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16 March 2023

10 things to do in Northumberland this Easter

Easter events, experiences, spa days and spectacular walks are just a few of the things Northumberland has to offer for an Easter break. Read through our list of 10 of the best things to do in Northumberland this Easter for some inspiration (and some TERRIBLE hot cross puns). 1) Chick out our wildlife           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Billy Shiel's Boat Trips (@billyshielsboats) Spring is a fantastic time to discover Northumberland’s wildlife. Boat trips from Seahouses harbour to The Farne Islands resume in April, where you can see hundreds of adorable puffins up close. Kielder’s ospreys have made a return and you may be lucky enough to spot them when you visit. The best places to look out for them are at the dam, Tower Knowe Visitor Centre, Leaplish Bay at Kielder Waterside and the weir at Bakethin. They fish at any time of day, but early morning and early evening are your safest bet. Chillingham Wild Cattle re-opens on 15th April, so head along to see the rare animals before paying a scary visit to Chillingham Castle, known for its extremely high levels of paranormal activity. Extend your trip by staying at peaceful and luxurious Chillingham Manor, the beautiful Grade-II listed building which is perfectly located near a number of Northumberland attractions. 2) Be all ears           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Observatory (@kielderobservatory) Learn a new skill under Northumberland’s dark skies at one of our observatories. Kielder Observatory runs fantastic events that range from Introductions to Astronomy to Aurora Nights, covering every interest and level of expertise. Aiming to encourage everyone to experience moments of inspiration, wonder and hope through observing the cosmos, the team are passionate about offering their guests a magical and informative evening. Battlesteads Observatory also offers excellent stargazing events, and you can make a night of it here by dining in their exquisite, eco-friendly, award-winning restaurant, and stay overnight in their hotel rooms or self-catering accommodation. 3) Find an egg-cellent last minute deal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Jane Riley (@beachnquiet) It’s not too late to book an Easter break in Northumberland if you haven’t already. Beach and Quiet  offers beautiful, cosy cottages, where the delightful fishing village of Craster is less than half a mile away, where you can see Dunstanburgh Castle, try Craster kippers, and explore paths along the coast leading to the superb sandy beach at Embleton Bay. If you are a larger group or are looking for a couple’s retreat, visit our late availability page for some last minute steals. Crabtree and Crabtree offer a number of stunning self-catering options that still have availability too. 4) Discover hare-raising history           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Vivi & Becky • Van Life Europe (@viviandbecky) Following its annual winter closure, Alnwick Castle has re-opened just in time for the Easter holidays. Set in the magical town of Alnwick, this staggering castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the country and has been home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family, the Percys, for over 700 years. Combining magnificent medieval architecture with sumptuous Italianate State Rooms, Alnwick Castle is also known for its starring role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films. Explore the magnificent grounds, have a flying lesson at the very spot where Harry Potter learned to fly, and explore Alnwick’s cobbled streets afterwards where you will find a witch-themed cafe, one of the largest secondhand bookshops in Europe, a treehouse restaurant and, of course, The Alnwick Garden. 5) Take it over-easy           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by ABIGAIL ♡ TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE (@abigailrose_94) For those tired teachers or anyone wanting a break, how about a sumptuous spa day at staggering Matfen Hall. This magnificent country house hotel is set in the heart of some of Northumberland's most beautiful countryside and offers a luxurious leisure club featuring a swimming pool, gym, aerobics studio and 5 beauty treatment rooms. Make this a getaway by booking a stay in one of their elegant hotel rooms, enjoy dinner in their grand but inviting Emerald Restaurant, and how about a round of golf at their fantastic 27-hole golf course. 6) Spring into Northumberland's gardens           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Alnwick Garden (@alnwickgarden) Northumberland has a number of flourishing gardens to boast about and they look particularly dashing in spring. The Alnwick Garden is brimming with daffodils at this time of year and Prunus blossom flutters in the breeze in the Ornamental Garden. The Poison Garden is as exciting as ever and, if you dare to enter, you can expect to discover around 100 deadly, toxic, intoxicating, and narcotic plants. The boundaries of the Poison Garden are kept behind black iron gates, so access is by guided tour only. Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens is another stunning spot to enjoy an Easter day out, particularly as they have their Easter trail. This cracking adventure quest involves a hunt for clues and challenges, as well as traditional Easter games like egg rolling and the egg and spoon race. Track down the Easter eggs and you’ll be rewarded with a chocolate treat and an adventurer’s certificate. 7) Eat your way through Easter Sunday           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by JULIA🤍FOOD BLOG (@belterbait) A roast dinner is an absolute must during the Easter period and what’s better than letting someone else do the cooking and the washing up for you by going out to eat. Northumberland has so many cosy pubs offering fresh, local pub grub, such as The Holly Bush Inn. Based in Northumberland National Park, it was an Old Drovers Inn dating back more than 300 years. A bar stocked with real ales, snug interior and friendly atmosphere makes it a great place for a relaxed meal with family and friends. 8) Find out what's hoppening at Bamburgh Castle   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bamburgh Castle (@bamburgh_castle) Bamburgh Castle has a brimming events calendar ready for the Easter holidays. Visit Marley the Miniature Pony, the local celebrity who has appeared on Come Dine with me and Countryfile, for a short cart ride. Don’t forget to soak in the sea views, explore Bamburgh village and visit sweeping Bamburgh Beach while you’re here. 9) Go walking on egg shells           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) There’s nothing better than a beautiful spring walk at Easter time. The sun often decides to make an appearance, early spring flowers can be spotted and fellow walkers give off the relaxed atmosphere that can only be found on someone who has a few days off work. Keep your eyes peeled for Cragside House, Gardens and Estate’s Gorge Walk, complete with trickling streams and picturesque scenery that will make the perfect family walking route. Northumberland offers so many different walking routes that can be enjoyed at this time of year, from family-friendly and short walking routes to longer, more challenging hikes. National Park routes, coastal walks and nature trails are all here in Northumberland waiting to be walked all over.  10) One for the history teachers           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Andy (@andyck87) /*if(window.FB){window.FB.__buffer = true;}*/ A fantastic family day out, or maybe one for the history teachers to get stuck into, spend the Easter season in Corbridge, the historical market town complete with stunning architecture, fantastic pubs on almost every corner, independent shops and bakeries and one of the oldest historical sites in Northumberland. Corbridge Roman Town was once a bustling town and supply base where Romans and civilians would pick up food and provisions. It remained a vibrant community until the end of Roman Britain and today you can wander through the town’s streets and imagine life as a Roman. The museum is also home to the Corbridge Collection, the largest of the Hadrian's Wall's collections. We hope we have left you with enough inspiration to have a fantastic Easter trip to Northumberland. Tag us in your Easter adventures at @visitnorthumberland or use the hashtag #visitnorthumberland. Author: Jenni Meikle  
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17 February 2023

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes in Northumberland

If you haven’t seen it, Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes is a must-watch. He takes viewers to his favourite beauty spots in the North East, showcasing many of Northumberland’s highlights. Throughout the series, there is a focus on mental health and the healing power of Northumberland’s stunning natural landscapes. Follow in his footsteps with our guide to where Robson Green visited in Northumberland, what activities he did and how you can do them too. Episode 1 - The Northumberland Coast In the first episode, Robson Green explores Bamburgh and admires Bamburgh Castle before hiring an electric bike from Go Electric Bike Hire. They deliver his e-bike directly to him, and he cycles the stunning Coast and Castles cycle route from Seahouses to Bamburgh. He then settles down for the night at spectacular Bamburgh Under Canvas, an adult-only glamping site offering luxurious Bell Tent accommodation just one mile from Bamburgh village. The following day Robson Green pops into Swallow Fish of Seahouses to try some smoked kippers, a Northumberland delicacy, before trying his hand at stand up paddle boarding with KA Adventures at beautiful Beadnell Bay.
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10 February 2023

