Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alnwick's a Gift for Season's Shoppers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alnwick's a Gift for Season's Shoppers

Article excerpt

As well as a magical setting in the heart of Northumberland, visitors to Alnwick will discover a wide selection of specialist shops offering a unique Christmas shopping experience.

There's a great selection of gift ideas which aren't available on the high street, as well as festive fun days out for all the family.

The town's Market Place will be brought to life on November 24 when the Duchess of Northumberland switches on the Christmas lights. The switch-on, which is organised by the town's independent Christmas Lights Committee, is attended by many hundreds of spectators. It will take place at 7pm.

Alnwick Castle, the second-largest inhabited castle in England, is holding its Christmas fair on November 18. As well as unusual Christmas gift ideas, visitors can enjoy a fun-packed day of activities, good food, entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus.

The castle was recently awarded gold in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category at the second North-East England Tourism Awards. The award is an honour for the castle, which has made significant investment in developing its attractions and staff to ensure the highest-quality experience for visitors.

Marketing manager Elaine Carmichael said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the castle and we are absolutely delighted to have received the gold award. It recognises the hard work, commitment and investment over the past two years in developing the castle as a world-class tourist attraction."

The castle will now go forward to represent the region in the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence to be held in London next spring.

Alnwick Castle has been the home of the Percys, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland, since 1309.

The earliest mention of Alnwick Castle in the history books appears soon after 1096, when Yves de Vescy became baron of Alnwick and erected the earliest parts of the castle. The fortress was first restored by the 1st Lord Percy of Alnwick in the early 1300s and portions of this restoration remain today, including the Abbot's Tower, the Middle Gateway and the Constable's Tower.

Grannies delicatessen and tearooms in Narrowgate also scooped an award at this year's North-East England Tourism Awards. In the Taste of North- East England category, Grannies walked away with the silver award. The deli was established 10 years

ago by Linda and Pete Lee and has built up a great reputation for its local produce and home cooked cuisine.

Linda said: "We were over the moon and extremely proud to have won the award. The judges were clearly impressed by the shop on their visit. It's thanks to our wonderful staff and loyal customers that we have enjoyed such success."

Grannies' ground-floor deli stocks a great range of local produce, including homemade jams, chutneys, biscuits and local cheeses, as well as oils, pasta, and meats. …

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