Historic Alnwick, Northumberland, England
Alnwick is in the heart of Northumberland, famous for its unspoilt beauty, and is one of the most picturesque areas of countryside in the whole of England - with long sandy beaches, quiet friendly villages, the Simonside and Cheviot hills, well preserved medieval Castles, and gardens (Alnwick Garden should come top of your list!). There are numerous Stately Homes in the area including the fantastic Alnwick Castle, home to the Duke of Northumberland and oft referred to as "The Windsor of the north".
Alnwick - Historic Market Town
This medieval market town originally prospered as an ideal staging post, being only a day's ride from Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north and Newcastle upon Tyne in the south. It still retains many of its cobbled streets, narrow alleys and fine stone buildings which now house a range of specialist shops and family businesses as wells as some of what once totalled over 50 inns.
Visitors can still enjoy the atmosphere of a thriving medieval market town in Alnwick's recently refurbished Market Place, also the centre for local events including Alnwick Fair and the International Music Festival, and the Farmers Market is held on the last Friday of each month.
Northumberland Hall is the venue for craft fairs, coffee mornings and various shows and other town attractions include Playhouse Theatre, the Bondgate Gallery, Shire Pottery, Embroidery Visitor Centre, Bailifgate Museum and the new Willowburn Leisure Centre with its children's pool, health suite and gym.
Based in a magnificent listed Victorian building, Barter Books is one of the largest second hand book shops in England, with over 350,000 books to choose from in an atmosphere of cosy peace & tranquility.
Alnwick Castle and Garden
Home of the Percy family for nearly 700 years and considered one of the finest castles in England, Alnwick Castle, the home of the Duke of Northumberland, provides a wonderful day out for all the family. It has magnificent spacious grounds designed by Capability Brown, domineering medieval towers, a 14th century dungeon, beautiful State Rooms with Italian renaisance design, paintings by Canaletto, Van Dyck and Titian and there are various museums covering the region's military and archaeological history.
Next to the Castle is the spectacular Alnwick Garden where you can experience The Grand Cascade with its many weirs and fountains, The Ornamental Garden with more than 15,000 plants, The Rose Garden of walkways heavily scented with climbing and shrub roses, clematis and honeysuckle, and there are many 'secret' gardens where you can sit amongst the pergolas, fruit trees and individual pools. Because it is a continually developing garden with major projects underway, it provides something new for repeated visits.
Where to stay and things to do in Northumberland
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