10 things to do in Northumberland on Valentine's Day

As Valentine’s Day looms, romance blooms in Northumberland. With a coastline full of romantically ruinous castles, a star-studded sky where the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye and awe-inspiring landscapes to explore together, there’s something for every type of couple to celebrate their love in Northumberland. Whether it’s filling your boots at a candle-lit feast or dusting off your hiking boots to set out on adventure together, here is our list of 10 things to do in Northumberland this Valentine’s Day: The Hopeless Romantics 1) Stargazing For the dewy eyed duos who like to spend Valentine’s in a traditionally romantic manner, spend the evening hand-in-hand beneath Northumberland’s dazzlingly dark skies. There’s something spectacularly moving about a star-studded sky, and we aren’t just talking about standing on your driveway and looking up. Make sure you are in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and spot the almost incomprehensible number of stars that look like diamonds that have been lodged into the sky. Head to one of Northumberland’s Dark Sky Discovery Sites with a flask full of tea and a couple of deck chairs in your boot. Or book an evening at one of Northumberland's observatories - Kielder Observatory offers a range of stargazing sessions and Battlesteads Observatory still has availability for Astronomy for Absolute Beginners events on Valentine’s weekend. 2) Spa day         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by LAURA CRANSTON | BLOGGER | (@girltalkwithlaura) There’s nothing like taking some time to relax together by sinking into a hot tub, unwinding in a sauna and sipping on a glass of bubbly to finish it all off. In Northumberland, Georgian stately homes, opulent estates and Edwardian mansions have been renovated into serene spa hotels, offering indulgent Couples Massages and tranquil spa and fitness centres to while the day away in. Bask in Doxford Hall’s heated pool, Slaley Hall’s bubbling hot tub, or Matfen Hall’s soothing sauna (please note Matfen Hall will be closed for Valentine's Day 2023, re-opening spring 2023) and treat yourselves to an intimate day out. The Table for Twosomes 3) A Romantic meal for two For some, Valentine’s Day calls for a feast complete with an overflowing sharing platter and delectable desserts and Northumberland is the perfect place for a foodie love affair. Battlesteads’ restaurant serves exquisite local dishes using vegetables, herbs and fruits that are grown in their own gardens and polytunnels, mushrooms from their on-site old shipping container-style mushroom farm. Along with a Head chef who smokes his own meats, fish and cheeses on-site, you can savour fresh, local flavours with their five-course or eight-course tasting menu, then follow up your meal with a home-made fruit gin and some stargazing at the hotel’s own observatory.       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Battlesteads Hotel (@battlesteads) on Sep 7, 2019 at 4:52am PDT 4) Sea-Foodie Festival How about a fantastic seafood feast at The Lindisfarne Inn. The Inn’s location makes it perfect to pair with a trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, where the spiritual priory and a castle that perches on the edge of the coast are there to be explored and you can sip on Lindisfarne Mead (ALWAYS check causeway crossing times before visiting). The Cosy couples 5) Hide away for the weekend         View this post on Instagram A post shared by Northumbria Cottages (@northumbriacoast) on Feb 1, 2020 at 1:22am PST Sometimes, all you want to do is… well… absolutely nothing. Especially at this time of year when the temperature has dropped and curling up on the sofa with your hands wrapped around a warm mug of frothy hot chocolate is far too tempting. Northumbria Coast and Country Cottages have a selection of self-catering cottages to hide away in your pyjamas and fluffy socks together. Crackling log burners, spectacular sea views and romantically remote locations are common features of their properties, so take your pick, stock the cupboards full and cosy up together for your romantic retreat. 6) Find an open fire       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lord Crewe Arms Blanchland (@lord_crewe_arms) on May 9, 2019 at 6:10am PDT Already got your accommodation sorted? Find an open fire pub in Northumberland and spend the evening warming your toes with a glass of wine in-hand. The Twice Brewed Inn, The Ship Inn, The Boatside Inn and The Lord Crewe Arms are just a few examples of pubs with wood burning fireplaces that set that romantic, glowing ambiance that will make your heart melt. The Couples that Train Together 7) Mountain Biking While some couples like to cosy up together, others are itching to get out and have completed an early morning adventure together before some of us have even rolled out of bed. If this sounds like you, spend your Valentine’s weekend scaling Kielder Water & Forest Park’s mountain biking trails. Forestry England’s off road routes are waiting to be explored by thrill-seekers, so tackle the Bloody Bush trail, the Lonesome Pine or the Deadwater red and black trails to take in the plummeting, 1900 ft summit of Deadwater Fell together. 8) Watch the sunrise       View this post on Instagram A post shared by (@thenorthernhikers) on Feb 1, 2020 at 1:08am PST Make the most of your ‘morning person’ attributes by packing up a flask and some snacks then heading somewhere beautiful to enjoy a private sunrise breakfast for two. Pull your bobble hat over your ears, step into your walking boots and hike to Hedgehope Hill in the rugged Cheviots in Northumberland National Park, where extensive views across Breamish Valley are paired with the blissful sound of silence. The Pet Parents 9) Family beach day If you can’t go anywhere without your (four-legged) baby in tow, take your dog for a windswept beach walk on one of Northumberland’s many dog friendly beaches. Commit to the coastal path walk from Craster, where Dunstanburgh Castle sits on the coast, to Newton-by-the-Sea. Dunstanburgh Castle can still be seen in the distance from this quaint civil parish, and you can warm up with a coffee or a hearty pub lunch bursting with local flavours at The Joiners Arms. Dogs are more than welcome in their beautifully rustic and cosy restaurant (because three is never a crowd when the third wheel has four legs!).       View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Joiners Arms (@joinersarmsnorthumberland) on Nov 3, 2019 at 10:04am PST 10) Roam along the River Tweed Take your dog on a cultured day out and head to Berwick-upon-Tweed, the cobbled town that teeters on the border of England and Scotland. Explore its quaint alleyways and independent shops before scaling the Elizabethan Town Walls that hold such significance to the town’s haunting history. Viewpoints over the romantic River Tweed and the three bridges that stand proudly over it can be enjoyed en-route as you wander hand-in-hand (and lead in-hand) along the walls and down to the quayside. Then, stop off at The Lookout Café, a dog-friendly, waterside eatery that sits along The River Tweed. If you can bear the cold, it’s worth sipping on your coffee from their outdoor seating area to watch the sun lowering over the river’s sparkling waters.
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08 February 2023

