Map of places


A  town off of the A1 from Scotland to England, Alnwick  has many attractions and is a centre for visiting more. The Scottish Borders and the Northumberland Coast are easily reached.

Top attraction within the town is Alnwick Castle - used as Hogwarts in Harry Potter films. Also in the town and very much connected with the Castle is The Alnwick Garden designed by Duchess of Northumberland.

Alnwick is the place for Barter Books, set in the old Alnwick station building, it is one of the biggest second hand book stores in Britain.

The town has many gift shops, coffee bars and restaurants.  it is also big enough for a supermarket, several nationwide stores and many banks.


Come into the town from the A1 and the first establishment is The Oaks Hotel. Walking down from here into the town takes you past Barter Books and onto The Plough. Further downs and across the street is The Fleece and round the corner from this and up Hotspur Street, a steep hill,  is Ye Olde Tanners Arms. Roll back down this hill and go through the ancient gate into the town centre. Here on the right is The White Swan Hotel which has Harvey's Bistro in it. Further along the town the road splits in two and by taking the right hand fork The George is on your left. Further along this road and down a hill brings The Black Swan (formerly The Hairy Lemon) followed by The Dirty Bottles (formerly Ye Olde Cross) and round the corner Oddfellows Inn (for sale).

Now you now need to turn around and go back up the hill and turn right. This brings the Penny Black and then  a little bit on is The Market Tavern.  At the end of this road you come out on the left hand fork from the town centre. Across the road and down to your left is The Queen's Head hotel while across the road and up to the right is the Alnwick Arms (now Mr Fox)followed by The Blue Bell Inn (formerly The Alnwick Gate). This is the road leading out of town therefore past the Alnwick Gate turn up to the left and follow the road round to the left. By turning up the next right you will find hidden, The John Bull.

The Oaks Hotel, though missing a few letters has an attractive bar area. It looks like the main door is set on the roundabout but it is easier to go down to the right and in the actual front hotel entrance at the patio and car park. the servery is in front of you and dining height tables are around the room.  There is a large patio outside (one of few in Alnwick) at the car park. Restaurant is round to the left.  Harry Potter stayed there during filming at Alnwick (Hogwarts) castle. A Marstons establishment.

Well worth a pint.

Real Ale:    61 Deep (Marstons);  Hobgoblin;  Jennings Bitter

Bitter:        Marstons smoothflow

Lager:        Stella, Fosters, Carling, Birra Moretti                                

Cider:        Stowford press                    Guinness + cold

The White Swan Hotel is the fancy hotel for the town. The bar is round to the left from reception with the samll serveryto the right. An old coaching inn, its interior was salvaged from the Titanic's sister ship the Olympic.

Have a pint

Real ale:           Village Choir (VIP);  Doombar

Lager:          Carling;  Prevha

Cider:          Magners

The Fleece is an old fashioned corner pub with a lounge to the right and the bar to the left. Through from the bar is a pool room. The serving area, painted black and mirrored, caters for lounge and bar. The bar has a bay window and 3 tables. It is partially carpet and rest tiles.  The lounge has tables around the sides  and has a real fire. The bar has the large TV and an electric fire looking small for the space. Food is plain but good value. A Punch Taverns establishment.

Two pints here.

Real ale:        Blonde;  Porter (both Creedance);  Black Sheep

Bitter: John Smith

Lager: Fosters;  Carling;  Stella

Cider: Strongbow Guinness

Tanners Arms (formerly Ye Olde ... ) is basically a one room bar with seating around the corner. It offers music some weekends and real ale all of the time. The seating area has a wood burning stove, covered benches and small round tables with a couple of red stools each. A place to drink not lounge on sofas.

The Good Pub Guide regular including 2021

Have a pint

Have a pint

Real ale:  Galatia (Wylam);  Game Bird (Born in the

                   Borders);  Red Kite ; Farmhouse (Tempest)

Lager:  Portman lager;  St Mungo

Cider:  Thistley Cross;  Stowford press

The Plough bar and restaurant is attached to the Bondgate boutique rooms. The main drinking area is to the right of the main restaurant entrance. However, the counter lops round like an old style island bar and also serves a room on the other side. Beyond this area is the restaurant. The decor is light wood and light colouring and furnishings with bright lighting. There is outside seating

Have a pint

Real Ale:      Tomothy taylor;   Black sheep

Bitter:          John Smith

Lager:          Carling;  Birra Moretti

Cider:     Stowford press Guinness

Click picture to enlarge...


What expression explains why floggings were carried out on deck in 18th Century navy?



Ann Cleeves bases her Vera Stanhope series, shown on TV, in Northumberland. As usual, better read than viewed.

Drink and Music



Cigarettes and alcohol




Tennis – 13 – ten line judges, net official, foot fault official, umpire

Alnwick is one  of The Times' top 20 weekend retreats 2014 and was one of The Times' top 30 best towns in Britain 2013.

Wine is sunlight held together by water.


Galileo Galilei

Sherlock's favourite pubs for dogs

A very good town for dog friendliness - lots of pubs let me in.

The White Swan Hotel (I stayed here) and The Black Swan pub are great for being fussed over and both let me stay at meal times. The Tanner’s Arms  is a place to meet other dogs. The John Bull is also good. Treats to be had in The Market Tavern while humans eat.


Barter Books allows dogs and has treats and a roaring fire. Unfortunately the castle and gardens do not let dogs in.



The Ale Gate is a new micropub between The Fleece and the Plough on the Fleece side of the road.