Destination Index

An non-exhaustive list of places to visit during your Alnwick Escape:

Alnmouth5 milesAttractive Village & Beach
Aln Valley RailwayAlnwickHeritage Railway
Alnwick CastleAlnwickCastle, Stately Home
Alnwick GardenAlnwickGarden
Alnwick PlayhouseAlnwickTheatre, Cinema, Tourist Information, Library
Amble9 MilesFishing Harbour, Marina, Town
Bamburgh Castle17 milesCastle
Bamburgh Beach17 milesBeach, Dunes
Barter BooksAlnwickBookshop, Café
Beadnell Bay14 milesBeach, Dunes, Harbour
Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens30 milesStately Home, Castle, Gardens, CaféEnglish Heritage
Berwick-upon-Tweed30 miles
Bolam Lake30 milesLake, Country Park
Boulmer Beach7 miles
Chillingham Castle14 miles
Cragside11 milesNational Trust
Craster7 miles
Dunstanburgh Castle7 milesCastle (Ruin)
Farne Islands16 milesWildlife Sanctuary, Island, Boat TripsNational Trust
Flodden Field (Branxton)29 milesBattlefield site
Ford & Etal29 milesEstate villages & castles
Holy Island28 milesNational Trust
English Heritage
See Tide Tables
Howick Hall Garden6 miles
Hulne ParkAlnwick
Lindisfarne Castle28 milesNational Trust
Lindisfarne Priory28 MilesPriory (Ruin)English Heritage
Northumberlandia26 milesEarthworks Sculpture, Country Park
Rothbury12 milesAttractive village
Seahouses16 miles
Simonside Hills17 milesWild Moorland Hiking
Thrunton Woods9 milesForest Hiking Trails
Wallington25 milesStately Home, GardensNational Trust
Warkworth6 miles
Warkworth Castle6 milesCastle (Ruin)English Heritage


Sights to see in and around Alnwick.


Alnwick Castle
The medieval fortress and palace that is Alnwick castle is impressive from any direction. You can spend a couple of hours just walking the narrow streets and riverside footpath that surrounds it before stepping through its gates. The castle is 1,000 years old and has been home to the Percy family for over 700 of them. Its staterooms, walls and courtyards are all spectacular. The the indoor and outdoor cafés are pretty good too.
Web: | Tel:01665 511199.

The Alnwick Garden
Since opening in 2001, the pleasure grounds of the Alnwick Garden continue to develop with new highlights and events added year on year. Centred around the huge Grand Cascade, there are paths leading to the Rose garden, the water feature sculptures of the Serpent Garden, a bamboo maze, the Cherry Orchard, the toxic delights of the Poison Garden and the walled Ornamental Garden. You can also just enjoy the view over a coffee or lunch at The Pavillion. Guided tours of the gardens and the pump room are also available.
Web: | Tel: 01665 511350.

Hulne Park
The gatehouse of Hulne Park is just a few minutes walk from the centre of Alnwick and is the a range of circular walks from 4 to 6.5 miles.
Web: Hulne Park Walking trails.

Barter Books
In Alnwick’s Old Station
Saying this is just one of the largest second-hand bookshops in the country is hardly doing it justice; set in a magnificent former victorian railways station, it’s a great place to browse, relax, enjoy a home-made brunch from the Station Buffet or an ice-cream from Paradise, its own ice-cream parlour.
Web: | Tel: 01665 604888

Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery
14 Bailiffgate
Three floors of exhibitions in Alnwick’s Castle Quarter telling the story of the town and those who’ve lived here from its beginnings to the present day.
Web: | Tel: 01665 605847

Nearby villages

Alnmouth is famed for its colourful cottages on the Aln Estuary and a great sandy beach for walks north along the coast towards Boulmer or Howick.
5 miles from Alnwick

Amble village
9 miles from Alnwick

30 miles from Alnwick

Ford & Etal
Ford & Etal Estates
Two picturesque villages each with their own castle – the Flodden Field battlefield site is nearby too.
29 miles from Alnwick

Rothbury village
12 miles from Alnwick

An improbably attractive medieval village nestled in a loop of the Coquet River with with its high street bounded and one end by the well preserved ruin of Warkworth Castle and the other by the Church of St Lawrence. There’s a lovely river walk, a friendly tea shop and beautiful art for sale at the Fenwick Gallery.
7 miles from Alnwick

Castles, Country Houses & Gardens

Bamburgh Castle
Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens
Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick

Chillingham Castle
7 miles from Alnwick

Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick

Dunstanburgh Castle
Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick

Howick Hall Gardens
Howick Hall hosts one of Northumberland’s most beautiful and, at 65 acres, extensive gardens with trails in the Woodland Garden and grass paths with wildflowers and flowering shrubs throughout the season. Although the manor house itself isn’t open to the public, it does have a magnificent tea room in its old ballroom- this was the home of Earl Grey – serving tea and some pretty good cakes.
6 miles from Alnwick

Lindisfarne Castle
Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick

Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick

Warkworth Castle
Rothbury village
7 miles from Alnwick



Into the Hills

Walks in Northumberland’s hills, moors and woods.

