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
Book Lover’s heaven!
I only wish I had more time to have a look around. Amazing second hand bookstore! There was so much to see. I doubt anyone leaves empty handed!
Crossstones1, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Some many books so little time - amazing collection of books - lovely cafe - you can spend hours browsing but will always come home with something- lovely biscuits available in gift boxes. Nice collection of poster old and new.
Not to be Missed
Susan T, Bristol, United Kingdom
We came to Alnwick to see the town and castle - but this fantastic second hand bookshop turned out to be the best place of all - well worth the short walk. There is a small car park on site, but if full there are lots of alternative ones nearby. The whole station area has been beautifully renovated to include not only books but a great café, self service coffee area, toilets and miniature railway running around the tops of the bookcases. Its just as well that the opening hours are generous (open until 7pm on Sunday was a welcome surprise) as you can spend much more time there than you think.
Janet H, Lincoln, United Kingdom
What a place! I can’t speak highly enough of the total experience. The original station has been sympathetically refurbished without losing its charm. It’s a place where time stands still whilst you immerse yourself into a world of books. We sampled their excellent breakfasts and enjoyed wandering through the corridors of books. We were visiting the area but it’s a place most definitely on our list to revisit.
alexlornie, Carnoustie, United Kingdom
As part of a coach tour in the area we visited Alnwick. We took time to visit Barter Books , just in the edge of the main thoroughfare. Wonderfully transformed Victorian railway station into a book store with cafe areas in the former waiting rooms. We had a coffee and a lovely cheese scone. Well worth a visit if in Alnwick.