Free things to do in Northumberland

There are so many amazing things to do in Northumberland that don't cost a penny. With incredible forests and coasts, beautiful gardens, the second largest Dark Sky Park in Europe, as well as historical sites and Hadrian’s Wall to discover. There is something around every corner, from family-friendly days out to the perfect routes for cycling enthusiasts. All you need is to know where to look for a fantastic, budget day out in Northumberland. From free attractions to activities that cost less than £10 per person, use our guide for your next budget break. Explore Northumberland's beaches           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Harry & Lydia | UK Travel Creators (@thenomadsyouknow) A Northumberland beach trip is one of the best ways to spend a free day out in Northumberland. Northumberland’s breathtaking coastline is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), so you can expect nothing less than pristine beaches perfect for a family day out, picnic, sunbathe or sea dip (if you’re brave). Quiet bays, the Northumberland Coast Path and incredible castles are all there to admire, from the tranquil beach at Druridge Bay to the coastal walks and imposing castle at Warkworth. Discover Bamburgh's hidden gems         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Duesy Duesbury (@duesy_2022) Beautiful Bamburgh is a firm favourite for Northumberland visitors, but did you know about the fantastic RNLI Grace Darling Museum that is tucked away just one street behind the picturesque high street? Entry is completely free and the museum commemorates the life of Victorian Britain’s greatest heroine, who risked her life to rescue nine survivors from the wrecked SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838. Inside you can find stories about Grace’s life in the lighthouse and the events that led to her becoming a heroine through her letters, family portraits and the famous coble used in the rescue. If you’re looking for things to do with the kids in Northumberland, make sure to combine a visit to their museum with a trip to Bamburgh Beach, where you can get a spectacular view of Bamburgh Castle. Do the Magic Bottles Adventure in Alnwick           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Escape Key (@escapekeynewcastle) A day out in Alnwick is a must-do when you visit Northumberland, and can make for a cheap family day out. Take a virtual tour of this cobbled market town with The Escape Key’s Magic Bottles Adventure. Inspired by the cursed bottles that hang in the window of The Dirty Bottles pub in Alnwick and, with a touch of witchcraft and wizardry, you will use your skills to solve clues and win ingredients for the spell to put the curse back in the bottle and save the town. The tasks are varied, from logic problems and numerical challenges to word based and visual puzzles, as well as selfie challenges, and it costs less than £10 per person (based on a group of four). You can admire amazing Alnwick Castle en-route, and pop into Barter Books (free entry) to browse through their secondhand book selection, enjoy the warmth of the roaring fireplace and grab a bite to eat or drink. Discover ancient history           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most spectacular remaining ancient structures in the world, and Northumberland holds the longest stretch of it. The best part is, it is completely free to pull on your hiking boots and explore the length of Hadrian’s Wall, admiring outstanding views of the National Park landscape as you do so. There are a number of car parks available depending on which section of the wall you would like to explore, and if you are travelling car-free you can take the AD122 bus service in the summer which stops at all of the main sites along the wall. There are also attractions, forts and museums you can visit if you would like to learn more about Northumberland’s history that cost £10 per person or less, including Vindolanda, The Roman Army Museum and the iconic Sycamore Gap. Walk all over The Lady of the North           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Peter Greig (@chameleon__360) Northumberlandia, otherwise known as The Lady of the North, is a fantastic, free spot to spend the day in Northumberland. The site is the world's largest human landform sculpture and this landmark feature resembles a woman who is carved out of the landscape, rising around 34m high and 400m in length. This country park is free to access, dogs are welcome (but must be kept on leads) and the site boasts magnificent views across the Northumberland countryside. There is also a Visitor Centre and small café open daily from 10:00 to 17:00. Visitors can enjoy a woodland walk, wildlife interpretation boards, a bird-feeding station and various events throughout the year. Wander around Ford and Etal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) Ford and Etal is an incredibly picturesque, quirky hidden treasure in Northumberland and is completely open to the public. Step back in time and stroll along the quintessentially British, old-fashioned streets, browse the Pre-Raphaelite paintings in Lady Waterford Hall, and explore the grounds of Etal Castle. Then, pick a picturesque spot to enjoy your pre-packed picnic, or enjoy a bite to eat in the Lavender Tea Rooms. Be sure to visit Heatherslaw Corn Mill and browse the gift shop for locally sourced sweet treats and souvenirs, and have a tour of the fascinating corn mill for a small cost. Make sure to check opening times ahead of visiting, as many of Ford and Etal’s attractions close during the winter months. Do some independent stargazing           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Dan Monk (@danmonk91) Northumberland’s Dark Sky Discovery Sites are designated sites that have been awarded special status due to the outstanding quality of their dark skies. Positioned beneath the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, the second largest Dark Sky Park in Europe, they are completely free to access and offer a breathtaking evening of solitary stargazing. All you need to do is wrap up warm, turn off your headlights when you arrive and enjoy the awe-inspiring view of a gold-tier rated dark sky, where you can see thousands of stars, the Milky Way, and the Andromeda Galaxy (2.5 million light years away) with the naked eye. The whole of Northumberland National Park and most of Kielder Water & Forest Park make up our International Dark Sky Park.  Try a waterfall walk           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Polar_brock (@brock_and_betty) Walks and hikes are a great way to spend a free day out in Northumberland’s amazing landscapes, and wandering to a waterfall is a magical experience to enjoy as a family without spending a penny. Linhope Spout, Hareshaw Linn, Harthope Linn and Hindhope Linn are just a few examples of Northumberland’s stunning waterfalls that can be reached on foot, with amazing scenery to admire along the way. With varying levels of difficulty, length and terrain, be sure to do your research prior to your adventure by looking on specific walking route websites, such as Northumberland National Park. Head to Holy Island           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Will Holligan (@will.holligan) The journey across the causeway to Northumberland’s tidal island is an experience in itself. Make sure to check the tide times before you visit to make sure it’s safe to cross, then drive along the incredible causeway and admire the views as you go. You will feel like you are heading into the world’s best-kept secret, and once you arrive on the island you can enjoy breathtaking sea views, a beautiful beach, a spectacular view of Lindisfarne Castle and free samples of Lindisfarne Mead from St Aidan’s Winery. If you do want to visit some of the island’s attractions, explore Lindisfarne Priory for less than £10 per adult and less than £5 per child, or head into Lindisfarne Castle for similar pricing. Now you are set to discover Northumberland and enjoy a budget friendly day out without compromising on experience, enjoyment or adventure, whether you are looking to spend a relaxing day at the coast, have fun with the family, or soak up some history and culture. Author: Jenni Meikle  
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13 January 2023

