Have you ever heard of Alnwick? If not then you are really missing out and if you have then I’m sure that you know that magic I am talking about! Alnwick is a little town 34 miles from Newcastle Upon Tyne and it took us just over 40 minutes to drive there. I really want to share with you all about our recent visit and explain why I think it is so special.
Can you imagine a place that incorporates the adventure of Swiss family Robinson?, Visit gardens that would not be out of place in a Princess movie? Admire the castle that was actually used in the Harry Potter movie as Hogwarts and visit a book shop that you could quite imagine Belle hanging out in? I think you need to visit Alnwick!
There were four main parts of Alnwick that we visited but the town as a whole is quite spectacular and there is something there for people of all ages. On this particular trip we visited the Tree house, The Gardens, The Castle and the most amazing Second hand book shop.
It is free to visit the Tree House and it is great fun for both adults and children. With wobbly bridges and fun frames built in amongst the trees it has a real Swiss family Robinson feel to it. The fairy lights give it a real sense of wonder and enchantment and if you get an opportunity the restaurant inside the treehouse looks superb! We haven’t eaten here yet but hoping to try it out some time this year. The treehouse also has a cafe called the Potting Shed where you can pick up a cuppa and a cake or maybe some light lunch for you or the little ones.
So we had visited the Alnwick Gardens last year and we became friends of the gardens which cost about £45 for the year for two adults and three children ( totally worthwhile by the way!) You can also get a ticket that incorporates the castle which we will certainly be doing next time.
The gardens are out of this world and absolutely huge. You could easily spend a day here and actually each time I go back I find something new to do. From the water fountains to the kids tractors, the garden of swings and the fairytale trail there is so much to do for kids both big and small.
I’m going to be really honest and say the fairytale trail is my favourite part of the gardens. We have done it twice and it just doesn’t lose it’s magic! There are lots of Disney related parts and when we went last year the kids dressed up which was an extra special touch!
My friend and I escaped for half an hour without the kids to visit the poison garden (don’t worry! )Their dads were left in charge although I did watch in horror as Jospeh rolled away from a Gareth in his pram but luckily a lady caught him! I wouldn’t recommend the poison garden for children under 5 as I feel they might lose interest. It’s great for older children though as the tour itself was very informative.
So yeah you need to visit the North East guys! Oh and I forgot to add that there is even a fish and chip shop so if you forget a packed lunch or you never really get round to making one then you’ll all still have a chance to eat!
Castles form the centrepiece for so many of my favourite Disney films, from Sleeping Beauty to Tangled and my personal favourite the castle from Beauty and the Beast.
Alnwick Castle is simply spectacular and it was actually used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter Movies. It has also served at a backdrop for a number of television and Film productions see here I absolutely LOVE Castles, I find them so fascinating and magical. It’s almost like time has stood still and you can transport yourself back and imagine the people that lived there throughout the years. So if, like me you enjoy visiting castles then you are going to fall in love with Alnwick Castle.
On this visit we didn’t venture inside the castle but spent a good hour or so admiring it from outside and enjoying the stunning views that envelope it. There are a number of activities inside the castle for children including broomstick training and a Knights quest so we can’t wait to experience this. There is also lots of fun things for adults to do especially if you are interested in History. We will hopefully be heading back up in the next few weeks so will share that with you all.
So where do I start with Barter Books? I don’t think I have the words to do justice to such an awesome place. I first visited this second hand bookshop about two years ago after seeing a picure of it on someones facebook and I will never forget the feeling I got when I walked through those doors.
It’s almost like stepping onto the film set of a live action Disney movie… it really is that magical! I’m not sure whether it’s the lighting, the smell of the old books or the noise of people quietly chatting or turning pages but it has the most wonderful ambience.
It’s also great for kids, there is also a wide selection of books for children and teens. I left Gareth reading to the boys whilst I had a wander about looking at the books and taking in the atmosphere! James absolutely loved the model train set that runs above the book shelves. He thought that was amazing and so did I to be honest.
I have told Gareth that I want to spend the day there again soon, on my own! ( sorry family) but I just can’t think of anything better than losing the day reading a good book, sitting by one of the open fires in this beautiful setting! Oh and there is also a little coffee shop so you can get watered and fed too! To find out more about Barter Book – See here
So, I hope that you enjoyed this blog and if you did then please let me know! Thank you so much for taking the time to read it!
Have a magical day….