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
Love it, love it, love it!
Elaine M, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Did I say I love it? I'll say it again - I LOVE IT. What a fabulous place. If you're in the area you HAVE to visit. I had breakfast there then spent a couple of hours just browsing the books and watching the model trains go round the tracks above the bookcases. I didn't even buy anything. Not to be missed
Book Lover's Paradise!
KirstyEkua, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Barter Books has an incredible range of second hand books in every genre possible. Organised by genre, and clearly displayed, it's not too difficult to find what you're looking for. There's comfy chairs and tables dotted around giving it a relaxed ambiance. The only problem is the sheer number of books - if you're a book lover allow at least an hour to explore! There's also a coffee shop which we didn't have time to try but it looked nice. Be warned if you have a big car though - the car park is small with little space to manoeuvre.
A hidden gem!
Felt like I was walking into heaven! Beautiful, picturesque, great content, kind staff, lots to choose from. A little safe haven for any bookworm!
Disappointed - very!!!!
John B, Chester, United Kingdom
Heard sooo much about it .... couldn't wait to get there - and then couldn't wait to get away. Yes, great stock. Yes, lovely venue. But the prices are eyewateringly INSANE!! I love books and buy loads ... most are then given away to charity ... so they can make a few bob from them for great causes ... but £2.80 and often more for a second hand children's book that they probably paid pennies for is extortion in my eyes. Sorry, I don't have any problem with fair profit - but I have a really big issue with racketeering!!! Needless to say - I don't recommend it and won't ever be going back.
A fantastic place to visit. Massive range of books, something for everyone. Very reasonable priced. The food was good and the cafe staff were friendly and helpful.