23 for 2023

We have rounded up 23 things to do in Northumberland in 2023, so you can scroll through some of the best things to do in Northumberland, add them to your bucket list, and book your next trip for a year filled with endless experiences. Make sure you tag us in your Northumberland adventures at @visitnland/ @visitnorthumberland and use the hashtag #endlessexperiences. 1) Do something whisky           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ad Gefrin (@adgefrin) 2023 will see the exciting opening of Ad Gefrin, a world class Anglo-Saxon Museum and English whisky distillery in Wooler, Northumberland. Opening in Spring 2023, the distillery will celebrate the unique heritage, ancient hospitality, and contemporary crafts, arts and produce of Northumberland. You will be invited to step back in time to the Royal Court of the 7th century Northumbrian kings and queens to experience the ancient spirit of hospitality. Immerse yourself in the same landscape that shaped ancient royal hospitality and today gives us the finest malting barley and the purest Cheviot water with which Ad Gefrin creates its Single Malt Whisky. 2) Wish it could be Christmas every day           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lilidorei Alnwick (@lilidoreialnwick) 2023 is an exciting year for Northumberland, as it will also see the opening of Lilidorei, a new magical Christmas village at The Alnwick Garden containing the world's biggest play structure. The fantasy village development, which which will have a Christmassy feel all-year-round, set in a forest clearing where you can find wooden homes of magical creatures like elves and goblins, who are preparing for Christmas throughout the year. With zip wires, slides and climbing walls connecting each area, the idea for the park was dreamt up by the Duchess of Northumberland and will make for the perfect family day out in Northumberland. 3) Find ospreys and eat canapes           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Wild Intrigue (@wildintrigue) Hiding amongst the vast forest and tranquil waters of Kielder lies one of northern England’s most outstanding conservation success stories; the return of the Osprey. Should the ospreys return to Kielder this year, Wild Intrigue will run a uniquely tailored cruise for the second year running, where you will get the truly special opportunity to watch the Kielder Ospreys as they soar overhead and fish the tranquil water. Your Wild Intrigue guide will share the history and inspiring story of the Osprey while giving you the best chance to see them for yourselves. All the while, Canapés and prosecco will be served on board this 2.5 hour sunset cruise on Kielder Water. 4) Go on a safari           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Patrick Norris (@patrick.norris.581) Go on an adventure with the special Ingram Valley Farm Safari, a Northumberland experience launched in 2021. Starting at Ingram Bridge car park, the fantastic Patrick from Footsteps in Northumberland and a member of the Wilson family will take you on a journey through time, discovering what has shaped this beautiful valley for over a millennia and beyond. Immerse yourself in 6,000 years of farming history as we take you chapter by chapter through myth, legend, nature and the history of England’s largest scheduled ancient monument at Ingram Valley Farm. Half way through, you will pause for a picnic provided by Ingram Cafe, complete with fresh, local ingredients.  5) Find out where the magic happens           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hallow & Crux (@hallowandcrux) If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then Alnwick is the place for you. Visit the cobbled market town of Alnwick and discover the magic at Alnwick Castle, known for its starring debut as Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for a Harry Potter-themed tour or a broomstick lesson. Try Escape Key's outdoor adventure 'The Magic Bottles', which uses a Harry Potter-inspired spot to send you in search of clues, tasks and puzzles to solve as a team and (hopefully!) win the game. Then, sleep like a wizard in Alnwick’s exciting and newly renovated hotel Hallow and Crux, which holds four individually designed rooms with a whimsical, witchy twist. Pick from The Common Room, The Dumbledorm, The Marauders and The Chamber and experience the magic for yourself.   6) Car Gaze       View this post on Instagram A post shared by @elishascott_photography on Oct 9, 2018 at 9:26am PDT There are few places in the UK where you can pull over, turn off your headlights, allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness and admire the dazzling sight of Gold Tier Status Dark Skies. In Northumberland, 572 square miles of Gold Tier Dark Skies await your arrival, so fill your boot with a deck chair, flask and binoculars and venture to one of the county’s Dark Sky Discovery Sites. If the conditions are right and the sky is clear, you can gaze at dazzling stars and admire Orion or The Milky Way with the naked eye. 7) DO n’t go chasing waterfalls         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by imogen banks (@imogenbanks) Wander into the wilds of Northumberland and you just might find an unexpected opening where a whimsical waterfall tumbles into a bottomless plunge pot. Roughting Linn and Hareshaw Linn all wait at the end of hidden trails and off-the-beaten-track routes, making perfect picnic spots and even somewhere to dip your toes after a long walk. 8) Much Ado about Puffins       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ian Henderson (@ianhendersonimages) on Dec 10, 2019 at 2:53pm PST Head to Seahouses between March – October and book a Farne Islands boat trip with Billy Shiel Farne Island Tours or Serenity Farne Island Tours. Adorably clumsy puffins and lolloping seals reside at The Farne Islands, where birds rule the roost and humans are in the minority, and seals are regularly spotted lazing on the rocks.  9) Wake up on the bright side of the bed       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Stablewood Coastal Cottages (@stablewood_coastal_cottages) on Sep 10, 2019 at 1:14pm PDT Watch the sky become emblazoned with oranges, pinks and reds over Northumberland’s staggering coastline and capture it on camera if you can. Northumberland’s sunrises are well worth the early wake up, so just remember that when your alarm disturbs your slumber. While the experience is spectacular year round, people fall for the horizon most in autumn as the colours are simply magical. 10) Whatever floats your goat       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Explore Northumberland (@explorenorthumberland) on Apr 9, 2019 at 1:43pm PDT Go wild cheviot goat spotting and enjoy an al fresco dinner with Wild Intrigue’s Goats and Gourmet activity. Cheviot Goats are members of one of the oldest herds of wild animals in Britain, and are a rare find roaming in the Cheviots. The trip is followed by an al fresco gourmet meal prepared by local chef Chris from Fells Kitchen while you take in the breath taking College Valley views. If you like the sound of this, you’ve goat to try their other activities too, such as Bats and Pizza, Moths and Muffins and more. 11) Find your Porpoise       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Pot A Doodle Do (@pot_a_doodle_do) on Jun 21, 2019 at 11:37pm PDT The romantic River Tweed is a sight to behold, as Berwick’s three iconic bridges stand proudly over its shimmering water. Hop on board The Border Rose with Berwick Boat Trips and sail out to sea in search of the dolphins that are regularly sighted at the mouth of the river. David and crew will open your eyes to Berwick’s tumultuous history while you keep them peeled for the water’s wildlife. 12) See the Rolling Stones       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Matt Wood (@matt.jwood) on Jan 1, 2020 at 11:19am PST Northumberland boasts the longest stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, the fascinating Roman remains that delve and dive across the rolling Northumberland National Park landscape. Step into your hiking boots and explore one of the National Park routes where iconic sites such as Sycamore Gap, Roman Forts and ancient temples can all be discovered and the wall is with you every step of the way. Want to walk the length of the wall without being weighed down by your luggage? Let Hadrian's Wall Baggage Transfer do the heavy lifting for you.  13) Hang out in Kielder Water & Forest Park       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Discover Northumberland (@discovernland) on Aug 18, 2019 at 12:38pm PDT This one is a beginner adrenaline-junkie’s dream; Calvert Kielder’s ZipCoaster has you soaring through the air in roller-coaster-esque ups, downs, twists and turns. Securely strapped into a harness, the thrilling ride gives you a free-flying sensation and, like all of Calvert Kielder’s activities, is completely accessible, so users with a disability can enjoy the ride. 14) Get to know a telescope       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kielder Observatory (@kielderobservatory) on May 7, 2019 at 11:39am PDT As well as doing some independent stargazing, you might want a bit of guidance when you’re gazing into the galaxy. Northumberland’s observatories are here to help, offering everything from beginners’ workshops to experienced astronomy events. Kielder Observatory, which sits directly below the International Dark Sky Park, and Battlesteads, the award-winning, sustainable hotel that has its own observatory, are two excellent examples. 15) Be OAR-some         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Landal Kielder Waterside (@landalkielderwaterside) Paddle past Warkworth Castle or into the estuary (depending on tide levels) with a two hour canoe tour along the River Coquet, or kayak over to Coquet Island and drift past puffins on an incredible wildlife excursion with Adventure Northumberland. Stand-up paddle board beside a castle on our coastline, or on breath-taking Kielder reservoir, and kayak over its calm waters.  16)  Walk a mile in someone else's shoes         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cherry Cottage (@crastercottage) Let Footsteps in Northumberland lead the way along The Pilgrim's Way and follow in the footsteps of 6th century saints across the causeway to Lindisfarne Island. From April to September, hundreds of grey seals gather on the sandbanks, and from October to March thousands of migrating birds fill the bay and make this trip a wildlife lover's paradise. *Always check safe crossing times for Lindisfarne Island ahead of visiting. 17) Have your pick of the bunch         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Discover Northumberland (@discovernland) Pick your food straight from the forest and onto the plate with a Northern Wilds Wild Food Forage Feast course. Their emphasis on gut health, wellbeing and the benefits of eating fresh, natural produce will make you come away wanting to escape to the wilderness and live on wild mushrooms and berries. On their full day tour, they prepare the day’s harvest in a wild food wagon and turn it into a delicious feast so you can taste your picks there and then. 18) Give yourself a push         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by @eco_cabs Get on yer’ bike and freewheel through forests, countryside and coast in Northumberland. We have gentle, circular routes for families, off-road adventures for the experienced cyclists, and scenic routes perfect for sight-seeing by bike. Hire everything while you're here with our fantastic bike hire services like Pedal Power, or book a guided cycling trip to Northumberland with Saddle Skedaddle who offer itineraries along our fantastic coastline, on the Sandstone Way and more. 19) Branch out         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hesleyside Huts 🌿 (@hesleysidehuts) Feel the magic of sleeping in the treetops in one of Northumberland's awe-inspiring self-catering tree houses. Both Hesleyside Huts and Woodland Chase offer fairytale stays in a mystical woodland setting where you are quite literally immersed in nature, nestled away in the trees.  20) Fifty shades of Earl Grey       View this post on Instagram A post shared by @theteatraveller on Nov 3, 2019 at 11:39am PST Howick Hall was the home of Charles Grey who, in the 1830s, received a tea blend from a Chinese mandarin as a gift. The tea had been specially blended with bergamot to suit the water from the spring at Howick Hall and, after Lady Grey served it to numerous guests, it became so popular that British tea merchants requested permission to replicate it. Today, it is known as Earl Grey, and it is pretty much essential to stop at Howick Hall Tea Room for a pot of the refreshing beverage in what was once the ballroom of the Grey family’s residence. 21) Discover your roots       View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sophie Pearce Travel Blogger (@thirdeyetraveller) on Jun 14, 2019 at 10:00am PDT Get outside and experience the healing powers of nature in Northumberland. Visit the cobbled market town of Alnwick in spring and spend a magical day amongst The Alnwick Garden’s cherry blossoms and Alnwick Castle’s grounds. The Alnwick Garden has a short window between the end of April and the beginning of May where their collection of Taihaku cherry blossoms (the largest in the world) blooms. Relax on one of the swinging benches amongst the fluttering blossom trees before heading to Alnwick Castle, whose surroundings become flooded with daffodils in the springtime. Warkworth Castle also shines brightly in spring due to its host of surrounding daffodils, or visit Cragside at the end of May/ beginning of June to see the staggering rhododendrons that are dotted around the grounds. 22) Love is ale you need       View this post on Instagram A post shared by scotland247 (@scotland247) on Jun 22, 2019 at 8:08am PDT Tucked away in the heart of Ford & Etal Estate sits the only thatched pub in Northumberland, The Black Bull Inn. Managed by the brand new Cheviot Brewery who brew real ale just up the road, you can taste local tipples and enjoy a pint or two in the cosy, stone interior and by a warming open fire. 23) Watch a film that ends in ruins       View this post on Instagram   Staggering, iconic and magnificent no matter when you visit, Bamburgh Castle dominates Northumberland’s coastline as you approach the village of Bamburgh. Stay in the castle grounds after sunset for one of its magical and spell-binding outdoor cinema viewings, where towering turrets are the back-drop and crashing waves are the soundtrack. Author: Jenni Meikle
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30 November 2022

