Barter Books, Alnwick

“In a second-hand bookshop head to the back, find the old books with dust undisturbed and worn off covers for these clothe true treasures.”

Rachel Hall

Bookshop of Dreams

My new year’s resolution for 2019 was to blog at least once a month (setting the bar fairly low, I’ll admit.) Yet, here we are on the 30th January and I’ve yet to blog (oops) so I better get to it! I read somewhere that January is the month’s free trial you get before you properly subscribe to the year ahead. I am so onboard with that! In an effort to not break my resolution straight out of the gate, I thought I’d throwback to a road-trip we took in November to one of my favourite places in the world: Barter Books.

If you haven’t come across this beauty of a bookshop before, you’re in for a treat. Tucked away in the Scottish Borders, Barter Books was once a railway station. Fortunately, for bookworms like me at least, it is now a (huge!) treasure trove of second hand books. Think roaring fires, endless shelves, a delicious cafe, tea & coffee on demand and you’re about there. It’s also dog-friendly which makes it just about the best place on earth.

I was fairly restrained on this trip. Though I may have added a few Penguin Vintages to my collection—because I definitely needed another copy of The Catcher in the Rye, right?

Alnwick Castle

We had hoped to combine our trip to Barter Books with a tour of Alnwick Castle, but sadly it was closed for the winter when we went. (It reopens for the summer season on at the end of March if you’re reading this and fancy an adventure!) I’ve wanted to visit Alnwick Castle for quite some time now. Not only does it have an incredible history (its origins date back to the Norman period) it was also used as a filming location for the Harry Potter films. Remember when Harry has his first flying lessons at Hogwarts? Yep, that was Alnwick Castle’s gardens.

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.”

Sarah Addison Allen

Fortunately for us, you can get some gorgeous views of the castle from the roadside. I will definitely be planning another trip back this year so we can actually explore the castle—it’ll be the perfect excuse to return to Barter Books again too!

Do you have any favourite bookshops you love to travel to?

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