Enjoying Alnwick, the Heart of Northumberland

Just 19 miles from Low Alwinton Cottages, for directions through Google Maps click here.

Alnwick is at the heart of Northumberland, the bustling market town is full of things to do and places to visit with a wide range of activities for the whole family to enjoy. From the famous Alnwick Castle and the beautiful Garden's, a theatre, playhouse, a range of shops and cafe's, and more. There is always something new to explore in Alnwick.

Dine among the treetops of The Alnwick Garden in the fairytale setting of one of the world’s largest tree houses, or enjoy afternoon tea with a pot of Earl Grey tea, which originates from nearby Howick in a cosy café.

Whether it’s rifling through the shelves of Barter Books, one of the UK’s largest second hand bookshops, housed in the town’s old railway station or catching a performance at Alnwick Playhouse; toe-tapping to live music in a lively inn or exploring the Bailiffgate Museum which brings to life the people and places of Northumberland, there’s always something to do in Alnwick.

One thing is for sure; a magical time awaits you in this spellbinding town.

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What's On in Alnwick?

Alnwick Castle

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Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the country; home to the Duke of Northumberland's family, the Percys, for over 700 years.

Combining magnificent medieval architecture with sumptuous Italianate State Rooms, Alnwick Castle is one of the UK's most significant heritage destinations and best days out in Northumberland.

The castle's rich history is brimming with drama, intrigue, and extraordinary people; from a gunpowder plotter and visionary collectors, to decadent hosts and medieval England's most celebrated knight: Harry Hotspur.

In recent years it has also taken starring roles in a number of film and television productions, featuring as the magnificent Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey's 2014 and 2015 Christmas specials and previously appearing as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films.

The Alnwick Garden

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The Alnwick Garden is one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. Designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz, The Garden is a wonderful combination of spaces, themes, quirkiness and play. From the tranquility of the Cherry Orchard, the excitement of the Grand Cascade and the mysteries of the Bamboo Labyrinth, to the Serpent Garden’s spell-binding water sculptures, the intrigue of the Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest tree houses – there is plenty to surprise and delight. The Garden is a space designed to be enjoyed by all your senses, with a collection of over 4,000 plant varieties to discover, thousands of seasonal blooms and countless opportunities to get wet and play in The Garden’s water sculptures.

Alnwick Playhouse

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Alnwick Playhouse is firmly established as one of the leading small venues in the North of England. It is a wonderful and vibrant arts centre, and a remarkably strong and valuable part of the community. Our mission is to enrich the life of the community through diverse, inspiring cultural experiences. We achieve this by providing a rich and balanced mix of professional touring drama, music, dance and film of the highest quality, and we strive to produce an educational and outreach programme seeking to promote the arts in every corner of the Alnwick District

Bailiffgate Museum

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Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery is a people’s museum, where fascinating stories of the past are told about the town and district of Alnwick. Our historic building in the town’s Castle Quarter, which was previously a church, provides a calm and beautiful setting in which to celebrate our distinctive heritage, display special exhibitions and present a range of events for the whole family. There is so much to discover at the Bailiffgate – through our displays and interactive activities, films, music and song, a history discovery area, local newspaper archives and evocative images of the past. There are changing exhibitions in the upstairs gallery which showcase local history, arts and crafts. We have a range of books, DVDs and interesting mementoes of your visit in our small shop. Alnwick and the surrounding countryside, from rolling hills and crags to sandy beaches, from tiny fishing villages to magnificent castles, are steeped in hundreds of years of colourful history. Why not start your visit to this beautiful area with a visit to our award winning, volunteer led Museum, where a friendly Northumbrian welcome awaits?

Northumberland Theatre Company

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NTC is a professional small-scale touring theatre company based at the Playhouse, Alnwick, Northumberland. The company's artistic policy is to provide professional touring theatre of the highest quality, particularly to theatreless zones in rural areas where access to live theatre is otherwise limited. NTC have recently been described as 'one of the very best small theatre companies in the country' by the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal.

Grannies Tea Room and Delicatessen

09:00:00 - 17:00:00

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Grannies Tea room and Delicatessen was established around 1984, then the tearoom only held a couple of tables placed within the shop. It was only later, in 1989, that the intimate downstairs tea room was developed within the basement where the old fashioned coal chutes, old style steps, fireplace and flagstone flooring can still be seen. Grannies is a strong advocate for the local food movement in Alnwick, and offers a wide range of local produce within the deli, shop and tearoom. Grannies is a foodie's heaven and fashioned in an 'Old Curiosity Shop' style, the shop attracts the interest of many for this very reason...curiosity. Grannies Tea room and Delicatessen represents, to both local residents and visitors, everything that this significant historic market town stands for, from the time-honoured features found inside the deli shop and tearoom, to the high quality local produce...Grannies provides the finishing touches.

Alnwick Garden - The Treehouse

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Enormous and beautifully crafted, the Treehouse is built from sustainably sourced Canadian cedar, Scandinavian redwood and English and Scots pine. It sits high in the treetops in a copse of mature lime trees and looks as if it’s been there forever. There are walkways in the sky and wobbly rope bridges for bouncing on, all accessible by wheelchair and buggy. On the Treehouse’s deck there’s the Roost, one of The Garden’s education rooms, which shows films and hosts activities at certain times of the year.

Barter Books

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The shop has many extra features: open fires in the Winter, beloved by all. The Station Buffet with good plain food, coffee, tea and cookies. A model railway acting as a link between the book columns of the central room, along with poetry lines. Three stunning 40-foot murals. A mini-cybercafé (well, two computers!) and free wi-fi. Numerous restored station features. Generous seating. A children's room with enough toys to allow parents and grandparents to browse elsewhere in peace – provided one guardian is left to look after the children! And a whole huge room lined with over forty glass cases containing many of the more interesting antiquarian books Preservation and Restoration: because of its architecture and history, the owners have done what they can (and felt privileged to do so) to restore and enhance their holding - as and when they could afford to. To that end, the lovely old canopy outside has been re-exposed, the fireplaces put back into working order, a missing skylight glassed in, rooms replastered and repainted. All of which, to our pleasure, has brought, after an absence of thirty years, public life back to a building that was made for it.