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
John M, Norwich, United Kingdom
This was our second visit to Barter Books and like the first time, we enjoyed it. Each being a bit of a bookworm, we loved browsing around. There is a lovely cafe, selling gorgeous scones and other soul foods! The old waiting rooms have been changed to allow for tables and quiet seating...a nice touch. There are also communal tables in the middle of the shop, should you wish to sit and chat or read. The only reason I have marked this venue down to four stars is their restrictive parking. They really have done what they can with the limited space they have and I commend them for that. It’s a pity they cannot get hold of more space. We were staying at a guest house only 300 years away, so walked...but not everyone has that option. If you fancy whiling away some time with a good book, a lovely coffee and something tasty, then this is the place for you!!
A bibliophiles dream!
This place is amazing! There are so many books to look at, and the book related decor is so fun to look at. I wish we had saved more time to explore this bookshop. Their cafe has delicious food and scones, and fun quirky themes at all the tables. This place is a must do for lunch and browsing the cool shop!
A Treasure Trove of Old Books
Cliff J, London, United Kingdom
If you like second hand books then this place is a must and well worth a detour to visit. The shop is in/on the site of the old Alnwick Railway Station. and there are around half a million books on the premises. The books are divided into sections, so you can quickly find the area you are interested in. There is lots of seating and you can browse for a book and then sit down and have a read. You could easily spend a whole day there, especially if it was raining outside and it has a café. It’s a ‘find a table, note the table number and order at the food counter type café. The food is excellent and the menu quite extensive, ranging from hot food, sandwiches and salads to tea and cakes.
Hill_family_uk, Kilbirnie, United Kingdom
Amazing place and well worth a trip. They have a huge selection of second hand books in very good conditions. You would need days to explore it properly. My daughter loved the children's section and I really needed more time amongst the 'grown-up' books. Very pleasant staff and I got a 10% discount because I spent more than £30. Love the model trains in the roof. There is parking but it's tight - try parking to the right-hand side which has more room to turn.
Great bookshop for all interests
liason_m, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
A great range of books available and a great building to be in. Definitely different with a train going round above your head! Lovely restaurant in there too.