Cragside Estate, Rothbury

Rothbury Terraces
More walks

Thrunton Woods
A walk in the woods

Simonside Hills
Wild walking

On the Waterfront

Coastal, beach and lakeside walking.

Bolam Lake Country Park
A short but interesting circular walk. Can be combined with a visit to newarby Wallington or Belsay Hall, Castle and gardens.
Starting Point: Bolam Lake Country Park car park | 30 miles from Alnwick.

Dunstanburgh Castle from Craster
Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
Starting Point: Craster harbour | 7 miles from Alnwick.

Holy Island Circular
Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
Before travelling to Holy Island you’ll need to check the tide timetable, as the causeway road over to the island is underwater during high tide.


Escape to Alnwick, a picturesque market town and a perfect base for a short break to explore Northumberland’s wild landscapes, tranquil villages, castles and dune-backed sandy beaches.

Just four miles from the coast on the banks of the River Aln, Alnwick (pronounced Annick) is dominated by its magnificent castle whose history is inseparable from the town which built up around it.

You can wander through the winding streets of the old historic centre and discover the narrow cut-throughs. All routes eventually lead back to the central market square. The town was originally surrounded by a medieval defensive wall; above ground, all that remains visible today is the Bondgate Tower separating the Bondgate Within and Bondgate Without parts of the high street. A more recent 18th century tower remains at Pottergate.

Alnwick still retains the traditional independent shops that have disappeared from most high streets, together with a great choice of cafés, tea shops, restaurants and pubs to keep you sustained during your explorations.

From the cobbled market square which marks the centre of town, the Castle Quarter and the Georgian residential streets of Alnwick’s conservation area are easy to explore on foot. For a more rural amble, you can wander across the meadows on the banks of the River Aln with views of the castle as the backdrop to your walk.

The medieval fortress and palace that is Alnwick castle is impressive from any direction. 1,000 years old and home to the Percy family for over 700 of them, after Windsor Castle it’s the second largest inhabited castle in the country. Recognisable from numerous film and television appearances, it’s a joy to explore inside and out.

Since opening in 2001, The Alnwick Garden has developed into a spectacular 42 acre landscape with its highlight the Grand Cascade, walled garden, sculptures, water features and the ‘world’s deadliest’ poison garden. It continues to develop and has themed events throughout the year.

Just outside the town lies the the new ‘Lionheart’ Alnwick station from where steam engines pull trains on a reopened section of the branch line towards the coast at Alnmouth.

The coast a few miles to the east with beautiful unspoilt beaches and the hills and moors inland offer plenty of opportunities to explore further.


Things to do, places to go


Alnmouth Beach
Alnmouth’s wide sandy beach stretches out north of the Aln estuary towards Boulmer. Big Skies, wide vistas and backed by the pictureque village of Alnmouth.
4 miles from Alnwick

Bamburgh Beach
A big sandy beach backed by dunes and in the shadow of Bambugh Castle.
17 miles from Alnwick

Beadnell Bay
An arced sandy dune-backed bay with a picturesque harbour. A popular beach for kitesurfers.
14 miles from Alnwick

Sandham Bay
On the northern coastline of Holy Island and only accessible on foot over the dunes, Sandham Bay is one of two beautiful and isolated beaches on the north of the island. You’ll need to check the tide tables for when the causeway road is open.
28 miles from Alnwick

Into the Wild

Farne Islands
Sailings from Seahouses harbour
The chance to sail around or land on the Farne Islands. Lighthouses, seabirds and seals.
16 miles from Alnwick

Coquet Island
Sailings from Amble harbour
The seabird sanctuary of Coquet Island is just a mile’s boat trip from Amble harbour. You can’t land, but you can get a good view of the colonies of puffins, terns and eider duck nesting here in the summer, as well as island’s year around seal colony.
9 miles from Alnwick
Web: Dave Gray’s Puffin Cruises | Facebook: @puffincruisesamble

Chillingham Wild Cattle
Join a guided tour to encounter the world’s last remaining herd of wild cattle who’ve roamed around Chillingham for over 800 years. Around 100 of these untamed and pure-bred survivors of the ancient wild herd which one roamed Britain remain.

Into the City

Take the train (from Alnmouth, 30 minutes) or bus (from Alnwick, 90 minutes) into Newcastle.

You can reach Edinburgh from Alnmouth in just over an hour.

On the rails again

Aln Valley Railway
Lionheart Railway Station, Alnwick (SatNav: NE66 2HT)
A trip on a re-opened one mile section of the old branch line towards Alnmouth from Alnwick’s new enthusiast-built Lionheart station on the outskirts of the town towards Greenrigg Halt.
(The original line into Alnwick was severed by the A1(M) and the town’s old station now hosts Barter Books).
Web: | @AlnValleyRail

Newcastle & Edinburgh by rail
You can travel into the heart of Newcastle (30 minutes away) or Edinburgh (60 minutes away) for a day’s city sightseeing from Alnmouth station.
Check travel times at