequent use by royals visiting the Percy‟s at Alnwick Castle. Barter Books is a unique place and well worth a visit, even just to browse, to admire the architecture or have a tea or coffee by the roaring fire.

Postcode for your SatNav: NE66 2NP

Hulne Park
This lovely park spanning over 3,000 acres is located close to the Castle and is almost completely enclosed by stone walls. It was originally a hunting park and is still used today by the Duke of Northumberland for that reason. The park offers lovely walks in an idyllic setting and is also the home to the ruins of a former Carmelite establishment that was founded in 1240 by William de Vesci. Other buildings in the park include Alnwick Abbey that was founded in 1147 and Brizlee Tower, a Grade 1 listed Folly Tower sat upon a hilltop. Access to the park is free.

(Brizlee Tower - Alnwick - Northumberland - UK (Left) - 2006-03-04 By & copyright User:Tagishsimon 4th March 2006 

Bailiffgate Museum
The Bailiffgate Museum presents the history of Alnwick and it's District. They describe it as: "The people and places of North Northumberland are brought to life here in lively, interactive style, through an exploration of six engaging themes. A mixture of traditional displays and exciting hands-on activities makes the Museum suitable for all ages. A diverse range of art and history-based exhibitions are staged in the Museum's Gallery and a variety of workshops, activities and special events are held throughout the year." The museum is located in the former St Mary's church with is very close to Alnwick Castle, the church itself dates back to 1836. There is a small charge to enter the museum, but pricing has always been extremely reasonable. Visit their website for up to date information.

Postcode for your SatNav: NE66 1LX

Alnwick Playhouse
The Playhouse has firmly established itself as one of the leading venues in the North-East and as a centre for the arts. Their mission is to 'enrich the life of the community through diverse, inspiring cultural experiences'. They offer a mixed calendar of performance from professional touring drama, music and dance to popular and independent film. The Playhouse is an excellent venue and it is always worth checking their packed calendar of events, exhibitions, performances and film if you are in the area. Parking for The Playhouse couldn't be more convenient, with Alnwick's main public car park right behind the building.

Postcode for your SatNav: NE66 1PQ

Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland
The Fusiliers museum occupies a stunning location, inside Alnwick Castle's Abbot's Tower. The museum has it's roots back as far as 1929. The museum was founded to "perpetuate the history of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and to show its continuation as part of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers." The fascinating history of this regimen is shown from 1674 to the present day through it's story panels,  pictures and artefacts. The museum opens in line with the Castle from Easter to October daily and entry to the museum is included in entry to the Castle.

Postcode for your SatNav: 
NE66 1NQ

House of Hardy Museum and Country Store
House of Hardy manufacturer the finest fishing tackle in the world. The House of Hardy museum delves into the fascinating history of the company, which started in 1872. Adjacent to the museum is House of Hardy's Country store which stocks a full range of current products including high-quality rods and reels as well as clothing for fishing and general country wear. They are now the only Fishing Tackle Shop in Alnwick. Factory tours are available demonstrating the combination of high tech and craft skills used to manufacture split bamboo, glass and carbon fibre rods and ranges of fly-fishing reels. The museum is located at the South side of the town, not far from the junction with the A1, just passed Sainsbury's on your right as you enter the Town.

Postcode for your SatNav: NE66 2PF

The town also has many Galleries on offer showcasing the talent of local artists. From painting and jewellery to photography and hand made crafts, you will find it all in Alnwick's galleries. 

The Gate Gallery is located on Bondgate Within, just as you enter the town close to the Bondgate Tower (also known as the Hotspur Gate). 

The Bakehouse Gallery is on Prudhoe Street (take a left turn after Barter Books if entering the town from the South). They offer "Original oils, mixed media, ceramics, glasswork and metalwork are displayed alongside jewellery designed by myself, Fiona Stanley, with choice pieces by other designers and artisans. There is also a definite leaning towards tactile art with felted sculptures and hooky wall hangings, wirework pictures and vintage silk goodies."

The Art House is also on Bondgate Within and is not just your average shop. It is a contemporary restaurant serving locally sourced dishes whilst also hosting it's own Gallery.

Artworks in Alnwick is on the pretty street of Narrowgate. Named for good reason, this road is where Bondgate Within narrows and takes on the name Narrowgate. The gallery offers a large well lit, split level space and represents many local artists, sculptors and photographers.

A new addition to the Alnwick Arts scene is the gallery in the Marketplace called the Design Room, located in the old Town Hall shop.

Ghost Walks

For something a little different, why not try a Ghost Walk? On the Alnwick Ghost walk, Exorcist and TV Medium Ralph Keeton will explain the background of hauntings still taking place today in many of the buildings and surrounding areas. The hauntings taking place have been talked about and documented using the public’s own recorded sightings, backed up by paranormal investigators, and, Ralph's own meetings with the ghostly spirits living with us today. Starting in the Bondgate Tower, Alnwick. Tours take place Thursdays and Fridays mainly from 8pm onwards. Visit their website for more information.

For the Kids
To burn off some energy in safe environment or if the weather is simply awful, Alnwick has The Lions Den indoor play centre. Located on the Willowburn Trading Estate (behind the House of Hardy Museum), the centre was developed for kids and has a jungle theme and offer high quality soft play for children aged 0-12.