Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Northern Delight

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Northern Delight

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

It was recently described as the best place to live in Britain. But does the medieval market town of Alnwick live up to the hype? Located just 30 miles north of Newcastle in the heart of Northumberland, this delightful area is surrounded by unspoilt countryside and long sandy beaches.

Steeped in a rich and ancient history, Alnwick is filled with cobbled streets, winding alleyways, and impressive buildings, but still manages to have all the amenities you would expect of a thriving modern town.

Alnwick is renowned for its many specialist shops and family businesses, which combine with the craft fairs and coffee mornings held around the central Market Place, to create a truly charming atmosphere.

There is also a farmers' market on the last Friday of each month, which adds to the traditional British feel that makes the town so appealing to residents and tourists alike.

One of the town's most famous shops is Barter Books, which has more than 350,000 titles to choose from. The store, believed to be one of the largest second-hand book shops in England, is based in a listed Victorian building, which was once the town's railway station.

There are also a host of high-street shops surrounding the medieval marketplace on Narrowgate, Fenkle Street and Bondgate Within, for those with more mainstream tastes.

But Alnwick's greatest attractions are intimately bound to its colourful history, which is filled with bloodthirsty battles between the English and Scots and dramatic events dating back to 600AD.

Alnwick Castle is magnificent, featuring spacious grounds and stunning rooms, which deserves its place as a nationally renowned tourist attraction and unspoilt location for filmmakers.

The second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, it is currently occupied by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and has been the home of the Percys since 1309.

The first mention of Alnwick Castle in the history books is in 1096 when Yves de Vescy became baron of Alnwick. …

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