Cosy cottages in Northumberland

Find the perfect Northumberland cottage for your winter getaway with our round up of some of the best cottages in Northumberland for a winter break. We've picked a selection of countryside hideaways and seafront stays, all with the cosy characteristics that we crave in the winter months, such as open fires, soft robes, private hot tubs and sky lights for looking up at the stars. Breamish Valley Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Luxury Holiday Cottages (@breamishvalley) Breamish Valley Cottages are nestled at the foot of the Cheviot Hills and are the definition of cosy winter hideaway. With log burners and an on-site spa with heated swimming pool, sauna and steam room, there’s no better place to warm up after a winter day out traversing the Cheviot Hills, discovering the local history and admiring the surrounding scenery. There is also an on-site restaurant, The Bosk, where you can enjoy delicious meals with amazing views through the floor to ceiling windows. Till Fishing           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Till Fishing (@tillfishing) Till Fishing is a paradise for anyone looking to reconnect with nature this winter. Sitting on a private stretch of the unspoilt River Till, you will wake up to the peaceful sound of silence, other than the gentle background noise of trickling water and chirping birds. Nearby woodland walks and ancient landscapes can be enjoyed during your stay, as well as larger attractions that are a short drive or train journey away from this base near Berwick. On-site bread making workshops with Pauline Beaumont, author of Bread Therapy, are a must when you stay here. Beach and Quiet - Hemmel House           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Jane Riley (@beachnquiet) Beach and Quiet’s coastal Craster cottages are winter havens. Their elegant cottage, Hemmel House, is conveniently located for a winter wander along the beach, followed by a local pub stop for some warming home-cooked food, before returning to warm your toes in the glow of the property’s crackling log burner. The ground floor offers spectacular, uninterrupted rural views with the sea and Dunstanburgh Castle on the horizon while you stay warm and snug inside and you can end your evening by stargazing beneath Northumberland’s incredible dark skies using the cottage’s telescope. Village Farm Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Village Farm Cottages (@villagefarmcottages) Village Farm Cottages have a number of properties located midway between some of Northumberland’ must-visit market towns and villages, Alnwick, Alnmouth and Warkworth. From log burners to rustic wooden beams, and private hot tubs to on-site leisure facilities, there are so many qualities that make Village Farm Cottages an excellent choice for a winter break. Wrap up warm and admire the staggering nearby Northumberland coastline and AONB, and head out on an adventure to enjoy some of Northumberland’s best attractions that are only a short drive away. Burradon Farm House and Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Burradon Farm Houses&Cottages (@burradon) Burradon Farm Houses and Cottages has a range of snug, country cottages that range from accommodating two to eight guests. Located on a working farm close to Northumberland’s magnificent beaches and with fantastic walking routes on the doorstep, the cottages boast beautiful views, wood-burning stoves to snuggle up in front of in the cold winter evenings, are all dog friendly (a small charge applies) and offer a tranquil home from home with super-comfy beds and cosy living spaces. Burradon Farm is located a short drive from some amazing country pubs and restaurants and you can enjoy anything from wining and dining to walking and cycling. Ingram Valley Star Barn           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by IngramValleyGB (@ingramvalleygb) Ingram Valley’s Star Barn is offers the ultimate antidote to the busy stresses of life, as its rural location and position under Northumberland’s Dark Sky Park allow you to immerse yourself in Northumberland’s nature. Arrive to an overflowing welcome hamper holding gift vouchers for nearby Ingram Cafe and Gift Shop and make use of the barn’s wetsuits and Dry Robes if you are brave enough to take a winter sea dip! Step into your hiking boots and enjoy nearby Northumberland National Park’s nature trails, misty valleys and magnificent Hadrian’s Wall, then come home to warm up and gaze at the stars. Wydon Farm B&B           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Wydon Farm B&B (@linda_wydon_farm) Have the best of both worlds at Wydon Farm B&B in one of their refurbished self-catering rooms. Their snug, ground floor rooms now come fitted with a microwave, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and a toaster and you will arrive to a stocked fridge full of breakfast essentials. Based just a 20 minute walk from Haltwhistle, which is accessible by train should you prefer a car-free break, meaning homely pubs and some excellent restaurants are just a starry evening’s walk away from your accommodation. Plus, this excellent location means that staggering National Park landscapes and Hadrian’s Wall are nearby too. The Coachhouse at Crookham,       Ford and Etal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Coach House (@thecoachhousecrookham) The Coach House in Crookham has five newly renovated studios situated within a 17th century coach house, the oldest unfortified building in North Northumberland. Each snug studio sleeps two and welcomes four-legged friends, and you can expect to arrive to wine, chocolates, flowers and dog treats to welcome you to your new home for the week or weekend. Some studios have breathtaking views of the Cheviot Hills and all are in a spectacular position for stargazing and boast two acres of fields that guests can use, home to sheep and hens and you can even have fresh free-range eggs for breakfast every day. They are also located near the Battle of Flodden site, the pretty, must-visit villages of Ford & Etal and are an easy drive to the coast at Berwick. Falstone Barns           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Falstone Barns (@falstonebarns) Falstone Barns are luxurious, self-catering barn suites based near spectacular Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland. This beautifully renovated set of farm buildings offers accommodation sleeping from 2 to 6 people and each barn has its own decor style, from opulent to romantic. The barns sit on the Falstone Farm Estate, a 32-acre farm which boasts an ideal central location for Kielder, Hadrian’s Wall, Hexham, the Scottish Borders and the Northumberland Coast. It also has the benefit of being positioned beneath Northumberland’s dazzling Dark Sky Park, so bring your binoculars or book an experience at nearby Kielder Observatory. Don’t forget to make the most of nearby pubs and cafes the Blackcock Inn, Pheasant Inn and the Falstone Tea Room if you fancy a break from cooking. Seahouses Holiday Homes           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kelvinside (@seahousesholidayhomes) Seahouses Holiday Homes are two beautiful character homes in the bustling coastal village of Seahouses. Both homes are within an easy five minute walk from Seahouses centre and boast secure gardens ideal for young families and dog parents! With terraces perfect for wrapping up warm and gazing at the stars, a garage to secure bikes, hiking boots, wetsuits or anything else you might need for your winter adventure, and easy access to nearby attractions such as The Farne Islands, Bamburgh Castle and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, you are guaranteed an unforgettable winter break here.  Original Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Original Cottages (@originalcottages) Original Cottages is a cottage agency that offers a range of beautiful cottages across the country, including some excellent winter retreats in Northumberland.  Have a look at Cuckoo Cottage near Wooler, based in outstanding Northumberland National Park beneath Northumberland’s Dark Sky Park and offering outstanding panoramic views over a frosty 1,800 acre working farm. Enjoy the warmth of the crackling log burner after a long, misty walk in the surrounding landscape and spend a cosy evening enjoying the provided books and games. Or how about Dingley Dell, in Lowick, also with a log burner as well as a whirlpool bath perfect for warming up after a chilly day out, with provided robes to add an extra touch of luxury. Plus, this cottage is within walking distance of two fantastic pubs if you’d like a break from cooking or fancy a freshly pulled pint. Whittle Dene House           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Chris🤘🏼Cash 🐺 (@northernnavigator) Whittle Dene House is a stunning property on the banks of a reservoir that couldn’t be more perfect for a winter stay. Wake up to frosty, waterside views, stargaze from the private hot tub and dine by an open fire set in an inglenook fireplace in the dining room, perfect for cosy game nights around the table. Built in Tudor style with a two storey octagonal tower, and grand features throughout, the property is luxurious and full of character, and is the ideal place to stay for families, friends and special occasions. Plus, enjoy extra touches such as a Nespresso coffee machine for your early morning coffee and a wonderful roll-top bath that sits perfectly in the window to take in the extensive views and Northumberkand’s dark skies. Set in the countryside, there are extensive nearby walks, including sections of Hadrian’s Wall, nature reserves, Vindolanda Roman fort, The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre and more. Simply Coastal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Mark Green (@simplycoastal_holidaycottages) Simply Coastal’s Craster Rocks and Craster Waves are two stunning, seafront cottages located on National Trust land on the coastal path to Dunstanburgh Castle. Their location couldn’t be more perfect, based in the irresistibly picturesque fishing village of Craster, where you can pick up some famous Craster Kippers after just a short walk, as well as reach the fantastic pubs and cafes that Craster has to offer. You are just a short walk away from amazing Dunstanburgh Castle, which teeters over the coastline, and if you venture just a little further you can visit stunning Embleton Bay. Watch the sun rising over the wild North Sea as the local fishermen check their lobster pots, snuggle up beside a log burner and enjoy the provided books, board games and pizza oven, and store your cycling gear in the cottages’ bike shed as the Northumberland Coast Path is quite literally on your doorstep. Budle Bay Croft           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Louise (@louise_bespoke_newcastle) Budle Bay Croft provides luxury 5* Northumberland holiday cottages with a simply enviable location, situated on Budle Bay, close to beaches and castles on the stunning Northumberland coastline. With the Cheviot Hills to the west, and nestled into the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Special Scientific Interest, Budle Bay Croft offers a host of winter days out, as well as a beautifully furnished, dog friendly cottage to curl up in at the end of the day. Glowing log burners perfect for relaxed evenings, private enclosed gardens great for gazing at the stars, and provided games, books and toys to entertain the whole family are just a few of the special touches here. Little Hideaways           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Little Hideaways (@ourlittlehideaways) Little Hideaways offers five stunning, Seahouses-based cottages all with log burners, charming decor and excellent locations on Northumberland’s coastline. Hidden in a cobbled courtyard of traditional fisherman’s cottages,  they all sit within easy reach of unspoilt beaches, ancient castles and access to amazing wildlife. Their location in the traditional fishing village of Seahouses means that a range of amenities are just a short walk away, as is Seahouses harbour where you can set off for a fantastic boat trip to The Farne Islands. Just four miles away lies outstanding Bamburgh Castle, which you can actually see in the distance when you are in Seahouses, as well as Lindisfarne Castle. Cherry Tree & Almond Apartments           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cherrytree & Almond Apartments (@ctabeadnell) Beadnell-based Cherry Tree & Almond Apartments are ideally located in a beautiful coastal village, popular with surfers and anyone looking for a coastal break, as Beadnell Bay is one of the most beautiful sections of Northumberland’s coastline. The cottages are dog friendly and all offer the opportunity for some spectacular winter walks, with ancient castles as your backdrop  and the Northumberland Coast Path on your doorstep. Whether you want to escape for a quiet winter weekend walking on the beach, or fill your time with sightseeing and outdoor pursuits, this is the perfect base for any type of trip. Head into Beadnell for a selection of popular cafes, pubs and restaurants, such as Beadnell Towers and the Saltwater Cafe, or simply stay snug in the comfort of your cottage and make use of your self-catering facilities. Coast and Country Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Coast & Country Northumberland (@coastandcountrynorthumberland) Coast and Country Northumberland offers a selection of five coastal properties, all sitting in and around one of Northumberland’s most beautiful fishing villages, Craster. You can hunker down for a relaxing, romantic break in one of their immaculate and luxurious cottages, enjoying the local cafes, short walks to the seafront and harbour, and a warming glass of red wine at The Jolly Fisherman pub. Or, head out on an adventure and cycle the Northumberland Coast Path, discover the local history at one of the many coastal castles here in Northumberland and admire the local wildlife. No matter how you spend your trip, you can end each day at your cottage with uninterrupted seaviews, an open fire, large private grounds and more depending on which cottage you pick. Host and Stay           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Host & Stay (@hostandstayuk) Host and Stay is a cottage agency offering a number of cottages across the whole of Northumberland. Take your pick from cosy log burner cottages, seafront stays and market town getaways as they have so many to choose from including some of the cottages already mentioned above. If you need a hand filtering your search by location, have a look at our towns and villages page to see which is the right fit for your stayy. Now that you are fuelled with ideas for the perfect place to stay in Northumberland in winter, get booking your cosy winter cottage break in Northumberland. Author: Jenni Meikle  
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08 November 2022

