Your Guide to Alnwick's Shopping
Alnwick's main shopping area is the located in the town centre. It is split into three main streets, Bondgate Within, Market Street and Fenkle Street. Together they form a triangular circuit around the Marketplace (see map right).
Bondgate Within has recently had the honour of being voted Britain's best street for shopping in the 2011 Google Street View Awards, beating off stiff competition from all over the Country. It was the excellent selection of shops, from mainstream shopping chains to independent crafts and gifts, butchers, bakers and deli's, that gave Bondgate Within the edge. Having a beautiful Market Town setting and a 15th Century Tower at it's entrance can't have hurt either, giving a true sense of the perfect Town High Street. I have tried to highlight the most interesting and noteworthy of these shops below.
Bondgate Within runs from the Bondgate Tower as you enter the town along to the right of the Marketplace until the road narrows, where it turns in to the imaginatively titled Narrowgate. Shops on Bondgate Within include:
Jobson's of Alnwick, Scott's of Alnwick, Bell and Son's (menswear), G Penrose and Sons, Flowers By Julie, RSPCA, Taylor's Newsagent, Northumbria Pets, Glendale Paints, Ray's Menswear, Collectables, The Gate Gallery, The Art House, Trotters Family Bakers, Boots Optician, Dorothy Perkins, Greggs, Stead and Simpson, Boots, Superdrug, WH Smiths, Cancer Research UK, CC, M & Co (Ladies clothing shops), Greenwoods and leading into Narrowgate Moshulu and the Linen Cupboard (Gift Shop).
Jobson's of Alnwick, their shop offers a Sadllery and riding wear. They have a large equestrian department and stock the best brands in country clothing for riding, walking and fishing. They are famous for their saddlery with their
master saddler having over 35 years experience. The shop also has a range of gifts. Close to Jobson's along 'the cobbles' as it is known by locals is Scotts of Alnwick who are now recognised as one of the best places for ladies golf in the North of England specialising in clothing, golf equipment and accessories. The Gate Gallery is on the opposite side of the road and worth visiting to browse their selection of local art and craftwork. Established in 1988, this is a great place to pick up a special souvenir or gift. Bell and Sons is a menswear shop that has been family run since 1897. It is currently owned and run by Stephen Bell, the fourth generation of the family. They specialise in high quality traditional menswear with tastes for all ages.
Trotters Family Bakers were founded in 1969 and they have had a shop on Bondgate Within for most of that time. I can highly recommend their eternally popular 'Border Tarts'. By contrast Bondgate Within is also home to the larger chain shops like WH Smiths, Boots, Superdrug and Dorothy perkins.
Market Street runs from a fork in the road with Bondgate Within past the Marketplace to the left hand side and up towards Alnwick's Bus Station and the Morissons supermarket. Shops include:
House and Home, Clayport Jewellers, Sportsworld, R Turnbull and Sons (Butchers), The Wool Shop, Tourist Information Centre, T Conroy Jewellers, Post Office.
House and Home is a hardware and homewares shop with friendly staff which is absolutely crammed with exciting stock. From it's excellent range of cookware to a gardening section, gifts and furniture it has some thing for everyone. It is set over three floors and even has an outdoor section on the second floor. It is an absolute gem of a shop that i've frequently found myself passing more than a little time in, you'll be hard pressed to walk out empty handed. R Turnbull and Sons is an award winning Butcher that has been established over 100 years. They only purchase meat from Northumberland and ensure that they only have the best of the best. I can definitely recommend their lamb pinwheels (minted lamb in a pinwheel of puff pastry) something i have been unable to find anywhere else! The Wool shop in The Shambles that runs along Market Street has been going for more than thirty years and is now somewhat of a rare sight on a town High Street. It has relocated and downsized over the year, but with a recent resurgence in the popularity of knitting it is now enjoying a renaissance.
Fenkle Street connects Market Street and Bondgate Within (Narrowgate) along the back of the Marketplace. It offers a nice selection of shops and has various Ladies Fashionwear Stores and interior design and craft shops, including:
The Chocolate Spa, Post Office, Cross Stitch Centre, Mojo Toys and Gifts, The Outdoor Outlet, Foresters Ladies Fashionwear, The Big Green Frog, Interiors by Dickinson, Mint Ladies Fashionwear, Candy Castle (old fashioned sweet shop).
The Marketplace itself is beautiful, with it's cobbles and stunningly attractive buildings and the Town Hall. The Marketplace itself has many cafes (see Eating Out in Alnwick) but also has a few shops worth mentioning, including:
Alncom Computer Shop, The Cheese Room, Stationers, TW Wilcox Jewellers, Marketplace Butchery.
Alncom Computer Shop (Alnwick Computerware) will always hold a special place in my childhood. I remember the excitement of buying games for my Acorn Electron and early Sega games in the 80's and i'm pleased to say the shop is still going strong! The Shop also backs on to Fenkle Street. The Cheese Room at The Alnwick Deli on Paikes Street (the small, pedestrianised connecting lane between the Marketplace and Bondgate WIthin) is definitely worth finding. They sell a delicious range of local cheeses and everything else you could need to enjoy them, from crackers and breads to relishes and other fresh produce.
The Marketplace holds a market every Saturday all year round from 9am - 4pm and on a Thursday from April to December which is also 9am - 4pm. There is an additional Farmer's Market on the last Friday of every month from 9am - 2pm.
Have we missed something? Can you recommend an attraction, restaurant or accommodation? Or maybe you have a business you would like to be included? Let us know.
Useful and Interesting Links
Scotts Of Alnwick on Bondgate Within
The Art House Restaurant on Bondgate Within
The Gate Gallery on Bondgate Within
Jobson's of Alnwick on Bondgate Within
Scotts of Alnwick on Bondgate Within
Trotters Family Bakers on Bondgate Within
Bell and Sons on Bondgate Within
Flowers by Julie on Bondgate Within
Moshulu on Narrowgate
The Wool Shop on Market Street
Mojo Toys and Gifts on Fenkle Street