Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems


Hidden Gems itinerary map

Keep your North East itineraries fresh and exciting by adding something different into your trip. Northumberland is home to some real hidden gems which will surprise and delight visitors, adding value to your tours.


1. The estate of Ford & Etal is home to a collection of sites and offers great value. Take a wander through the two picture perfect villages; Etal which features white-washed cottages with thatched roofs, Etal Castle and the delightful Lavender Tearoom. Ford village has a different style, but is just as picturesque and centres around Lady Waterford Hall. Not forgetting Heatherslaw Cornmill, the county’s oldest working watermill and the Heatherslaw Light Railway.

 2. Kielder Water & Forest Park offers unique experiences in a stunning setting. Take a trip on the Osprey Ferry and hear the story of how Kielder Water was created. Take tea and cake at Tower Knowe which also features an interactive visitor centre, or pop in to Kielder Castle for delicious homemade food in the Duke of Northumberand’s former hunting lodge. Group packages and discounts are available.

3. Near Kielder is the Heritage Centre at Bellingham which is next door to the Carriages Tearoom. Take some time exploring the history of the area, including tales of the rebellious Border Reivers then enjoy refreshment in the 1950’s train carriages on site.

4. A hotel and restaurant in Wark is the first in England to have their own observatory on site. Situated in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, the Battlesteads Observatory offers groups the opportunity to explore a truly dark sky with an expert who will guide them through the millions of stars and galaxies on show.

5. Macdonald Linden Hall is a stunning country house set in 450 acres of park and woodland. This Georgian hotel has 50 elegant bedrooms and offers fine dining in their 2AA rosette restaurant and the chance to relax in their health and leisure spa. Also on site is an 18 hole golf course.

6. Discover Bide-a-Wee Cottage Garden, a 2 acre garden created from a sandstone quarry and the only garden in Northumberland to be partnered with the Royal Horticultural Society. Diversely planted, its highlights include the National collection of Centaurea.

7. Enjoy a tasty tour of Northumberland Cheese and see behind the scenes of their dairy. Top off your visit with a tasting session of their award winning cheeses and add lunch in the Cheese Loft Café if you’re still hungry for more.

8. Enjoy a tour of Woodhorn Museum & Archives and travel through the years of history at this colliery. Take a journey through Coal Town and learn about the mining heritage, or explore the galleries which house The Ashington Group Collection, a display of the paintings by the Pitmen Painters, whose story was recreated in the award winning play of the same name.

Tourist Information Centre

We have 11 Tourist Information Centres across the county.

Contact Details

Hopefully this itinerary has given you some ideas for planning your group visit to Northumberland. If you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to contact Natalie at Northumberland Tourism – your group travel liaison.


01670 794900

Places and distances

Heatherslaw Light Railway
TD12 4TJ

Within half an hour's drive of the Northumberland National Park and Cheviot Hills, the historic border towns of Berwick-upon-Tweed and Kelso, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and magnificent Bamburgh Castle, this privately owned rural estate is the perfect group venue with a range of options for every age and interest, whether visiting for an hour or a whole day.

Kielder castle
NE48 1BT

Home to Northern Europe's biggest man made lake, the largest working forest in England, the darkest skies in England and voted Tourism Experience of the Year by Visit England, Kielder Water & Forest Park is the ideal destination for group travellers.

Heritage Centre at Bellingham
NE48 2DF

Award winning Heritage Centre at Bellingham

NE48 2DG

A unique dining experience on board 1950's train carriages.

Night sky
NE48 3LS

Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Wark, Northumberland is not only an official Dark Sky Discovery Site but is the only hotel in the UK with its own on-site observatory.

Macdonald Linden Hall
NE65 8XF

Set within stuninng 450 acres of Northumberland countryside, the hotel boasts a health club and spa facilities alongside an 18 hole golf course. We have an award winning restaurant and a pub, and the relaxing lounges and drawing rooms are perfect for morning coffee and afternoon teas. Take advantage of the surrounding grounds for long walks with the wildlife.

quarry pond
NE65 8PR

A Royal Horticultural Society partner garden with two acres, richly and diversely planted.

Cheese Making
NE13 6BZ

Come for a Dairy Tour in the heart of Northumberland, and see the true workings of Northumberland Cheese Company

Afternoon tea
NE13 6BZ

The Cheese Loft Cafe is based above the dairy at Northumberland Cheese Company, serving breakfast, lunch, and cakes. Local produce is used where available, and all cheese featured in the menu is Northumberland Cheese Company cheese, from the dairy downstairs. There is also the Cheese Loft shop, which sells the entire range of Northumberland Cheese, local honeys, local chutneys, crackers, cheese accessories, hampers, and other treats.

Wheel and entrance
NE63 9YF

Discover Northumberland's proud industrial heritage featuring art by the famous Pitmen Painters, an exciting temporary exhibition programme (which recently included Poppies: Weeping Window from the London display) and the county's archives.

Map of places in the itinerary

Group Travel Newsletter

Tourist Information Centres in Northumberland
Late availability noticeboard