Long regarded as the “hidden gem” of the UK, Northumberland is a county brimming with opportunities for an unforgettable holiday whatever the time of year. Famous for its stunning coastline and rugged countryside, picturesque villages and market towns to iconic attractions and word class events, you’re assured of a warm welcome. Read our handy seasons guide to decide when your first (or next!) visit will be…
Northumberland blossoms in the spring with the country’s most tranquil National Park, two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and many Nature Reserves waiting to be explored. Watch for the Ospreys returning to Kielder Water & Forest Park, discover rare Black Grouse in the heather moorland of the North Pennines AONB or watch Pufflings hatch on Coquet Island and the Farne Islands, while grey seals snooze on the shoreline.
Many of Northumberland’s heritage sites have stunning gardens, including the unique Quarry Gardens of Bide-a-Wee and Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens. Howick Hall, the ancestral seat of the Grey family since 1319, home to Earl Grey tea comes wakes up with snowdrops every spring. The Alnwick Garden is open all year round, but events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival highlight the delights of spring.
Visitors to Northumberland are spoilt for choice in summer, with an abundance of attractions and activities to choose from. Stay beside the seaside at Northumberland Coast AONB; explore Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne Priory and enjoy freshly-caught local seafood from one of the fantastic cafes and restaurants.
Venture inland and discover a multitude of walking, cycling and sightseeing opportunities. Delve into the epic history of Hadrian’s Wall. Discover the chocolate box villages of Ford and Etal, offering a range of activities and attractions from Heavy Horse Centre to a stream railway. The Heritage Centre, Bellingham is a hidden gem, celebrating life of the North Tyne and Redesdale communities, learn about life one of Englands rural communities.
At a time when many destinations are winding down, autumn is the perfect time for an indulgent trip to Northumberland.
If the weather isn’t favourable, lose yourself in Northumberland’s history. From Vikings to Romans, Border Reivers to Pitmen Painters, you can see them brought to life in museums and galleries such as the Roman Army Museum, Hexham Old Gaol and Woodhorn. At the end of it all, sit back in a cosy pub and sample a locally sourced menu.
Home to Europe’s largest International Dark Sky Park, Northumberland is the land that’s just as good with the lights off! Shimmering stars, dazzling meteor showers and the glow of the Milky Way can be seen in stunning clarity in winter. Learn from the experts at Kielder Observatory; stay in a Dark Sky Friendly cottage for DIY stargazing; take a midnight stroll on the beach for a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
By day, explore seaside towns and rural villages, especially around Christmas, when local producers show off the quality of their wares at festive markets and fairs throughout the county.