Barter Books A Priceless gem of a secondhand bookshop

Alnwick Gardens

 

Whilst camping up in Northumberland during the inclement July weather we headed towards Alnwick for the day, enjoying an informative guided tour of the Poison Garden, which is within the walls of one of the most family friendly floral encounters of my experience. There were fountains to music, walls and tunnels of water to explore, a bamboo maze, a hedge cloisters complete with green framed lookouts over different aspects of the garden and the kitchen garden amongst other highlights.

Later, we were strolling through Alnwick when we noticed an unusual iron arch with the words Barter Books in a semi circle above us. We walked up the path only to be surprised to find old Alnwick Station, now converted into a wonderful bookshop. Not content to boast of an unusual setting, you walk under a working model railway as you browse the bookshelves.

My husband was delighted with a copy of ‘The Story of Brooklands by W Boddy’ and I with ‘Channel Islands’ by Joseph E Morris, given as a gift in 1919. Then we were both pleased with the success of our lengthy search for a 1940’s Road Atlas of the British Isles.

Just as we were leaving we heard this amazing rumble above us and, realising that it wasn’t a train but the sound of a summer storm hitting the skylights, we retreated to the ‘Station Cafe’ where I enjoyed the most delicious mushrooms and Northumberland Rarebit (cheese on toast for any reader from overseas) I have ever tasted. Once consumed we paid for the books, put carefully aside for us while we ate, and headed out into the late afternoon sunshine.

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