Now you've seen the landscape of Northumberland, drunk in the culture, the atmosphere and perhaps some of the beer it is time to turn your thoughts to gifts - something wonderful, unique and distinctively Northumberland - to take home and treasure. Something imbued with the spirit, the place the time and the passion of Northumberland and its people.
Though our forefathers might still feel themselves at home in our seemingly changeless towns and villages, some of the small shops and even stations they knew today house a range of new and exciting arts, crafts and skills. Galleries and workshops sparkle with new things, colour, originality and vision.
Discovering, seeking out and finding these galleries and shops is half the pleasure - they are half hidden gems in all parts of the county. Not all though are in our Market Towns. Many artists have their own galleries and studios which open to the public, and during June and July you can follow the Northumberland Art Tour where more than 100 artists across the county open their doors to all comers and bare their souls, their art (and hopefully little else) during June and July.
The former Alnwick railway station is now a famous second hand book store, Barter Books - a destination for booklovers the world over. The Chatton Gallery, FiFieFoFum, in Stocksfield, and the Crown Studio Art Gallery, Rothbury, are some examples of Northumberland’s many, many galleries showcasing local artists and makers.
Many of the great places to visit across the county have shops that stock the work of our local artists and makers. The newly redesigned shop at The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick Castle, Kielder Castle all exhibit arts, crafts and traditional objects - even shepherds crooks. Try Barn at Beal, not only for its phenomenal views of Lindisfarne but also the paintings and photography of local landscapes and wildlife. There is Kirkharle, the birthplace of Capability Brown, which offers a small collection of shops selling everything from ceramics and jewellery to locally made socks and a superb farm shop.