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
What more can I say. Dog friendly too (though not in the cafes). What an absolute gem. Even if books are not really your thing (and they will be after your visit here) its worth going just to enjoy the ambiance of this stunning book shop. It's well laid out. With seating. If a book has been written I'm certain you'll find it here. I had my dog with me so didn't use the cafe. Wonderful place.
menubuster, Dundee, United Kingdom
The former railway station has been put to good use with the very extensive selection of books available here. There is also a café with a self service section in front of a roaring coal fire, perfect on a cool day. Parking is a bit restricted.
As much a part of Alnwick as the Castle or Garden
tweedsider, berwick upon twed
Living in Berwick upon Tweed, i must admit that it's 40 years since I visited the Castle, and haven't got around to visiting the Gardens yet. But Barter Books is a several times a year guilty pleasure. If you can, bring some of your read books with you and trade them in against your future reading. Is it expensive? How do you put a price on something that you could trawl Charity shops for years to find? This isn't a book shop - it is a true shopping experience
Book lover’s dream aesthetic experience
marissadanielle, Cincinnati, Ohio
Spent a few hours here in the evening as I waited on my coach out of Alnwick. The atmosphere is really great. I tried to find prices in a few different books and couldn’t find anything indicating a price. The only workers I saw were either working the till or the cafe area so I never got the chance to ask how I could find the prices. I ate in the cafe (cheese toastie and chips which were actually like American potato chips and not fries like I thought they’d be because it’s Europe) and it was really good. Definitely a can’t miss if you’re in the area!
What a place
IanViv2015, Woking, United Kingdom
We called in here after visiting Alnwick Castle. We have often heard about this place and it certainly lived up to our expectations. Loved the Train running on top of the shelves, the lit fires and people sitting around in sofas reading their books. You cant leave here without buying some books. The problem is, how many can you carry back to the car with straining your arms!!