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How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

10 posts
How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

My mother and I are planning a trip to Scotland and we have set aside one day to visit Alnwick castle as I am a huge harry potter fan and it looks interesting in general! We were hoping to travel on our own there, via trains and buses, as the pre-planned tours don't give us enough time there. We will be staying in Edinburgh, wanting to catch a train from there to Alnmouth and then the bus from Alnmouth to Alnwick (this will be on a weekday, probably a thursday). I have already looked up the trains, and I feel comfortable pre-booking those, as there is only one train on the weekday morning that will get me there early enough (I want to be in Alnwick by 9:30 am.

My question is: What should I all pre-book? I would feel okay pre-booking the castle and train, as I feel uneasy leaving it up to chance and there was only the one train that really worked for us. But do I need to pre-book the buses from Alnmouth to Alnwick and back? We were wanting to leave after the castle and garden closes (5 or 6), and it looks like there are quite a few going that evening. I didn't think I would want to pre-book the buses (in case the trains weren't on time, etc.) but I noticed the buses only leave every hour, so if one is booked, it could make a mess of our plans. Do they get booked full often? should i pre-book them, if so what is the official bus site that I would visit?

A couple additional questions regarding Alnwick castle and gardens, are the gardens worth it? I am very interested in the castle and in harry potter, so how long should i plan on spending there? how long at the gardens?

I realize that's a lot of questions, but any help would be appreciated, thank you!

London, United...
Level Contributor
4,046 posts
76 reviews
1. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

You can't pre-book the buses. They are just local buses and you pay the driver on the day.

When I went to Alnwick by train, we took a taxi from Alnmouth to Alnwick. This saved having to deal with the infrequent bus timetable. You *can* pre-book a taxi or you can ring for one on arrival at Alnwick. We called for the taxi from Alnmouth but then arranged to meet our driver at a particular time and place for the return journey.

I've been to Alnwick twice and never got round to going to the gardens. If you're a Harry Potter fan, do take a (free) guided tour as it covers some of the stories about filming on site. There are also sometimes free (but book when you arrive) HP-related activities.

10 posts
2. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

Oh okay, thanks! I wasn't sure, as there was somewhere else we were going on a different day (on a different bus system) and we could pre-book. I wonder if the local buses ever get full? Just wanting to make sure we wouldn't miss our train! But it's good to know there are taxi's available as well, that might be our back-up option in case we ever miss our bus or something!

I was looking up the Gardens online and tripadvisor, as they have great reviews but the more i looked into them, I wasn't finding much I'd be interested in. I'm thinking now that we will just do the Castle and then if we are done early, maybe walk around Alnwick (not sure if there is anything to do here or not, but we just thought parts of it were cute for pictures). Would that sound like it alright plan?

Edited: 10 June 2016, 23:39
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,911 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

make sure you visit Barter Books


Also Alnmouth is a lovely seaside village if you have time.


Guildford, United...
Level Contributor
2,954 posts
83 reviews
4. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

I doubt if the local bus ever gets full, although there is an unlikely chance that you might have to stand.

As said below, barter Books is interesting (it is in the old railway station). Alnwick itself is quite pleasant for an hour or two. Alnmouth is also nice with walks along the beach although it isn't that close to the station.

If the bus times work out you could also visit Warkworth with another castle and riverside walks.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,911 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

Also if you fancy a walk in Alnwick there's Hulne Park


Pop into the White Swan for afternoon tea and see what the inside of the Titanic looked like.



Oak Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
305 posts
14 reviews
6. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

Alnwick is an ancient market town and you will very much enjoy walking around. Barter Books, within easy walking distance of the castle, is perhaps the largest second hand book shop in England, certainly northern England, with very nice prices. It is in the old railroad station and quite interesting to see as well. This is one of the big tourist attractions of the area.

The Duke has inherited a pile of priceless art and a tour of the castle is highly recommended-beyond the Harry Potter stuff. The last few episodes of Downton Abbey were filmed here as well-Edith's paramour Bertie inherited the pile and various scenes were filmed inside that you will recognize if you are a Downton Abbey fan.

The train trip from Edinburgh is very scenic along the water and you will have a very nice day.

As are the gardens. The water course is spectacular. If you are going to the castle, I think it would be foolish to give the gardens a miss. They don't take up a lot of acres so they are very doable on your schedule.

Northumberland UK
Level Contributor
53 posts
45 reviews
7. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

I would probably recommend pre booking a taxi you can find recommendations on the forum or knights of Alnmouth or Alnwick taxis can be found on the web , you can call one from the station but you may have to wait. If there are two of you it is not much more expensive than the bus c £10 one way . I think the buses only run hourly so you may save time,

The Alnwick gardens are nice if the weather is good and if you are interested in gardens see what you feel like on the day you can pay on the day . Alnwick is well worth a walk around old Georgian architecture some nice cafes but small and contained Alnmouth village is c a 1.5 mile from the station nice beach nice cafes

Level Contributor
300 posts
177 reviews
8. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

We enjoyed the garden. A great poison plant area and there is the treehouse as well. I think it was really worth the time to visit but you will have to watch your time if you will only be there for a day and not overnight. We took a taxi to the train as I did not want to risk being late etc. Also make sure to have train tickets printed. The person checking tickets on our train was annoyed when I showed the barcode ticket.

Chapel Hill, North...
Level Contributor
9,734 posts
39 reviews
9. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

We just did Alnwick. We came up from London and spent the night. We took the bus to and from the station. We loved Barter Books and had a great time at Alnwick Castle and enjoyed the gardens a lot too. If you're a Harry Potter fan you might enjoy a meal at the Treehouse at the garden. It reminded us of the the Weasley's house, the Burrow. I don't think you have to pay the garden fee to eat at the Treehouse but we enjoyed the gardens too.

Edited: 28 June 2016, 09:08
10. Re: How to get from Alnmouth to Alnwick? Alnwick Castle question

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