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Living in Alnwick: The local area guide

Alnwick is a bustling medieval market town situated in the beautiful countryside of north Northumberland, 86 miles south of Edinburgh and 34 miles north of Newcastle. The town, the name of which rhymes with ‘panic’, dates back to around 600 AD and was traditionally an important agricultural centre. Around 1300 the town became the home of the powerful medieval baronial family, the Earls of Northumberland, who built the impressive Alnwick Castle which still stands today. The castle is still the home of Ralph Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland, and is also a popular tourist attraction, due in part to its appearance as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

The town itself is nestled behind the castle, and is made up of higgledy-piggledy cobbled streets which retain a medieval feel. It has a large number of attractions, galleries and museums, including the aforementioned Alnwick Castle and the beautiful Alnwick Garden. Its beautiful stone buildings are home to an excellent range of shops, plus a great selection of bars and cafes. Alnwick is located just 5 miles from the stunning Northumberland coastline.

Demographics

As of the 2011 census, Alnwick had a population of 8,116 people, 51% of whom were female and 49% male. 97.7% of people living in the area speak English and other top languages include Polish (1.1%) and Bengali (0.2%).

Alnwick is a relatively young town, with the average age of its residents being 41. The top occupations of people in Alnwick are skilled workers (15.5%), Professional (14.3%) and caring, leisure and other services (12.8%).

Education

Alnwick has a good selection of schools. Younger children are catered for by Swansfield Park First School, which takes pupils aged between 2 and 9 and was rated as ‘Outstanding’ in its most recent Ofsted report, and St Michael’s Church of England First School, which was awarded a 'Good’ rating.

Alnwick has three schools catering to 9 to 13 year old students, Alnwick The Dukes Middle School, Alnwick Lindisfarne Middle School and St Paul’s RC Voluntary Aided Middle School – all of which were rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted in their most recent inspections.

Alnwick only has one school catering for pupils aged from 13 to 18, which is The Duchess’s Community High School. This school is a specialist technology college and was rated as ‘good’ in its last Ofsted report, with pupils that are ‘keen to do well and display good attitudes to learning.’

Transport

Alnwick sits on the A1, the main national trunk road and is within easy access of both Edinburgh to the north and Newcastle to the south. Due to its prominent location on the A1, the town receives a lot of passing trade and tourism.

The closest railway station is located about four miles away in Alnmouth, which has trains travelling to Edinburgh (a journey of around 1 hour 10 minutes) 15 times a day, and to London (a journey time of 3 hours 45 minutes) 13 times a day. There is also a good bus service, with regular services from the town centre to the train station, around the town and surrounding areas and to nearby Newcastle and Berwick. The nearest airport is located in Newcastle, which has daily flights to London as well as European and international destinations.

Amenities and Shopping

Although Alnwick’s most obvious attraction is the stunning castle, there is much more to the town than that. There is a great selection of shops, from specialist family run business and charming boutiques, to the better known high street chains such as Dorothy Perkins, Morrisons and WH Smith. The town has a good selection of restaurants, though the most spectacular is The Treehouse Restaurant In The Alnwick Garden, which is genuinely housed in a tree house and features a log fire in the centre of the room and real trees growing though the floor.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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