General Gardening / April 23, 2024

Top 10 things to do in Alnwick

The Alnwick Garden

Built to be unconventional, The Alnwick Garden is a unique, contemporary garden in the heart of Northumberland. Lose yourself in the mysterious Bamboo Labyrinth, explore the perils of The Poison Garden or gaze upon the Grand Cascade. Transformed across seasons, no two days in The Garden are ever the same. The Garden’s history is still honoured through the traditional Ornamental Garden and mesmerising Rose Garden. Created by The Duchess of Northumberland in 2001, The Alnwick Garden is a garden with a purpose and is a registered charity (No.1095435) that places people at the forefront of all of its activities.

Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden

There are 9 invisible clans who live at Lilidorei, and they spend 11 months of the year preparing for the biggest event in the Lilidorei Calendar – Christmas! Some clans are good, some are troublesome but they all worship two things – Christmas and their beloved leader, Lord Elfwin. Lord Elfwin rules the village from high up in his tower at the very top of Elfwin Drin, which also happens to be the world’s largest play structure. From the large, locked gates to the strange sounds and noises, your imagination is all that you need when you visit. Peer through the windows of the clan houses, listen to the immersive sounds and interact with the team of secret keepers throughout the village to create your own story about Lilidorei.

Alnwick Castle

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and owned by the Percy family since 1309, Alnwick Castle is full of fascinating stories to discover during your visit. Wander through the state rooms, admire the stunning landscape of Capability Brown and enjoy medieval crafts, talks and dressing up in the Artisans Courtyard.


Alnwick’s main shopping area is located in the town centre. Stroll through the historical town’s many streets lined with independent shops and find a gift or treat that is perfect for you. Enjoy the vibrant market on selected days found in the Market Square packed with artisan stalls.

Aln Valley Railway

Aln Valley Railway is a heritage railway based on the old Alnwick Branch line. The reconstruction of the railway is an ongoing project however you can ride on one of the many types of trains situated there with the part of the track already restored. Along with the full-size steam trains there is also the miniature railway.

Barter Books

Barter Books is one of the largest second handbook shops in Europe. Situated at the old railway station in Alnwick it has many quirky features. The Station Buffet offers a light bite for lunch and a model railway travels around the many bookcases. Not only does Barter Books house thousands of books it was the place that the original Keep Calm and Carry on poster was found.

Bailiffgate Museum

Bailiffgate Museum a fascinating place to learn a lot of the history of Alnwick and its District. Northumberland being the border county to Scotland has seen many a battle with Alnwick being at the front with Alnwick Castle and the Percy family. Within the museum you can find many artifacts, documents, and photographs throughout the exhibitions.

Alnwick Playhouse

Fancy watching the latest movie or theatre production then Alnwick Playhouse is a must visit. Originally built in 1925 and closed in 1979, it was reopened in the 1990s and restored to this beautiful old-style cinema making it the perfect place to enjoy the arts, theatre and cinema. Along with housing the stage Alnwick Playhouse has the local library and a lovely café to get a bit to eat.

Food and Drink

For such a small town there is an excellent range of establishments surrounded with history to indulge yourself in from restaurants and pubs to cafes and takeaways you are sure to find something to satisfy you taste buds.


Alnwick is surrounded by beautiful countryside rich with history and views. Take a wander on the pastures through the Capability Brown landscape and take in the spectacular views of Alnwick Castle. Stroll through the numerous walks in Hulne Park and visit Brizlee Tower or Hulne Abbey. If you are wanting to venture further afield then Alnwick Moor offers amazing views across to the cheviots.