Santa and reindeer at Bamburgh Castle

Celebrate the festive season in Northumberland

Christmas and New Year
Dust off your Christmas jumpers, woolly hats and chunky scarves; it’s time to get into the festive spirit. Wrap your hands around a steaming cup of mulled wine at Christmas Markets and experience a New Year’s Eve fire festival in Northumberland.

In one year and out the other...

There’s snow place like Northumberland during the festive period. Market towns strung with fairy lights, Christmas shopping for trinkets and gifts, quirky New Year’s Eve party events and dazzling stars that embed the county’s gold-tier dark skies, are all waiting for you at the most wonderful time of the year.

Soak up the atmosphere of our market towns and marvel at mind-blowing castles that become illuminated in Christmas lights at dusk throughout winter. Locally produced sweet mulled wine, indulgent nibbles and trinket gifts fit to fill your Christmas stockings are just a few of the delights waiting for you at Northumberland’s Christmas markets, including the Ford and Etal Christmas market. Be sure not to miss out on Northumberland's wonderful local produce from our farm shops and discover festive treats and tasty tipples to prepare you for that all important Christmas Day lunch.

Head to one of the fantastic Christmas events for festive fun taking place throughout November, December and January. Discover Christmas party nights, meet Father Christmas, attend a wreath-making workshop and see in the New Year with the unique Tar Bar’l Festival in Allendale. This 160 year-old ceremony sees 45 men carrying flaming barrels through the streets in a spectacular fire festival.

Go on a Boxing Day walk in Northumberland and watch the waves crashing on windswept beaches, breathe in the crisp air in Northumberland National Park, feel the tranquillity of Kielder Water and Forest Park and be at one with history on Hadrian’s Wall. Find a route to suit you on our Walking page.

Start a new Christmas Eve tradition with Northumberland’s sky full of stars. Make a flask of hot chocolate, get the family bundled up and admire the canopy of nature’s own fairy lights twinkling above you. You might even see Santa Claus dashing across the sky towards a coastal village in his sleigh! You can stargaze on the coast or in Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park, where you can feast your eyes on up to 2,000 stars at any one time. Find out more about where to stargaze.

Christmas Markets in Northumberland

Wrap-up warm and feel inspired at a Northumberland Christmas market. Come along to shop for your stocking fillers and Christmas crafts, find the perfect present for the mother-in-law you never know what to buy and treat yourself to some locally produced mince pies, gingerbread men and other festive treats. To plan your Christmas shopping in Northumberland, check out our Christmas market guide.

Festive Events for 2023 in Northumberland

Get into the festive spirit at Christmas with a trip to Bamburgh Castle where their state rooms are transformed into a spectacular festive experience inspired by The Twelve Days of Christmas. The Alnwick Garden have their award winning Winter Light Trail, which see's the the garden lit up after hours with spectacular sights and sounds full of family fun.

Our Christmas Markets and fairs include the Hexham Christmas Market, which takes place along the traditional Beaumont Street lined with colourful and elegant stalls with the backdrop of Hexham Abbey close by for a true Christmas experience. If you're after a bit of late night Christmas shopping then head over towards Hadrian's Wall for Christmas in Corbridge where you will discover a flurry of independent shops within the village centre to get that true Christmas feel. Belsay Hall's Christmas Fair is a traditional, festive gift fair where you will find Christmas gifts and crafts from local producers for your loved ones. Ford Christmas Market also hosts their annual Christmas event within Ford and Etal Estates in North Northumberland where you can ride the Heatherslaw Light Railway with Santa on the lead up to the big day.

Winter Wonderlands in Northumberland

Festive fun is available at Kielder Winter Wonderland set within the characteristic Kielder Water & Forest Park. This full day experience is packed with family activities to keep your little ones mesmerised all day. Help Mrs Christmas and the elves in their workshop prepare for the big day, whilst trying to find the big man himself, Father Christmas who will be relaxing in his grotto before his travels. Be sure to keep an eye on the Kielder Winter Wonderland website to book your tickets.

Festive Things To Do

Whether you enjoy a bracing winter walk along Northumberland’s coastline, cosy pub sunday lunches with family and friends, a spot of Christmas shopping, exploring Northumberland fairytale towns and villages or soaking up the culture and Christmas tradition at some of the finest stately homes in the region, Northumberland has endless experiences for everyone over the winter months.
Mountain biking in purple heather
Family walk in Northumberland
Family walk in Northumberland
Hadrian's Wall
Surf Northumberland
Outdoor adventures in Northumberland

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