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
jonoc2013, Bishop Auckland, United Kingdom
I’ve wanted to come here for ages and I’m so pleased I finally visited! It’s amazing and a place I’ll definitely return to...
The books here are well over priced. I use to like going but the prices are getting far to much money we will not be coming back.If you are wanting second hand books go to a another second hand book shop or a charity shop to have a look.As for the cafe stay away the price is not worth it
Next stop folks.....Alnwick bookshop!
NadiaE884, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
This is a wonderful place to spend a few hours or more in this beautifully renovated Victorian railway station. There are so many second hands books to browse through with nooks and crannies to tuck yourself away and have a quiet read. The waiting room is cozy and warm with the fire and perfect to settle back with a coffee and cake whilst reading your latest purchase. Great and quirky a must see when in Alnwick.
theharrogatelady, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Well I certainly didn’t expect to find such a huge bookstore with a model train, open fire and many seating areas. A very interesting place to have a coffee and a wander around. The shelves are packed and we were looking for a particular author. I typed in the name on one of the catalogue computers but apparently none of his books were in the store. We scoured the shelves just in case. As we were leaving we found the book next to the door! I told the story to the girl serving me but she just shrugged her shoulders and said £4.60 please!!
DrMikeK1984, Cambridge, United Kingdom
I regularly come to Barter books (normally on a Saturday). I visited today (Tuesday) with a view to a quick lunch, and had my laptop with me to get through a few emails whilst I ate. I was told by the waiter that I would have to put my laptop away as they're not allowed during busy periods! So seemingly it's fine to read a book in there (it is a bookshop after all), but to read a screen isn't ok? I also ate, had two drinks and left whilst several other tables nursed a cup of tea. I would have stayed the same amount of time were I using my laptop. The owners of Barter Books have lost a good customer today and would do well to remember that it's not the job of patrons to facilitate their business, but for them to provide a service to their customers. I won't be returning.