Winter walks in Northumberland

Come rain or shine, you can rely on Northumberland to provide a stunning winter walk. Find the perfect Boxing Day walk in Northumberland with a pint waiting for you at the end, or a frosty New Year’s Day walk in Northumberland to blow away the cobwebs with our list of some of the best winter walks in Northumberland. Hareshaw Linn ‘The one with the waterfall’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Debora Kraczkowska (@deborakraczkowska) Nestled above the fork where the River Rede meets the North Tyne, the rural village of Bellingham is the starting point for a walk to one of the most magical places in Northumberland: Hareshaw Linn.  The first part of the walk takes in several key areas of Bellingham’s industrial past. Much of the landscape itself was shaped by the 19th century ironworks, mine and quarry. Keep an eye out for the bubbling spring which appeared when miners were drilling for coal.  Further along the route, you leave industry behind once you walk through the kissing gate and into the ‘Linn’. The dark and damp conditions of this ancient woodland of oak, hazel, elm and ash lend an ethereal atmosphere. Could pixies be watching you as you walk? We couldn’t possibly say, but we do know the conditions create the perfect environment for some rare flora and fauna.  To warm up, head to nearby Battlesteads for some good grub and a chance to relax in front of a roaring fire. Things to note: The route is considered moderate difficulty and the uneven terrain means it is not accessible for all. It is suitable for older children and teens and it is dog-friendly, as long as dogs are kept on a leash. Steel Rigg ‘The one that feels like a film set’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Mchardy24 (@mchardy244701) In terms of breathtaking scenery, you’re spoiled for choice in Northumberland, but Steel Rigg in Northumberland National Park is one of the most iconic spots. This natural phenomenon is part of a line of rock known as the Whin Sill running like a spine down Northumberland. The ever-resourceful Romans used it to their advantage, incorporating the cliff into their defenses by running Hadrian’s Wall directly over the top of it.  This circular route runs from Steel Rigg car park, following the Wall to Housesteads Roman Fort before circling back around Crag Lough through farmland at the base of the crag to Steel Rigg car park. It is an exposed part of the county, so in winter be sure to layer up with thermals and waterproofs. Don’t forget to charge your phone to take an obligatory photo of Sycamore Gap. Once you get back to the car park, you might be in need of a warm up or dry off, so head down the hill to the Twice Brewed Inn for some hearty food and a glass of ale from their microbrewery. Things to note: The route is considered moderate difficulty and the uneven terrain means it is not accessible for all. It is suitable for older children and teens and it is dog-friendly. Amble to Warkworth  ‘The one for when you’re short on time’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Elizabeth L (@lizlang123) Walking in Northumberland doesn’t have to mean waterproofs and hiking boots. There are plenty of shorter walks scattered around Northumberland with just as much to see as the more challenging paths. If you’re in need of a quick route to stretch your legs or your mobility limits how long you can be up and about, how about a stroll from Amble to Warkworth?  You can start this pretty little stretch at Amble Harbour Village, heading north out of the town. Most of the route does run along Beal Bank (A1068) which can be busy, but the path is set back from the road by a wide grass verge and you’ll be too busy admiring the Coquet Estuary on your right to notice. Once you’ve explored Warkworth and indulged in some retail therapy at the independent shops, you can either walk back or hop on the X18 bus. On your return to Amble, you can catch your breath as you quench your thirst at The Amble Inn.  If you like what you see and you’re in the mood for a longer walk, this route is part of the 62-mile Northumberland Coast Path which runs from Cresswell to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Taking in Northumberland’s sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and pretty coastal villages, there’s something new to see with every step. Be sure to order a Northumberland Coast Path Passport to log your journey by collecting stamps from local businesses known as ‘Welcome Ports’.  Things to note: Aside from a slight incline as you enter Warkworth village, this route is flat and of even terrain so it is suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs. It is also dog friendly, you’ll find plenty of locals walking their dogs along the route. Heatherslaw to Etal  ‘The one where you step back in time’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) There aren’t many places in Northumberland like the Ford and Etal Estates. It’s a place where history lives and breathes. In season, you can ride a steam train, stroke a heavy horse and see the inner workings of the last remaining watermill in Northumberland. But the sleepy rural charm also belies a darker past. Just a stone's throw from the Scottish Borders, the landscape once saw centuries of Anglo-Scots conflict such as the Battle of Flodden. One way to enjoy the quiet beauty of this rural spot is by walking the path between Heatherslaw and Etal Village. The usually bustling Ford and Etal Estates are a little quieter this time of year as attractions such as Heatherslaw Mill and Etal Castle are closed for the winter. However, you’ll still find a warm welcome in Etal at the Lavender Tearooms and The Black Bull, Northumberland’s only thatched pub. The route begins at Heatherslaw Light Railway car park and ends at a peaceful spot in Etal on the banks of the River Till. On the way, the route takes you past Tillside Cricket Club pitch - one of the prettiest in Northumberland - and the impressive ruins of Etal Castle. To return to Heatherslaw? Simply retrace your steps. Things to note: This walk is considered an easy linear route. The terrain is flat and on a designated path so it is accessible for all including wheelchair users and families with young children and pushchairs. Dogs are also welcome.  Wallington ‘The one to put you in the Christmas spirit’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by National Trust Wallington (@wallington_nt) To really ramp up the festive spirit this year, be sure to visit Wallington Hall to see it in all its Christmas glory. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy with crafts in the Servants’ Parlour, carols in the Central Hall and storytime with Mrs Christmas.  You can work off the prosecco and mince pies with a walk in the grounds. There are miles of footpaths and trails in the grounds of Wallington House and Gardens, but one of our favourites is the route along the banks of the River Wansbeck. Beginning in the Courtyard, the route follows both natural and surfaced footpaths so it’s the perfect stroll whatever the season. Keep your eyes peeled for two big oak trees near the Garden Pond - they’re the oldest on the estate - and take care over the stepping stones.  If you’ve got the time, take a short car journey to Kirkharle Courtyard. Once the birthplace and childhood home of Capability Brown, this 18th century courtyard is now a hub for artists and independent shops. Feeling peckish? Make a pit-stop at the Kirkharle Coffee House.  Things to note: This walk is considered an easy route and accessible for all thanks to a couple of well-signposted deviations in the route to avoid the stepping stones. Dogs are also welcome on a lead.  Featherstone Castle to Lambley Viaduct  ‘The one for history buffs’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Your_NorthEastUK (@your_northeastuk) For those in the know, the South Tyne area of Northumberland is a true rural idyll. Once home to a thriving lead mining industry, today the area features some of the most unspoilt landscapes in the UK. It is home to a section of the North Pennines AONB which is the UK’s first UNESCO European and Global Geopark. You can take your pick of walking routes, each with their own unique insight into the area.  History lovers can’t go wrong with this trail beginning at Featherstone Castle. Once home to generations of the Featherstonehaugh family as far back as the Norman conquest, part of the present-day castle consists of a 14th century pele tower built to defend the family from Scottish Border Reivers.  Further along the walk you pass through a WW2 prisoner of war camp used to house thousands of German officers until 1948. The concrete Nissen huts and guard house are a sharp contrast to the lush green countryside and a sobering reminder of recent history, but these days it is a haven for wildlife such as buzzards. If you came prepared, Bellister Estate Orchard is a great place to take a detour for a lunch break whilst you take in some glorious views of the North Pennines and South Tyne valley.  Things to note: This is a moderate walk of 6.4 miles. Due to the terrain of this route, the walk is not considered accessible for all.  Simonside Hills  ‘The one for all the family’            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cooper & Sunny. (@theramblingspaniels) With a plethora of routes to choose from, the Simonside Hills near Rothbury is a staple for walkers. You’ll find trails to suit all abilities, but if you’re looking for something for the whole family, the Simonside Family Walk is for you.  This easy to follow circular trail through the forest gives you plenty to see along the way, including spectacular views of the Coquet Valley and the Cheviot Hills as the route nears the edge of the forest. It’s easy to see why it is so beloved by Northumberland walkers, but it can be slippery in the winter months so you need to take care.  On the route, a short detour to Little Church Rock is sure to be a winner with younger members of the family. Cup marks in the stone are thought to be man-made and over 4,000 years old - the perfect inspiration for some mythical storytelling.  Once you’re back in the car, journey north towards the picturesque town of Rothbury. Take a walk along its bustling high street of independent shops, pop into Coquetdale Art Gallery above the library then head to the Newcastle House Hotel for some delicious pub grub.  Things to note: This walk is considered an easy route and accessible for all. Dogs are also welcome on a lead.  Cragside ‘The one that looks good in all seasons’           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by NT Cragside (@ntcragside) Cragside House, Gardens and Estate is a feast for the eyes, whatever the season. Lush green in spring, a riot of colour in summer, russet shades in autumn, every season has its moment. In winter, the stark grandeur and scale of the coniferous forest comes to the fore. Much is known of Cragside’s original owner, renowned Victorian inventor Lord William Armstrong, but did you know it was his wife who designed much of Cragside’s landscape? Fuelled by a love of geology, botany and horticulture, Lady Margaret Armstrong created a series of outdoor ‘rooms’ including the Pinetum and the Formal Garden. Soak up Cragside’s winter wonderland beauty with a walk around Tumbleton Lake on the Armstrong Trail before enjoying a light bite or sweet treat in The Still Room.  Things to note: The section of walk outlined above is considered to be accessible for all including wheelchair users and families with young children and pushchairs, though there are some steep inclines. Dogs are welcome on a lead. Author: Bethany Gallacher
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07 October 2022

