St. Cloud State at Alnwick

Hadrian's Wall

After Acceptance

Congratulations on your acceptance into the St. Cloud State at Alnwick program. We are so excited you are going to become a part of the St. Cloud State at Alnwick experience and live and study in the Alnwick castle. The most important preparation you can do for going abroad is to research and be informed.

Please explore commonly asked questions below or reach out to the Alnwick program manager if you have other questions or concerns.


Make sure to explore the Program Calendar to find out when Pre-Departure Orientation is taking place. Pre-Departure Orientation will cover general safety and security tips as well as provide you with the opportunity to meet the group you will be traveling with.

You will also receive a comprehensive on-site orientation when you arrive in Alnwick to help you adjust to life in Alnwick.


Your airfare is included with all St. Cloud State programs in Alnwick, unless you not from a Minnesota State College and Universities location. Part of the application process will include all students submitting the “Airfare Commitment Form” so we know your plans for travel. Many students travel to and from Alnwick on the program dates outlines online; however, some students wish to travel after the program dates. If you would like to extend your trip or fly a different route than the group, please indicate that on your Airfare Commitment Form when it is give to you to complete. 

Safety and Security

Review the Education Abroad Safety Planning Page for information on safety when traveling abroad.

Important Numbers

UK Emergency Number 112 or 999

Alnwick Residential Coordninator (Wade Sherman)

+44 7712 679458
Sovereign Taxis - Alnwick +44 1665 606060
Public Safety - USA +1 320-308-3333
Education Abroad - USA +1 320-308-0119

To call the US from Alnwick dial +1 or 001 (this is the country code for the US and Canada) in your phone then dial the phone number. The country code for the UK is +44.


Apps related to safety

  • Safe@St.Cloud - the official St. Cloud State University safety app
  • me - offline navigation & directions
  • Circle of 6 – Two taps lets your circle know where you are and how they can help

Helpful Packing Tips

Pack light! Waterproof outer wear is essential. Bring clothing that can be layered. Alnwick Castle can get a little cold at times but you will also want to be able to layer your clothes when you are out and about because the weather in the UK can change quickly. Good walking shoes/boots are also a priority.

You will be provided a duvet (comforter), duvet cover, pillow, pillowcase, fitted sheet, and a towel for your use during your semester abroad. 

WiFi & Communication


Wi-Fi inside the Alnwick Castle is linked to the St. Cloud State University network. This means you will have access to Wi-Fi the entire time you are inside of Alnwick Castle in the SCSU spaces.

Wi-Fi outside of the castle and abroad is extremely common and it is very different than in the US. Often you will have to register to use the Wi-Fi or you will only be allowed 15 minutes free. It is not uncommon that you will be required to pay to use the Wi-Fi which will range from one hour up to a few days. Free Wi-Fi is available in many places in Alnwick (Barter books, Costa, pubs, etc.) but you will need to find it. 


The plan you have will determine how your phone will work in the UK. iPhones can be used for iMessage when you have Wi-Fi. You can also buy a cheap phone in the UK for texting and calling. Students in the past have unlocked thier US phone and inserted a UK simcard once they are abroad. Make sure to check with your phone service provider to make the best decision for you. 


There are a lot of really great Apps that will help you communicate back home for free. Here are some ones to checkout:

  • WhatsApp
  • WeChat
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • XE Currency Converter 
  • Trainline
  • Safe@St.Cloud
  • Uber/Lyft
  • Yahoo Weather

Resources for Family Members (including the Alnwick mailing address)

Explore the Education Abroad Family Resources page for more information on specific resources for family members.

Mailing Address for Students at Alnwick:

Student’s Name
St. Cloud State University
Alnwick Castle
Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1NQ

Doctor Information

Alnwick Medical Group

Open: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 6:30pm
Phone: +44 01665 656000
Address: Consulting Rooms, Infirmary Drive
Alnwick NE66 2NR UK

National Health Service (NHS)

You are insured by GeoBlue while abroad. Many of the services you may need, will be provided by the NHS but they do have the right to charge you directly if it is needed. If this happens, you will need to pay personally up-front and then file a claim with your GeoBlue insurance. The Alnwick Resident Coordinator and the Education Abroad Office can help your process the claim if needed. 

