Alnwick is historically known as the capital of Northumberland as it lies centrally in the county, 30 miles north of Newcastle and 30 miles south of Berwick. This location makes us an ideal base for exploring this varied county.
Greycroft is situated just two minutes’ walk from the town centre. Alnwick is a small town but has plenty of shops, cafes, public houses and attractions to keep you busy. Alnwick Castle, known as the Windsor of the North, has been used in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts School and is the second largest inhabited Castle in England. It has also featured as a location for the filming of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Blackadder, Downton Abbey and more. The castle, owned by the Duke of Northumberland, is open to the public throughout the summer.
The Duchess of Northumberland opened The Alnwick Garden in 2002. It is one of the most exciting contemporary gardens to be developed in recent times. The garden also houses one of the largest tree houses in the world, the spectacular Treehouse restaurant.
The Alnwick Playhouse & Arts Centre is a vibrant arts centre, theatre and cinema. Regularly showcasing touring drama, music, dance and film – as well as streaming opera and RSC productions – it is well worth checking what’s on.
Outside the town are mile upon mile of unspoiled countryside and coast, perfect for walking or picnics and, with Northumberland being one of the most sparsely populated counties in England, peace and tranquillity are on the doorstep.
Northumberland, despite a turbulent past in the time of the Border Reivers, was recently named as ‘the most tranquil county in England’, according to research commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Leaflets detailing some of the local attractions can be found on the Visit Northumberland website.
Northumberland is a county rich in history. It boasts more castles and fortified houses than any other English county – Alnwick, Warkworth, Bamburgh, Chillingham and Lindisfarne to name but a few.
Beaches and the Coast
The thirty-nine mile stretch of coast from Berwick to the Coquet estuary forms the Northumberland Coast AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
The coastline of the region is also an area of unique and unforgettable beauty, with mile upon mile of often deserted golden sands turning into spectacular cliffs as you move further north toward the Scottish Border.
Alnwick is located a mere three miles from the coast at Alnmouth and its beautiful beach. For an unforgettable day out to the coast, why not visit Seahouses, a busy little port where you can take a boat trip to the Farne Islands (a National Trust site and RSPB reserve with a multitude of seabirds such as the exotic looking puffin – best seen from April to mid-July – as well as one of the country’s largest breeding colonies of Grey Seals).
Countryside and National Park
Alnwick’s location in the heart of Northumberland offers access not only to the coast and castles that make this county famous, but also to the Northumberland National Park, Kielder Water & Forest Park, and the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park.
The Northumberland National Park stretches over 400 square miles and covers almost a quarter of the county.
As Europe’s largest area of protected night sky, the Dark Sky Park is ideal for stargazing and offers the best place in England to view the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
Northumberland is also an ideal location for walkers. St Oswald’s Way, The Pennine Way, the Pilgrim’s Crossing at Lindisfarne (Holy Island) and countless public footpaths and areas of Access Land offer some of the finest and most varied walks in the country. We can provide Ordnance Survey maps and a number of books and guides containing popular local walking routes. Guided walks are also available.
There are many walking routes available to download on the Visit Northumberland website.
Northumberland offers a wide range of outdoor activities for the more adventure-minded.
With Alnwick being the home of Hardy’s – one of the most prestigious fishing tackle manufacturers in the world – Northumberland is the ideal location for the keen fisherman (or woman). Details can be found on the Visit Northumberland website. You can choose between rivers and sea fishing or, if you prefer, one of the fisheries such as Chatton Trout Fishery or Thrunton Long Crag. For less experienced anglers, fishing tuition is available from Lucy Bowden and Bob Smith.
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours offer exclusive guided birdwatching, photography and wildlife tours. For guests wishing to book a tour during their stay, we can offer an earlier breakfast to ensure you get the most out of your day.
Other activities such as canoeing, kayaking and rock climbing, as well as coastal activities like sea kayaking and coasteering, are available from active4seasons. Surfing lessons are available from Northside Surf.
For a day out shopping you have varied choices.
Alnwick’s high street was voted Google’s Best Shopping Street in the Country in 2011, recognising the vibrant mix of small independent shops as well as recognised high-street favourites. For those after even more shops, you don’t have to travel far.
Heading south, you have Newcastle Upon Tyne – renowned for its restaurants, shopping, culture, art, music and nightlife – and the Metro Centre. To the north is Edinburgh, again famous for its shopping and culture. Both cities, as well as the historic town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, are easily accessible by car or by train from Alnmouth station, located on the East-Coast mainline.
For more information about the activities and facilities that are available in Alnwick and the wider Northumberland Region, try the Visit Northumberland and Visit Alnwick websites, as well as the Alnwick Tourist Information Centre.
During your stay, you will also find a comprehensive collection of leaflets, tourist information, maps, timetables and guidebooks in our breakfast room and guest lounge,