Cosiest pubs in Northumberland

‘Tis the season when Northumberland's pubs light their fireplaces and load their log burners in preparation for the frosty days and bitter nights that autumn and winter bring. As much as we are going to miss the sunshine in the winter months, there is little more satisfying than sitting beside a crackling open fire after a long, cold, windswept walk. We have rounded up some of the cosiest pubs in Northumberland, all with open fires, so you can hide away from the cold, wrap your hands around a hot cup of tea and fill your belly with some hearty pub grub. The Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lord Crewe Arms Blanchland (@lord_crewe_arms) The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland is a pub like no other. This incredibly atmospheric hotel and eatery is one of the oldest hostelries in the country, dating back to the 12th century. Its roaring fireplaces, stone wall interiors, rustic wooden beams and flickering candles make it top of our list of cosy pubs in Northumberland. Set in Blanchland, often coined the prettiest village in England, you can admire the cobbles, hanging baskets and winding lanes of this honeystone village. What's Nearby? Blanchland is nestled in the North Pennines, meaning it is surrounded by incredible, sweeping landscapes to explore. Prepare to be blown away by amazing views, secret valleys and rare wildlife. It is also on the cusp of the border between Northumberland and County Durham, so attractions such as beautiful Derwent reservoir are nearby. Extend your stay and book one of The Lord Crewe Arms's fantastic rooms.   The Ship Inn         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by writer + twin mama (@disastersofathirtysomething) The seafront Ship Inn offers sunny beach beers in the summer and a cosy haven in the winter. Based in Low Newton, its coastal location and sea views lure in its guests, and they stick around for the toasty open fire, freshly cooked food and exquisite local ingredients. With its whitewashed exterior, exposed stone interior, open fire and live music, what more could you wish for after a long walk by the sea. What’s nearby? See Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance and set off on foot, through idyllic Embleton Bay, to see it up close. Head a little further down the coast to magical Alnwick, where you can see The Alnwick Garden at its most festive.   The Holly Bush Inn           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Stephen Waddington (@wadds) Tucked away in Northumberland National Park, it doesn’t get much more quintessentially British than The Holly Bush Inn. The flower-filled entryway, stone front and remote setting make stepping inside irresistible. Once you’re in, you can expect fantastic food, excellent service and a warm and cosy ambience that will warm you up on the coldest of days. The pub also sits beneath the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, perfectly located for a spot of stargazing in the autumn/ winter months. What’s nearby? Take advantage of The Holly Bush Inn’s position near Hadrian’s Wall and step into your hiking boots to enjoy the numerous attractions and viewpoints along the wall. The Pheasant Inn           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The B & B Directory (@thebandbdirectory) The exterior of The Pheasant Inn becomes cloaked in bright orange and red ivy when the season turns to autumn. Surrounding stone walls, wooden beams overhead and a roaring fire in the centre of the restaurant greet you as you walk in. Relax in one of the lounge bars, lovingly restored with warmth and cosiness at their heart, or dine in the restaurant which boasts sweeping views across Kielder’s countryside. What's nearby? The Pheasant Inn sits near staggering Kielder Water & Forest Park, excellent for walks, bike rides, nature and stunning views. Spend the evening at Kieldder Observatory for an inspiring night of stargazing.   Redesdale Arms           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Retreat,Escape,Secret,Boutique (@otterburnlodges) Redesdale Arms sits in remote Redesdale, near the historical village of Otterburn. Echoing the area’s history, the oldest part of the pub is 600 years old and is a former bastle house, and is known as the “First & Last” Inn on route to Scotland. Inside, enjoy the glow of the log burner, locally-sourced, home cooked dishes and a selection of real ales from Allendale Brewery and First and Last Brewery to wash it all down with. What's nearby? Head to the Redesdale Valley where walking and cycling routes are waiting to be explored. Explore the ancient capital of Elsdon, the stonefront village complete with an ancient parish church, a tower house and even the remains of a castle. Barrasford Arms           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Barrasford Arms (@barrasfordarms) Barrasford Arms is a traditional beauty in the Northumbrian countryside, serving exceptional, freshly cooked, award winning pub food. Take in their breath-taking beer garden views as they overlook the North Tyne Valley, before unwinding in the cosy bar area. Proudly championing local suppliers, and serving vegetables from their very own polytunnel, their exquisite seasonal menu is sure to replenish your energy levels after a chilly walk in the surrounding landscape. What's nearby? Nip to nearby Hexham to explore Hexham Abbey, Hexham Old Gaol and more. Or visit incredible ancient Roman sites such as Vindolanda, just 20 minutes away and one of Europe's richest archaeological resources, where ancient finds are revealed every day. The Angel of Corbridge         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Angel of Corbridge (@angelcorbridge) The Angel of Corbridge sits in the centre of cobbled Corbridge and is a firm favourite for visitors discovering the area’s numerous historical sites. Sit by the crackling log burner while you tuck into a hearty pub meal from their menu of fresh, local ingredients. The Lounge and Angel’s Table areas are both dog friendly, meaning your four legged friend can curl up by the glow of the fire while you dine. What’s nearby? Don’t miss Corbridge Roman Town, which is just a stone’s throw away from The Angel of Corbridge.   The Whittling House ​         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Whittling House (@the_whittlinghouse) This delightful country hotel opened in 2021 and its rooms have been full ever since. Sitting within minutes of Alnmouth beach, it has homely but elegant interiors with roaring open fires in the fantastic bar/ restaurant. Their Head Chef and his expert team have handpicked local suppliers who source only the highest quality, freshest Northumbrian produce. Plus, as you would expect from a restaurant nestled on the coast of Northumberland, they serve fantastic, freshly caught local seafood.  What’s nearby? Explore Alnmouth beach and estuary, head to nearby Alnwick to see The Alnwick Garden, or visit Warkworth for fantastic Warkworth Castle. The world is your oyster in Alnmouth as you are perfectly located on the Northumberland Coast. Author: Jenni Meikle  
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08 September 2022

