Why Alnwick is the weirdest but best hometown that hardly anyone’s heard of
The South? Never heard of it mate
Everyone from a somewhat obscure hometown knows the struggle of going to uni and having to describe where you're from. You spend half your time labelling it as close to the nearest city (which is still 35 miles away) and saying it's between two places that people would vaguely recognise.
Despite its obscurity, you still know it's kind of the coolest hometown. Well, fellow Alnwick locals, I'm sure you've all had the same trouble trying to explain where it is, but I'm sure you'll agree it's pretty great.
Alnwick Castle is the actual Harry Potter castle
It's always fun telling people about how in history class we could look over the walls of the castle to the place where our favourite boy wizard did his flying lesson in the first film. As soon as you mention this, suddenly everyone seems to know of Alnwick.
Not only do we have Harry Potter as our claim to fame, Alnwick boasts loads of filming sights for Downtown Abbey and Transformers to name a few, something we're quite proud of.
We've learned to hate tourists from a young age
For such a small, quiet town, the number of tourists that come pouring in during the summer is a nightmare. They come from literally everywhere to see the "tourist attractions" that Alnwick has to boast such as the castle, the gardens, the Treehouse, Barter Books – their Instagrams always end up the same. But I mean, can you blame them? It's a pretty Instagrammable place not gonna lie.
We're well prepared for going away to the big city and getting stuck behind slow walkers on the way to lectures. Yes, everything is pretty. No, you don't have to walk at a snail's pace blocking the whole pavement to avoid missing the same old architecture that's around the whole town.
That being said, our Instagrams are always the best
Summer in an old market town is really pretty, and we know it. From taking pictures with our ice creams by the column, having a bev or five in the pastures, or having lunch in Grannies or the Dirty Bottles, the town looks great in summer, and pretty much all year round.
We've got to talk about the "nightlife" though
The usual weekend routine consisted of heading out to one of two pubs in town where everyone you know from school would gather, usually Black Swan or Doc's, which will both never be as good as the Tavern used to be (our local that taught us how to drink from when we were about 15). We all knew how dire they actually were, but we enjoyed the cheap drinks before stumbling across the cobbles to I Won't Tell, the town's "nightclub" which was, quite literally, one room in the squash club with a little balcony area where you could observe all the night's shenanigans.
We've got the beach and the hills on our doorstep
It's pretty great being able to have the Northumbrian countryside on our doorstep, which meant spending every half-decent summer's day down at the beach 10 minutes away at Alnmouth, or going to crazy golf in Seahouses. It also means that dog walks in the countryside were almost a daily occurrence which, of course, meant more beaut Instagrams.
You learn to drive as soon as you can
Living in the countryside can be kind of isolated some times, especially when it's universally acknowledged that the county bus service, Arriva, is absolutely awful. It means that in order to get around and gain some much needed independence, everyone learnt to drive pretty much as soon as they turn 17. For the first person in the year to pass, life afterwards meant essentially becoming a glorified taxi service, cramming as many people as you could get into your five-seater Corsa on the way to school, the beach, Morpeth and Newcastle.
Yeah it was in the middle of nowhere but we loved it
There's something very cathartic about coming home from living in a city at uni and realising how quiet Alnwick is. Yeah the A1 runs right past the town, but otherwise Alnwick is bordered by just farmland, so at night the town is basically silent. Having the beautiful countryside and the best beaches in the UK within walking distance is certainly a highlight, and something we like to show off about on social media whenever we go home, because it really is the best hometown.