Just don’t pack your bucket and spade

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IT is a quaint country town which is host to Google’s best shopping street, but tourists don’t bring their buckets and spades to Alnwick.

The county town of Northumberland has been voted one of the most expensive seaside towns in which to live, but landlocked Alnwick is more than a stone’s throw from the coastline.

The figures released by Halifax’s Seaside Town Review also shows Blyth, which is by the sea, as the sixth least expensive seaside town in which to live.

As part of the Halifax review both have been included in the top 50 seaside towns with the biggest increase in property prices over the last 10 years.

It shows that the average property price in the town is £220,228.

Tim Hawe, head of residential Northumberland for George F White, said that Alnwick, which is five miles from the sea at Alnmouth, became a very desirable place to live in 2002 when Countrylife Magazine said the town was the best place to live in Britain.

“Prices undoubtedly doubled overnight after that,” he said.

“The rise continued until about 2007 when everywhere, including Alnwick suffered a bit of a drop of around 10 to 15 per cent.

“What we are finding at the moment is that quality still sells and quality locations, like parts of Alnwick, are still able to sell.”

He added that although Alnwick is not on the coast it is the market town associated with the coast and therefore attracts coastal tourists and holidaymakers.

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle said: “I can see the sea from my bedroom window and it is a good five miles away. It doesn’t seem to me as if they have done their homework terribly well or even visited the place.

“I would say Alnwick is a place that is not too far away from the coast.

“But anybody putting on their bathers and taking their bucket and spade out from Alnwick for a walk to the beach is in for a long slog.”

A spokesman for Halifax said: “The survey was done by postcode area of the coast. So even if postcodes are a couple of miles away it is still categorised as being within the coast area.”