Barter Books is one of the biggest antiquarian bookstores in the UK with a tremendous selection of books from antique to contemporary novels. The place is so big you could literally spend a half a day here easily, inside the building you will find the orginal waiting rooms with roaring fires and places to sit and browse the books, they do what their name suggests as well, you can take in used books and trade against new purchases.
Inside is the Station Buffet - Open every day except Christmas Day, 9:00-18:30. (Last orders for hot food is 18:00) The Station Buffet is owned and operated by Barter Books. The inviting ambiance includes an open fire in three of the rooms, while the menu specializes in the owners' own preference for comfort food at its best - all of which is home-made, using local produce whenever possible. This ranges from soups to bacon sandwiches and our own cutom made hotdogs to Northumbrian rarebit to baked goods to die for! Also on offer: barista coffee, teas, hot chocolate - and, yes, wine, too!
Back in April 1991, and in the face of a rather large overdraft, Mary Manley decided to open a secondhand bookshop - one that would be based on the swap system and called Barter Books. Her husband, Stuart, immediately took to the idea and suggested that Mary open the shop in the front room of what was then his small manufacturing plant, located in Alnwick's magnificent old Victorian railway station. From that time a joint partnership was formed that would eventually result in what the New Statesman magazine would call 'The British Library of secondhand bookshops'.
Open all year
With Disabled Toilet
We heard so much about this place so we had to walk to it and check it out! While I read everything on a reader now this was still a very neat place to see.
This is the best kind of book shop! It's huge, with hidden treasures if you just have the time and inclination to look. Book lovers heaven - could easily spend a whole day here and not get bored!
A rare second-hand bookshop with a good cae attached
mariannevictoria2014, Leamington Spa, England, United Kingdom
The bookshop is housed in the former railway station which is architecturally interesting, stocks books of quality and interest, runs a good Cafe and has free car parking. It is an excellent place to spend a hour or two in, particularly when it rains (which t often does in Northumberland).
Delightful, A Charming Place to While Away An Hour or Three
ramster999, Exeter, United Kingdom
I have visited Barter Books on four occasions now and haven't been disappointed once. The building is lovely and welcoming from the moment you walk through the door - especially on colder days when they have the coal fire burning. The choice of books - endless. The atmosphere - inspiring. And of course there is always the journey down memory lane checking out the old Ladybird books that some of us learnt to read with. I haven't tried the cafe that they have here but it looks good and the dining rooms (old waiting rooms) look pleasant and cosy. If you are a book lover then Barter Books is a must if you are in this neck of the woods.
Great & unusual place
Well worth a visit.... there are so MANY books to browse whilst having a coffee. They do a lovely lunch/meal