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An Accessible Weekend Away in Alnwick

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Alnwick Castle and the Lions Bridge darrenturner from Getty Images

I love to travel; it’s one of my greatest passions in life. Even more gratifying is when I travel as a disabled person. Traveling with a disability can be challenging, from booking trains to finding accessible and disability-friendly accommodation. But I’m determined to use my blog to show that traveling and having adventures when you have a disability is indeed possible.

Invited to The Hogs Head Inn in Alnwick

I was recently invited by a company called The Inn Collection Group to spend the weekend at The Hogs Head Inn in Alnwick. The Inn Collection Group is a group of one hotel inns in Northumberland, and the company is dedicated to making their services accessible and inclusive. So when they invited me to travel to Alnwick, I of course said yes! Me, my mum, and my guide dog Unity packed our belongings and headed on an adventure to Alnwick.

Discovering Alnwick: A Historic Town in Northumberland

Alnwick is a historic town near the coastline of Northumberland, England. Half an hour from Newcastle and an hour from Edinburgh via train, the town is best known for Alnwick Castle, which served as the backdrop for Hogwarts School in the first Harry Potter film and later Downton Abbey. Alnwick is a small town surrounded by rolling hills and the beautiful Northumberland countryside.

Traveling with LNER Trains: A First-Class Experience

We traveled from Kings Cross, London to Alnmouth Station with LNER Trains in First Class, which was pretty lovely, I’ll say. The service with LNER was faultless, and assistance was there on time to help us board the train. On the train itself, we were situated in a spacious part of coach K right near the disabled toilets.

The Hogs Head Inn: Accessible and Cosy Accommodation

After a 3 and a half-hour train journey, we arrived at Alnmouth Station and traveled to our hotel destination. We stayed at The Hogs Head Inn, which is about a 15-minute drive away from the station. The Inn is part of the Inn Collection Group, which is a group of inn-style hotels in Northumberland. The company is committed to making their establishments and services more accessible to people with disabilities.

Comfort, Cosiness, and Relaxation at The Hogs Head Inn

My hotel room was spacious, spotlessly kept, and very warm and cosy. The rooms have all of your appliances like a TV, hairdryer (a decent one), iron and ironing board, and a kettle. My bed and pillows were very comfortable, and there were also extra pillows in the room handy. The room also had ample furniture like a dressing table, table, and chair, and a wardrobe.

Exploring The Alnwick Garden: A Botanical Oasis

The next day after a buffet breakfast at The Hogs Head Inn, we headed off for a day of exploring Alnwick. The first place we visited was The Alnwick Garden, a collection of beautifully kept botanical gardens founded by The Duchess of Northumberland. The Alnwick Garden is a charity project, and all the funds from visitors are put back into funding and maintaining the gardens.

A Magical Visit to Alnwick Castle: Hogwarts in Real Life

The next place we visited on our travels was Alnwick Castle, which has been home to the Percy family for hundreds of years. It’s a beautiful castle surrounded by the rolling hills of Northumberland. The castle is also famously known for serving as the backdrop of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Barter Books: Europe’s Largest Second-Hand Bookshop

The final place we visited that day was Barter Books, famous for being the largest second-hand bookshop in Europe. Built into what once was an old train station, Barter Books is an Aladdin’s cave for bookworms. There were shelves upon shelves of books in all manner of genres.

An Idyllic and Tranquil Weekend Getaway in Alnwick

All in all, I had an absolutely wonderful time in Alnwick; it was a simply perfect weekend getaway. The trip has made me want to explore even more of what Northumberland has to offer. The Hogs Head Inn and all of the local attractions I visited were so warm and welcoming and simply a credit to the town. The hotel made my stay a very pleasant and relaxing one, and I returned feeling fully recharged. I would highly recommend Alnwick as a place to visit for anyone who craves an idyllic and tranquil place to visit.

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