Explore Alnwick with the Visit Northumberland App

 AD - This is an advert for March 2024. Any shares / edits beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. Always check with venues direct for the most up to date info. Step into Alnwick is funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority. 

Explore Alnwick with the Visit Northumberland App

The Visit Northumberland app is FREE to download for both Apple and Android users. Now I was born and bred in Northumberland and raised my children here. Plus thanks to my job, I reckon I have probably enjoyed more days out in the region than the average person.


So you can imagine my surprise when the Visit Northumberland app presented some options for a day out which I'd never even heard of! 

We used the Visit Northumberland app to plan a day in Alnwick as part of their 'Step into Alnwick' campaign in early March 2024. Alnwick is somewhere you can easily spend a day mooching around and following your nose but I will say it's VERY easy to miss some of the town's gems. 

That's where the app comes in - it's super easy to discover things to do and it's built in map system means that it's easy to find these places too. 

Of course, Alnwick is home to world-class attractions that most people have heard of. Alnwick Garden, Alnwick Castle and Lilidorei are all 5* experiences that aren't to be missed. But the beauty of the app is that it helps you to extend your day and support / visit local businesses and lesser known gems in the town centre too. 

We started our day at Alnwick Garden (more on that later) and parked in the garden car park. It was so easy to walk into Alnwick from here and nice to not have to worry about parking for the rest of the day. The Alnwick Garden Car Park is open until 7pm and costs £3.50 per day. 

Alnwick is also very easy to reach by bus with the X15, X18 & X20 all available from Newcastle. 

We found the app to be super user friendly - it has exclusive offers (discounted local sausages on the day we visited), bookable experiences and you can check to see which attractions are close by or filter by category depending on what you fancy doing (attractions / food & drink / health & beauty / coffee shops / marketplace etc.....).

The Visit Northumberland app features a wealth of information and it's so easy to have it all in one place. Above is just a snippet of the info it shares about Lilidorei - you can easily access opening hours, open up a map and call or message them, all in one place. 

5 Reasons to Download the Visit Northumberland App 

  1. It's FREE to download
  2. The app is suitable for both Android and Apple users 
  3. The app shines a light on local businesses and will help you discover some hidden gems 
  4. Exclusive promotional offers are available for app users only 
  5. The app features built-in google maps and opening hours / contact info so it's easy to find venues and attractions on foot 

We discovered so many lovely places thanks to the Visit Northumberland app and it was really easy to find them using the built in google maps. Here's where we discovered..........

The Hardy Store & Museum 

I must have walked past this loads of times and I've definitely noticed the signs but I didn't really know what it was. It wasn't until I was browsing the Visit Northumberland app for nearby things to do and clicked on it for more info that I found out more and decided we should definitely visit. 

The Hardy Store & Museum is situated in the heart of Alnwick Town Centre and is a free to visit atttraction. The Hardy family have been based in Alnwick since 1872 and create some of the finest rods in the world. I am no fisherman, but as I stepped inside their store I was blown away by how beautiful their rods were. You have to see them and admire their craftmanship.

The helpful staff greeted us on arrival and when we mentioned we were here to see the museum, they pointed us upstairs and mentioned if we'd like to take a closer look at anything to just let them know. They were so friendly.

The museum upstairs showcases fishing rods and apparel from over the years. It was really interesting to see some of the sizes of fish that had been caught locally. I was intrigued by the pickled prawns that were used as bait and still in their jar from over 100 years ago! 

There are hands on activities for kids (and adults) including buttons to press, stories to listen to and a fun fishing game to play. All completely free.  I can't believe we hadn't been here before. 

Check current opening times and get directions in the Visit Northumberland app. 

Bailiffgate Museum 

We do have two reviews of Bailiffgate Museum on our website but they've both been written by guest writers. I personally have not visited and wasn't sure of the exact location so we used to Visit Northumberland app to find it. I was surprised with just how central it was. We didn't have time to visit on this occasion but now I know where it is, I'll be back at a future date. 

The museum shares 10,000 years of local history across two floors with hands on fun for children too. This attraction also won an award as the 'best family friendly museum' (in the whole of the UK) a few years ago. I'm really pleased the Visit Northumberland app will help spread the word. 

Dirty Bottles Lunch & Escape Room 

It's easy to browse the Visit Northumberland app for ideas for places to stop for a bite to eat or drink. I decided to book Dirty Bottles which is a real favourite of ours. It's easy to call them and book / discuss dietery requirements through the Visit Northumberland app. 

This pub is so beautiful and the food is always reasonably priced and of a high standard. Dogs are welcome in the bar and there's a kids menu / high chairs. We definitely recommend the Smokehouse special - two meats and two sides for £15. Such a good deal and a huge portion. 

Did you know that this pub is actually cursed? Legend has it that one of the previous innkeepers tried to clean some bottles but as soon as he touched them, he dropped dead!