Program Health Insurance

Your program fee covers the required medical insurance. Included in the coverage is medical issues including emergency medical evacuation but also political/natural disaster evacuation. Your insurance provider is GeoBlue. You can review the terms of this insurance get more information from the Center for International Studies.

You can find more specific information on the health insurance policy on the Education Abroad Health and Insurance planning page.

You can also download the GeoBlue app for more information.

Also, as you will be studying in the United Kingdom, you are also covered under the NHS

Alnwick Castle Rules

Alnwick BadgeCastle Pass

When you arrive at the castle you will receive your Castle Pass.

You will need this pass to enter and exit the castle.
Each time you leave the castle, you will leave your pass with castle security. When you return, you will claim your pass from castle security.

Areas that are off limits

After tourist hours and outside tourist season you are not allowed in the RED areas.

Alnwick Castle Grounds

Alnwick Restaurants and Stores

Grocery Stores

  • Morrisons: A chain grocery store carrying a wide range of foods and supplies
  • Sainsbury’s: A chain grocery and general store selling things from housewares, clothing and food
  • NISA local: A small grocery store selling snacks, drinks and treats. Open late!

Coffee and Tea

  • Bari Tea: A locally owned tea shop with specialty tea and homemade soups and desserts
  • Costa Coffee: A coffee house chain that can be found all around the UK
  • Grannies: A small tea house for a nice cup of tea and sandwich


  • Strawberry Lounge: A place with sweets, great food and amazing milkshakes and scones
  • Greggs: Awesome cheap breakfast
  • Caffee Tirreno: Italian food with a great atmosphere
  • Chop Suey House: Chinese Food
  • Yan's Restaurant: Chinese Food
  • Mumbai Flavours: Indian Cuisine
  • Black Swan: Pub food
  • Dirty Bottles: Pub food, specializes in burgers!
  • Pizza Zone: Pizza, Kebabs, Fries – take away
  • Pizza Royale: Pizza! For take away
  • Liliburn’s: Variety of options and amazing flavors

 Department and Specialty Stores

  • Wilkonsons (Wilko): Homewares and home goods
  • Yorkshire Trading Co: Forgot something at home? This is the place to get it
  • Barter Books: A unique second-hand book store with a wide variety of book options and a restaurant to sit and read at inside
  • M&Co: A chain clothing store in Alnwick - you will also find them all over the UK
  • NEXT: British multinational clothing brand
  • Clarks Shoe Store: Shoes!
  • Dorothy Perkins: Women’s clothes
  • Superdrug: Pharmacy
  • WH Smith: Pharmacy
  • OxFam: Thrift store

 Thrift Shops

  • Oxfam: Selling a lot of books and various other things to help those in poverty
  • Mind: Selling clothing with a few movies and household items. Proceeds go to mental health awareness and help
  • Cancer Research UK: There are two of these shops in town selling clothing and a variety of other things. Proceeds go to cancer research

Travel Resources

Alnwick Taxi and Transportation Services

  • There are also many taxi services that can take you to places around Alnwick or bring you to the train station in Alnmouth. Here is a commonly used one:
    • Sovereign Taxis – Alnwick +44 1665 606060

Closest Train Station

The closest train station to St. Cloud State at Alnwick is the Alnmouth station. This is roughly 4 miles from Alnwick Castle so you will need to take a taxi or bus.

Closest Airports

  • Newcastle International Airport (NCL)
  • Edinburgh International Airport (EDI)

Budget Airfare Sites

Transportation and Housing Companies

  • Rail Card – train ticket discounts for National Rail
  • Trainline – Order train tickets on line (app version recommended)
  • Oyster Card – Transport card for London Underground and bus system
  • Paddywagon – Coach bus tours and trips around Ireland
  • – Booking hotels at a discount
  • HostelWorld – Reliable hostel review and booking site

Map of the UK

Map of the United Kingdom