I am often asked to recommend various Alnwick cottages to rent. This delightful market town in Northumberland is fast becoming a highly popular short break destination, and when you visit you will soon discover why. The town is home to the magnificent Alnwick Castle (pictured above) and the inspired Alnwick Garden. It also has one of the largest second hand bookshops in the UK - Barter Books which is housed in the town's old railway station.
The castle dominates Alnwick. It is one of the most stunning fortified buildings in Europe and one of the largest inhabited castles in England. Not surprisingly it is known as The Windsor of the North. The castle has stood over the town since medieval times and you may recognise it from its recent starring role as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series of films.
Beyond the castle is the fabulous Alnwick Garden which is a joy not just for keen gardeners but also families and warrants a full day's visit itself. Cleverly designed with lots of opportunities for the kids to get wet and play, the gardens are of great interest horticulturally. Children can collect water in the mini tractors, paddle in the rills, see the many ways water can move in the Serpent Garden and dodge the Grand Cascade's jets. Plus, there's also one of the world's largest wooden tree houses to explore.
Alnwick originally prospered as a medieval market town, and it still retains many of its cobbled streets, narrow alleys and fine stone buildings which now house a range of specialist shops. Barter Books has the most extensive collection of books to suit all ages, enormous and yet cosy - with open fires - it provides a convivial atmosphere to browse in a leisurely manner. Some have called it The British Library of second-hand bookshops.
If you are staying at any of our Alnwick cottages a trip to the nearby coast is a must. Here you can find mile upon mile of empty sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, punctuated by picturesque coastal villages such as Craster - famed for its kippers - and Alnmouth. From Seahouses, tourist boats leave for the Farne Islands. This group of low-lying, uninhabited rocks is home to millions of seabirds including puffins, shags and guillemots, as well as colonies of seals. Along the coast there are also several impressive medieval castles some, like Bamburgh, occupied others, such as Dunstanburgh, now hauntingly ruined.
Northumberlandia is a giant earth sculpture shaped from the rock, earth and waste from a former open-cast mine near Cramlington, south of Alnwick. Already nicknamed 'The Lady of the North' the new tourist attraction is the world's largest human form sculpted into the landscape and has already finished third in an international competition to find the best satellite image in the world.
So, if you are looking for Alnwick cottages to rent, why not browse my selection to find something that catches your eye?
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8 Eastfield Hall Lodge, Eastfield. View on map>