Barter Books of Alnwick may not be the largest second hand bookshop in the country, but it must be one of the most unusual.
When we visit Northumberland we usually find ourselves at Barter Books which is housed in the Alnwick's old station. What is more, the owner is a railway enthusiast so the bookshelves are groaning with train related publications.
By was of a contrast, the inland waterways is diminutive to say the least - usually less than 20 books! That said, these slim pickings always seem to contain a gem.
When we were last there we took a lot of old books with us to trade in (hence the name) and used about £18 to buy a promotional brochure produced by the engineers who built the Foxton Inclined Plane.
One of the two overhead model railways
This time I picked up a copy of a book examining the Nutbrook Canal, one the the lost lines in Derbyshire. Its a fascinating book and one which will no doubt inform another "lost canal" walk in the near future.
Barter Books in festive mood
The range of books carried by Barter is immense and its well worth a visit if you are in the area. If books are not your thing the old waiting rooms house an atmospheric coffee shop complete with a real coal fire.