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“Could've spent hours here”
Review of Barter Books

Barter Books
Ranked #1 of 14 Shopping in Alnwick
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the largest secondhand bookshops in Britain and the home of the famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Barter Books has become one of the largest tourist attractions in the North East of Englnd.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Could've spent hours here”
Reviewed October 26, 2012 via mobile

What a charming place. There's a lot of history on the shelves which adds to the interest. This place is worth visiting for the fruit cake alone. They should be marketing this to the supermarkets!

Thank JHT811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,111 reviews from our community

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English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great attraction”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

This is a first class use of the old station. The bookshop is well laid out and everything is clearly signed. Apart from just selling books / DVDs / CDs / records etc there are excellent eating facilities, nice clean toilets and comfortable sitting areas where you can brouse the excellent selection of books. The little train set running above the bookcases also adds to the atmosphere. The staff were all friendly and very efficient. I would recommend a visit to Barter books.

Visited October 2012
Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Best place to relax in Alnwick”
Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

Great place to chill. Really nice food and staff and you can spend hours browsing the books.Alnwickvis also a pleasent village to meander around.

Thank ay_derby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great place to look around”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

OK, so its a book shop - well it is but with a difference. It is housed in an old staion building with more books than you can shake a stick at ranging from cheap pulp paperbacks to rare (expensive) editions.

You can brouse and buy or bring your own and the staff will give you a credit for the ones they wish to retain (BARTER books, remember !) and give you the unsuitable ones back. You are then free to use your credit to buy books from their collection.

Its nice to brouse, or just sit and read - you can take your dog in and get drinks inside. If you are lucky they will have made up the open fire in the front room and maybe in the old railway waiting room which is a nice touch in the cold weather.

The collection is wide ranging and varies from day to day depending on what has been sold/brought in for barter.

Worth a visit.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank ian c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Fun, but didn't live up to the reputation”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Barter Books has quite a reputation to live up to, which perhaps is was why I wasn't knocked out by my visit. The shop is very charming but it is NOT easy to find what you are looking for. (On the plus side, it is easy to find many interesting things that you weren't looking for...)

The stock at Barter Books is not great. Miles and miles of the same kind of thing you would find in high street charity shops up and down the country - there is much less 'specialist' stock than I would have expected. For example I was looking for vintage American pulp fiction and found nothing (even with the help of staff) - ditto for business books about successful web companies (Google, Amazon etc).

I am not sure that their prices are particularly cheap either - the J.P.Donleavy hardback edition I bought was a few quid more than I might have expected.

But the cafe was pleasant enough (although the alcoves are VERY small if you find yourself sitting opposite two foghorn-voiced harpies who seemed to think they were shouting to each other across a nightclub) and the model train is fun and, well, who doesn't love browsing around big old bookshops?

Fun to visit - but maybe only once.

Visited September 2012
Thank favonian_oxon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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