His widow announced that nobody else must touch the bottles or they would surely suffer the same fate. So the bottles have been trapped inside two windows and remain untouched today........ 

You can see the cursed bottles for yourself when you visit the pub (but maybe don't get too close). 

As I was using the Visit Northumberland app to plan our day in Alnwick, I spotted an Outdoor Escape Room which is linked to the curse of the Dirty Bottles Pub and knew it was something we'd enjoy trying. 

I clicked through and booked our game through the Visit Northumberland app. It was £29.99 for up to 6 players and should take 60-90 minutes. 

You need a phone with GPS and data to play it and it's suitable for wheelchair users/pushchairs (although there are some inclines) and is dog-friendly. 

We played as a team of two adults and two teens and needed to use the 'clue' button twice. I'd say this escape room is ideal for ages 8+, teens and adults. 

The outdoor adventure takes you around Alnwick and you have to solve clues, collect items for your spell and you'll meet characters from Alnwick's past and learn a thing or two. It was really fun and interesting too. 

My favourite part was stopping outside the town's traditional barber shop and learning that they used to keep a bear in there!!!!!! 

We enjoyed learning more about Harry Hotspur as part of this game too. I am pleased we managed to complete the outdoor escape room and did indeed save Alnwick from the curse. Heroes! 

You can find out more about this outdoor escape room and try it yourself via the Visit Northumberland app under the 'travel and tourism' tab. 

Local Independent Businesses 

The Visit Northumberland app highlighted lots of local businesses to us and we enjoyed browsing (and shopping) in Alnwick town. Below are some of my favourites: 

I definitely would have just walked past this unassuming door but after reading about The Beehive in the Visit Northumberland app, I knew we had to pop in. It's a real tardis and huge upstairs - a treasure trove of antiques and unique items. I had no idea this was here and I'm so pleased we popped in and it's now on our radar. 

I spotted a limited offer for 20% off Jellycats at Ruby Tuesday for those using the Visit Northumberland app (sorry - this has now expired but do keep an eye out for future offers on the app's homepage) and wanted to treat the kids so we popped by. 

There was a HUGE selection and Ruby Tuesday is a gorgeous store. We ended up with a Sloth for Jack and a Pain au Chocolat for Dee. I could have taken them all home with me. 

And I'd also spotted on the Visit Northumberland app that there was an independent pet store in Alnwick so we had to drop by to pick up a few treats for our dog Fozzy. You can choose to 'follow' the businesses listed in the Visit Northumberland app and if you do this, you'll be notified of upcoming deals and offers. 

What a lovely pet store. We always try and support independent pet shops where we can so I was delighted to discover this new-to-us one. We picked Fozzy some treats from the pick and mix shelves and a new duck which he was over the moon with. 

Alnwick's Large Visitor Attractions 

As I mentioned at the start of this post, it's difficult to visit Alnwick and not stop by one of their large attractions. They're some of the best in Northumberland and are of course, included in the app. It's really easy to book tickets and experiences via the Visit Northumberland app, check opening hours and other info. 

We spent the morning at Alnwick Garden before venturing into Alnwick Town and it was so peaceful. We were there for opening and a morning coffee in front of the fountains was the nicest way to start the day. 

I'd definitely recommend investing in an Alnwick Garden annual pass if you're local because although the gardens aren't in full bloom at the start of March, we were still able to spot early signs of spring which really brought me joy. It's a lovely place for a relaxing walk at any time of year. 

Alnwick Garden is home to the largest cherry orchard in the world. It is SO stunning when in full bloom and I feel extremely lucky to have this on our doorstep. 

One of the gardener's mentioned to us that the cherry blossom is likely to be in bloom from 10-19 April. Obviously this isn't set in stone but you can click through to the Alnwick Garden website from the Visit Northumberland app and watch their live 'blossom watch' cam to check on it's progress. 

We decided to take a Poison Garden tour (included with admission) and this is a really interesting activity to try with older kids / teens. They tailor the tour to the seasons and we learned all sorts. Including why you should not keep Daffodils in glasses you drink from and why women should be in charge of cutting hedges.

Our final stop in the garden was to see this LEGO model which is just beside the Poison Garden. How fantastic.

What a lush day we had in Alnwick. It was genuinely massively enhanced with us using the Visit Northumberland app and we discovered lots of new-to-us businesses and things to do. There's a real range of activities on offer - something for everyone.  

Why not download the FREE Visit Northumberland app and plan your own day in Alnwick soon? 

I'm ending this post with one of my favourite images from Alnwick Castle (which re-opens for the season on 29 March 2024) and Lilidorei.

We didn't visit these attractions on this occasion but recommend them both. We are planning a return trip to Alnwick Castle later this summer and will definitely be using the Visit Northumberland app again to discover new ideas for things to do / places to grab a bite to eat afterwards. 

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Explore Alnwick with the Visit Northumberland App

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1 comment

  1. This app sounds super handy. I'm always looking for new places to explore with the family, and it's great that the app helps find hidden gems.


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