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Out and About

The White Swan Cottage in Alnwick is an ideal base from which to explore the fabulous Northumbrian countryside and its National Trust sites. Alnwick Castle and the world famous gardens created by the Duchess of Northumberland are within a couple of minutes walk of the hotel and, just a short drive away, the unspoilt beaches of the North East coast, the magnificence of Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island and Lindisfarne.

Alnwick Castle and Gardens
The home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is famous both for being an often-used film location most notably for Harry Potter and for the first Blackadder series. Also for its contemporary gardens created by the present Duchess. The magnificent collection of art includes work by Canaletto, Titian and Van Dyck and a collection of unusual objects, meticulously collected by the 1st Duchess of Northumberland, includes gloves belonging to Elizabeth I. Surrounded by grounds landscaped by the famous Capability Brown, you can explore the state rooms, then wander round the gardens which include a stunning water cascade and one of the finest tree houses you will see anywhere.               
Alnwick Castle
         Alnwick Gardens

Cragside House and Gardens
Cragside is an imposing Victorian property, surrounded by gardens and woodland, which houses one of the most fascinating collections in the world. This was the home of Lord Armstrong - Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius. Cragside House was a wonder of its age, being the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. It is crammed full of ingenious gadgets, and the gardens feature one of the largest rock gardens in Europe leading down to the Iron Bridge, which in turn leads across to the formal garden. Cragside offers a tremendous adventure for children, and the curious with a network of paths and tunnels cut out of a vast area of rhododendron forest. 
Cragside House and Gardens

Holy Island and Lindisfarne
One of the most famous visitor attractions in North East England, Lindisfarne Priory sits on Holy Island and is cared for by English Heritage. Sitting offshore and reached by causeway only at low tide, the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful views in the priory make a visit here an essential part of any visit to the North East Coast.Originally home to the Lindisfarne Gospels, this site was an important centre of early Christianity, and the home of St Cuthbert. In 635AD St. Aidan came from Iona and chose to found his monastery on Lindisfarne. The Christian message flourished here and spread throughout the world. Today you can see ornate carvings on the extensive ruins of the monastic buildings and enjoy the serenity that first drew the monks here. Holy Island is not only a centre of pilgrimage. Its tranquility, spirituality and scenic beauty attracts a number of visitors to its shores every year. It is also a haven for wildlife with many migrant birds and seals to be seen in the waters.
Holy Island and Lindisfarne

Barter Books
Barter books are a 5 minute walk from White Swan Cottage and is one of the largest secondhand bookshops in Britian and Home of the original
'Keep Calm and Carry On' Poster. Back in April 1991, Mary Manley decided to open a secondhand bookshop - one that would be based on the swap system and called Barter Books. Her husband, Stuart, immediately took to the idea and suggested that Mary open the shop in the front room of what was then his small manufacturing plant, located in Alnwick's magnificent old Victorian railway station. From that time a joint partnership was formed that would eventually result in what the New Statesman magazine would call 'The British Library of secondhand bookshops'.
Barter Books

Walkers will love the breathtaking beauty of the Northumberland National Park, and close by are several golf courses to challenge the enthusiast. With the bustling city centre of Newcastle and the ever popular Metro Centre only a 40 minute drive away, there’s plenty for everyone.

Cycling Route
Alnwick to Berwick-upon-Tweed - NE66 1NQ
Starting at Alnwick Castle this 62 mile ride follows NCR1 along the coast to Bamburgh and on to Holy Island with its ancient monastery and castle, before going off road to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Links to local attractions:
Alnmouth Golf Club
Alnwick Playhouse
Bailiff Gate Museum
Bamburgh Castle
Chillingham Castle
Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course
Hardy Fishing
Kielder Forest and water Park
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
North Northumberland
Northumberland National Park
Shepherd’s Walks

 

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