What to do in Northumberland

Alnwick is one of those places that is a home away from home. Admittedly, it is partly the people that make this place so special for me, but I do think it is a lovely place to escape to, whether you have an emotional connection to this area or not. There are so many things to do and see here, from fantastic beach walks, to tasty brunches (have a read of my food-y picks here) to bookshop browsing- there is something for everyone.

Having visited quite a few times now, I’ve put together a mini-itinerary of things to do over the course of weekend (both within and just outside Alnwick) but you could definitely spend a good week or so here without running out of things to do!

Top Sights

Barter Books

This is my, hands down, favourite secondhand bookshop of all time. There is nothing better than spending a lazy Sunday morning browsing around this bookshop of dreams. It’s a converted Victorian railway station containing hundreds of books across all genres. There’s a lovely little cafe inside and lots of seats available if you fancy a rest from book browsing or simply a read of one of the classics. Definitely a must on your to-visit list, particularly if you are a book enthusiast!

Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Gardens

The Alnwick Gardens are a really beautiful, well-maintained collection of gardens with water features, swinging benches and sensory areas as well as a poison garden tour. Situated right next to the castle and onsite to The Treehouse, you could easily spend a day here, especially in the summer months. Alnwick Castle (where they filmed parts of the Harry Potter series) is absolutely stunning- I particularly loved the library and the outdoor areas which have gorgeous views of the surrounding areas. It’s not the cheapest place to visit but is definitely worth every penny- particularly in the summer months when the sun is shining.

Howick Hall Gardens

As well as having a really lovely Tea Room (have a read here), Howick Hall also has some beautiful gardens. The gardens are perhaps best known for their spring bulbs and the woodland section but the woodland walks through the arboretum are also well worth doing. If you are looking for some garden inspiration or are simply a plant enthusiast then this garden should be at the top of your to-visit list!


I love a good beach walk and Northumberland has so many beaches to explore. Some of my favourites include, Alnmouth beach (if you are into walking, try Lover’s walk), Craster beach, Warkworth beach and Bamburgh beach. Most of these beaches have nearby cafe’s so you can stop for an ice-cream in the summer months or a hot chocolate in the winter!


Other highlights include, Hulne Park, Embleton Bay, Chillingham Castle (supposedly Britain’s most haunted castle) and  the Alnwick market at the weekend.

Have you visited Northumberland? I’d love to hear your favourite spots and recommendations!