Weekend Wonders: Barter Books, Alnwick


barter books

This weekend was a special one with both my siblings visiting, and 3 little cousins running around. Family time is always my favourite; and there was a fair amount of hysterical laughter.

Probably due in part to the amazing cocktails the Mr mixed up on Saturday night, I was in tears over childhood holiday stories. The one where my brother and I put an entire patio table and chairs into the swimming pool at a villa in Gozo, complete with my sister playing waitress, winning hands down.

Making new memories with extra mini people in the mix now, it’s a bit like Ramsay Street with everyone visiting as my parents recently moved into our cul-de-sac.

Exploring an absolute hidden gem, on Saturday we took a trip to the brilliant Barter Books in Alnwick. Where the “Keep Calm & Carry On” wartime poster originated, Barter Books was a train station in a previous life and is now one of the UK’s largest second-hand bookshops. Tucked away in the corner of the bookshop are a few little station waiting rooms which now live as places to grab a cosy cuppa and meal.

A fantastic place to take the kids, there’s a children’s section complete with Wheelybugs and a wooden train which doubles up as a large bookcase. The way the bookshop works is you can either buy books as normal, or trade in old ones. We have an account there, so regularly take in bags of books to build up credit.

Roaring open fires and a ceiling-high miniature train-line add to the atmosphere, making it a place to take comfort in both winter and summer months. So, we sat by the flames, soaking up the ambiance and stuffing ourselves with cake. Definitely a lovely part of a brilliant family weekend. And one to be repeated ASAP.


  1. brontespageturners March 21, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Goodness, I am jealous! I have wanted to go to this place for years. Will do one day…maybe when my TBR list becomes more manageable! Brontë

    • mummymode March 22, 2016 / 9:38 am

      You MUST go- it’s an amazing place, and you can get lost in there for hours…

  2. Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life March 29, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    I have lived in Northumberland my whole life ( Im in my 30s) and I have never visited here before, I have passed in the car many times but never ventured inside. I really must visit soon. It sounds like you had a lovely family weekend xx

    • mummymode March 29, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      Ahh you have to go- you’d love it and great for the kids too! It’s like a treasure trove xx

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