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
Gadabouts95, Grantham, United Kingdom
A great visit for anyone who loves books. Amazing selection, including some specials. Plenty of places to sit and read as well as the cafe. It is worth visiting just to see the beautifully restored building. We could have spent hours here. It is about a 5-10 minute walk out of the town centre but is well signposted so do keep walking, you can't miss it as it is on top of a small hill with a big arched sign over the path at the bottom.
A treasure Trove
For the book lover, casual reader or not this is a must. We even managed not to buy a book as in the throws of moving house, so not for us at the moment. But we had a very enjoyable visit in the great atmosphere of the old converted railway station. Even have model trains overhead in one section. We had a meal sitting in the old waiting room in front of the open fire. Don't miss this treat for all ages.
A Must See
Graham J, Nuneaton, United Kingdom
This is a gret place for browsing a very wide selection of second hand books but the greater attraction is that it is a unique venue blending nostalgic use of the former railway station with its new use. Fantastic ... and a very good cafe too with real log fires.
Cute and quirky place
DanielleN251, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, United Kingdom
Cute quirky place full of interesting nooks! They have jam packed every corner of this place and it’s awesome to wonder around. We couldn’t get a coffee as was full when we were there but was a great sign so many people enjoy going there so we weren’t bothered. They have heaters all around so despite being in an old railway building it was warm and they have open fires roaring too. Quite a few places to stop and read and have a seat which was nice too. Worth a visit to appreciate what an awesome job they have done here!
chris c, mold
good use of the old station. lovely open fires and chairs to sit and read before you buy. also has 3 'waiting ' rooms served by the café. lovely cheeses scones