Barter Books is one of the biggest antiquarian bookstores in the UK with a tremendous selection of books from antique to contemporary novels. The place is so big you could literally spend a half a day here easily, inside the building you will find the orginal waiting rooms with roaring fires and places to sit and browse the books, they do what their name suggests as well, you can take in used books and trade against new purchases.
Inside is the Station Buffet - Open every day except Christmas Day, 9:00-18:30. (Last orders for hot food is 18:00) The Station Buffet is owned and operated by Barter Books. The inviting ambiance includes an open fire in three of the rooms, while the menu specializes in the owners' own preference for comfort food at its best - all of which is home-made, using local produce whenever possible. This ranges from soups to bacon sandwiches and our own cutom made hotdogs to Northumbrian rarebit to baked goods to die for! Also on offer: barista coffee, teas, hot chocolate - and, yes, wine, too!
Back in April 1991, and in the face of a rather large overdraft, Mary Manley decided to open a secondhand bookshop - one that would be based on the swap system and called Barter Books. Her husband, Stuart, immediately took to the idea and suggested that Mary open the shop in the front room of what was then his small manufacturing plant, located in Alnwick's magnificent old Victorian railway station. From that time a joint partnership was formed that would eventually result in what the New Statesman magazine would call 'The British Library of secondhand bookshops'.
Open all year
With Disabled Toilet
Ceedle, Preston, United Kingdom
Rows and rows of books to wander through and browse, dogs welcome which is nice, my OCD calls for more organisation with the books rather than them being here there and everywhere,however staff are friendly and helpful
JeanMcK, York, United Kingdom
Barter Books is in the old rail station and all of the space is used well! The entry room has shelves of paperbacks and local books and a lovely open fire with a self-serve coffee/tea station with excellent cookies. The main bookstore has an overwhelming and fun variety of books for every taste. Even if you don't like books, it is worth the trip to sit in the old waiting room, covered with original tilework and with another open fire and welcoming armchairs. The cafe has nice sandwiches and cakes. You can while away a couple hours having tea and browsing the books, even with your dog, if you like. The model trains running along the ceiling are a nice touch, too. Definitely worth a visit!
Great place to visit on a cold winters day
Wendy J, Ipswich, England, United Kingdom
Had a lovely cafe lunch in front of an open fire. Thousands of books to browse. Places to sit and read. Old railway station building. Parking outside the shop.
Brilliant, beautiful and quirky place - Great Cafe too.
KL_Caley, Darlington, United Kingdom
This is my second visit and I never fail to leave with a smile and a handful of books that you would just never find (or consider) online. The cafe is an absolute treasure too. Great selection of quality homemade meals and cake! It is the perfect rainy day place :).
Bookfest in unusual setting!
Fiona B, Northumberland, United Kingdom
I love going in here and rarely come out without having a new book to read - just as well I have an account so I can swap the ones I've already read! There's a coffee stop with cookies by an open fire and a waitress café/bistro. Toilets are always well looked after. But the best bit is the station setting which still has an old world atmosphere, with mural paintings of famous authors and a miniature train set running on tracks above your head! suitable for all ages (accompanied children under 14 have their own section). Easily accessible by the less able & plenty of seating throughout. Definitely unusual, would make an excellent rainy day activity.