Alnwick is a medieval market town to the east of Northumberland, a few miles inland from the coast.
A very picturesque town that is a pleasure to explore, the setting of Alnwick is further enhanced by the imposing form of Alnwick castle that stands above the town (and around which the town originally developed).
The town itself has a well maintained historical centre, based around the market place - the original market cross still stands in the square. The centre of Alnwick has many original stone medieval buildings set along its cobbled streets and alleys. The town also has a good selection of galleries and a museum dedicated to local history: the Bailiffgate Museum.
The main shopping area, with a mix of both small speciality shops and larger 'high street' shops, is in the market square and surrounding streets - the weekly market in Alnwick is held on a Saturday, with an additional market held each Thursday outside the winter months. The original railway station for Alnwick now houses a very extensive secon-hand bookshop, Barter Books.
You can see one of the original entrance gates into the walled city at Bondgate Tower, while other important local monuments include the Tenantry Column (Alnwick's very own Nelson's column, but with a lion on top, erected in 1816); and Brizlee Tower (a Robert Adam designed observation tower, built in 1781, Brizlee tower is in Hulne Park).
The 300 year old White Swan Hotel (and pub) in Alnwick is well known for its dining room which is furnished and decorated using panelling and mirrors from the ship RMS Olymic (sister ship to the Titanic)
Alnwick Castle is a very extensive building, surrounded by parkland and gardens. Originally a defensive Norman castle constructed at the end of the 11th century, it has been substantially altered and extended several times over the centuries. Only recently developed, Alnwick Garden is almost as popular an attraction as the castle itself and among the most visited gardens in England, particularly well known for its innovative planting styles and wide range of plants.
More recently the castle has been used in several films and television programes - most famously as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
A 13th century carmelite monastery, you can see the ruins of Hulne Priory during a visit to Hulne Park, an extensive park and woodland area next to Alnwick Castle.
Map of Alnwick and places to visit
Alnwick places to visit
See more places nearby in the Northumberland guide