I’ve posted photos of our visit to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland before. Adjacent to the Castle is Alnwick Garden, a formal garden with a cascading fountain. Also in the Garden there is a fantastic Treehouse and a Poison Garden, safely secured behind locked gates. When we were there there a very long queue to go into the Poison Garden, so we left that for another day and went to Treehouse.
It’s an enormous structure made from sustainably sourced cedar, redwood and pine, extending high up into the trees.
I posted photos of a ruined castle last Wednesday. Today I’m featuring a much larger castle – Alnwick Castle, which is the second largest inhabited castle in England. The Duke of Northumberland and his family live here; the family have lived at Alnwick for 700 years. The castle was used to film parts of some of the Harry Potter films – the castle was Hogwarts in the first two films and Harry’s broomstick flying lessons were filmed in the Outer Bailey. Other films made there include Elizabeth and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
We went there the week before last with our grandson, a lover of Harry Potter. He liked the historical setting, the battlements and the canons, but most of all I think he liked the Knights’ Quest and the Harry Potter magic show, with Harry and Professor Dumbledore:
We’ll have to go back for another visit as there is so much to see and we only had time for a quick walk round the State Rooms, which are very grand, although I was amused to see a Table Football in the Library (I think that is where it was), definite proof that Alnwick Castle is also a family home.
Yesterday I went to Barter Books in Alnwick, a superb secondhand bookshop where you can not only buy books but exchange books. I took a pile along and came back with some more and am still in credit for more books for my next visit. It’s a great way to recycle books.
I have written about Barter Books before, but not posted any photos of what it’s like inside. It is in a huge old railway station, built in 1887 and closed to passengers in 1968.
(Click on the photos to see more detail)
There is a cafe in what used to be the station waiting room where we refreshed ourselves with coffee and toasted teacakes in front of a roaring fire. The painting on the wall above the fireplace shows the station as it was in 1908 when the future King George V and Queen Mary visited Alnwick.
We then browsed the shelves. There are all sorts of books, fiction, non fiction, first editions, valuable antiquarian books, signed copies, maps, dvds, pamphlets and so on.
In one section there is a miniature overhead railway line with trains passing every few minutes.