Possibly the best used bookshop in England, Barter Books opened in 1991 within the disused Victorian rail station of Alnwick, Northumberland; and has evolved into what the New Statesman Magazine calls ‘The British Library of secondhand book shops’ -a magical place where you are served coffee and cookies as you languish on overstuffed couches and chairs suffused with bibliophilic ecstasy. The store boasts a huge collection of rare and antiquarian books as well as second hand and trade; a cyber-cafe, a separate children’s room, and a model railway.
Barter Books is open every day, including Sunday; and Alnwick is worth visiting anyway. It is just off the A1 near the Scottish border; and a three hour train ride from Kings’ Cross which would definitely be worthwhile. (image by Meadow (heart symbol) Girl on flickr)