Friday, 8 June 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On (a sanctuary of a shop)

If you live in England, I'm sure you'll have seen this on posters, door mats, bags etc:

Well, the original poster was found at a wonderful second hand book store in Alnwick called Barter Books-link! It's just the most enchanting place for several reasons: 

1. It is the second biggest secondhand book shop in England so there's LOADS of choice.
2. They have real fires and comfy chairs; you're encouraged to curl up with a pile of books before committing to buying.
3. A lovely coffee shop.
4. You can take your old books and get credit for them which you can use to purchase other pre-loved books- although it's a thriving business, nothing about this place reeks of consumerism (which makes a change from most shops).
5. They also sell DVDS and vinyl.
6. Not only do they have a kids section, they have a special sections of older/ rarer/ early-edition books for a special gift. For Valentine's Day, we bought Ben a beautiful illustrated early edition of 'Wind in the Willows'. 
7. It has a train set that goes round the ceiling! 

Half of my degree was literature, I teach English and am an avid reader but regardless of your taste in literature, I would defy anyone not to love this place.

If you're ever in the North-East of England, I can highly recommend it.
{Loads of choice}
{Comfy seats}
{Fab children's section}
{Train that goes around the ceiling}
{Ben on one of the scooters for children to scoot round on}
{Me questioning Steve on which book to pick for Ben}

This is a place that is magical for both children and adults: a real


  1. I love the look of this place, wish I lived nearby! x

  2. Wow - looks like a wonderful place. Great that they have fun things for children so that the adults can "lose themselves" in the books!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. I love it! Book shops are by far the best thing ever-- they need to open a branch over here lol!

  4. I read about this a while ago through World Book Night and have wanted to go ever since. It looks like he most beautiful little place! Maybe when I'm living in Newcastle and will be a bit closer, eh? Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Yes, you defo need to visit but make sure you give yourself a good couple of hours to really explore.x

  5. That place looks like Heaven to me!

  6. I love this place. I first went there when I was 17 and it was like Shangri-La. I was fascinated to later discover it was the source of the 'Keep Calm' phenomenon

  7. Oh my goodness I saw a video about this book store a while ago and have been wanting to go and see it forever! On day I will get myself to England and check it out. Looks like you had a great time!

  8. Hi Rachael!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your great comment ... it was pretty amazing how bad my painting skills were, but it was great fun.

    This book shop looks amazing ,,, I have never been to the North of England, but will definitely make a plan to get to Alnick ... that bookshop looks gorgeous.

    I hope you had a good weekend!