Afternoon Tea in Northumberland

Northumberland is home to a number of luxury hotels, manor houses, spas and cafes that serve the best Afternoon Teas perfect for a day out with friends, to treat your loved ones or to celebrate a special occasion. From traditional Afternoon Teas to Afternoon Teas with a twist, we have featured some of the best for you to book now:  Doxford Hall           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa (@doxford_hall) The magical approach to Doxford Hall will lure you in even before you have tried their delicious Afternoon Tea. Served in either the opulent Georgian Room, magnificent library or the cosy Morning Room with its roaring log fire, their Afternoon Tea is made up of freshly baked sweet and savoury scones, homemade cakes and a selection of finger sandwiches. Opt for a warming tea or coffee on the side, or upgrade to a glass of bubbly for an extra treat. The warming glow emanating from the hotel window will make you desperate to get out of the cold and tucking into your Afternoon Tea, and the stunning setting of the hotel lawn will have you enjoying your Afternoon Tea al fresco in the spring and summer months.  The Alnwick Garden           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Alnwick Garden (@alnwickgarden) Not many people know that you can enjoy an Afternoon Tea at the fantastic Alnwick Garden at The Pavilion cafe, overlooking the magnificent Grand Cascade. With a menu of mouth-watering sandwiches, buttery sausage rolls and fluffy scones, it is an excellent Afternoon Tea spot, particularly as you can make the most of your surroundings and explore The Alnwick Garden afterwards. Don’t forget to pop into Alnwick centre to enjoy the picturesque cobbled streets and other attractions such as Barter Books while you’re there. Langley Castle Hotel           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Langley Castle Hotel (@langleycastle) What's more quintessentially British than enjoying a traditional afternoon tea within opulent, stone walls of a medieval castle? At Langley Castle Hotel, you can do just that, as this castle hotel serves Afternoon Tea in its lavish Drawing Room. You will feel like royalty while you enjoy freshly prepared sandwiches, sweet treats and scones, and make sure to book a tour of the castle afterwards to really make the most out of your visit to this magnificent historical site.  The Cookie Jar           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Cookie Jar (@thecookiejaralnwick) The Cookie Jar is a beautiful, boutique hotel in the heart of Alnwick which was formerly the Convent of Mercy and has been tastefully renovated into 11 luxurious rooms and suites. Perfect for a cosy retreat, they also offer exquisite Afternoon Teas which are served up in the impeccably decorated bistro which overlooks their spacious, heated, two-tier terrace, garden area and lawn. Pick from Afternoon Tea with Fizz, a G&T or warming cuppa and enjoy a selection of sandwiches, savoury tarts, delicious scones and more.  The Lord Crewe Arms           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lord Crewe Arms Blanchland (@lord_crewe_arms) The Lord Crewe Arms perfectly matches its idyllic setting on the stonefront streets of the postcard-perfect, fairytale village of Blanchland. This atmospheric hotel is one of the oldest hostelries in the country and you can expect to find stone wall interiors, rustic wooden beams, flickering candles and a roaring open fire when you visit for Afternoon Tea. In the autumn and winter months you can cosy up in one of the comfy boltholes in front of an open fire, or in the warmer months you might want to head outside and dine on the sunny terrace. They offer a selection of savoury bites, delicious cakes of the day together and more.  Beadnell Towers           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Beadnell Towers | Boutique Hotel in Northumberland (@beadnell_towers) Beadnell Towers is a stunning, boutique hotel based in the idyllic seaside village of Beadnell. Some of the best beaches, attractions and restaurants in Northumberland are within easy reach of this fantastic spot. What’s more, this spot of luxury offers delectable Afternoon Teas, specially served in The Lounge, a tranquil haven set apart from the rest of the hotel. In this calm space you can enjoy the large fireplace, library of books and gorgeous interior while you indulge in a delicious Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Teas are pre-order only here, so contact the hotel directly to book your table and have a look at the menu. The Running Fox           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Running Fox (@runningfoxcafe) The mother of all Afternoon Teas, The Running Fox offers an Afternoon Tea with a twist. To say the portions are huge is an understatement, and each guest receives a four course feast of a sandwich, slab of pie, slice of cake and finally two mini scones. There are a few different Running Foxes in Northumberland, so you can visit their Felton, Longframlington, Shilbottle or Longhoughton bakery for a day of deliciousness (just make sure you arrive hungry!). So, now you are fully informed to make a decision on where to enjoy Afternoon Tea in Northumberland - the hard part is picking just one! Make sure to tag us in your foodie days out in Northumberland by using the hashtag #visitnorthumberland or tagging us at @visitnorthumberland.  
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04 August 2022

Hidden gems in Northumberland

Get away from the crowds when you visit Northumberland and uncover Northumberland’s hidden treasures. From lesser-known viewpoints along Hadrian’s Wall, to castle ruins that have remained somewhat of a secret, to fantastic family days out that will escape the crowds even during the school holidays, read on for some of Northumberland’s best hidden gems. 1) Ford and Etal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) Ford and Etal is one of Northumberland’s best kept secrets and this hidden treasure is a firm favourite with families, lovers of the great outdoors, and anyone wanting to get away from the crowds when they’re in Northumberland. This working estate has fascinating historical sites such as lesser-known Etal Castle, Lady Waterford Hall and Heatherslaw Corn Mill. Based in the valley of the River Till, its striking countryside setting makes for picturesque viewpoints and fantastic walking routes. Plus, there are a number of eateries here to enjoy before or after your explorations, including cafes, the only thatch roofed pub in Northumberland and a microbrewery serving traditional cask and bottled ale. To top it all off, you can hop on board the steam train at Heatherslaw Light Railway to travel between Heatherslaw Station and Etal Station, something which the kids are guaranteed to love. Ford and Etal attractions close during winter, so check ahead if you’re hoping to visit during the winter months. Top tip - There are a number of B&Bs and holiday cottages in Ford and Etal, plus a new glamping site made up of bell tents and glamping pods for you to choose from if you are looking for places to stay in Northumberland. 2) Duddo Five Stones           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Elisha (@elishascott_photography) Duddo Five Stones is a stone circle made up of five, 4000 year old stones that sit in rural countryside, accessible only via a 1km walk through fields. Their remoteness adds to their mystery and their striking setting adds to their beauty, as they stand with incredible views of the Cheviot Hills to their south and impressive vista towards the Scottish border, which is only six kilometres away. There were originally seven stones before three went missing, then a further stone was added in 1903, making the five that we see today. Top tip - The site actually sits a ten minute drive away from Ford and Etal, so the two attractions are great to do in the same day, and it is also only a 15 minute drive to some fantastic coastal spots such as Berwick-upon-Tweed where you can enjoy excellent shops, restaurants and wildlife boat trips, and Beal, where you can head on to Lindisfarne causeway to visit The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. 3) Chillingham           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Your_NorthEastUK (@your_northeastuk) The small village of Chillingham, tucked away on the outskirts of Wooler, holds some fascinating attractions that you should explore when you visit Northumberland. The first is Chillingham Castle, Britain’s most haunted castle, with the highest recorded levels of paranormal activity in Britain and a large collection of spectres and apparition spottings by visitors over the years. You only have to take one step into the torture chamber and you’ll be quaking in your boots. If you’re brave enough, you can meet the ghosts for yourself on a nighttime ghost tour and you can even stay overnight. Pair your visit with a trip to see Chillingham Wild Cattle, the remarkable survivors of the ancient cattle that once roamed Britain’s forests.The animals are regarded as a scientific marvel and have inhabited Chillingham Park for as long as 700 years. Even more secret, there will be a very small number of special tours in Chillingham Park this August. Guiding you into areas normally blocked off for the public, the tour will be led by Chairman Professor Stephen Hall who has been involved with the park for more than 20 years. Top tip - If ghouls don’t get you going and you can’t handle the haunt, Chillingham Castle is still a splendid attraction. A day time visit allows you to appreciate the astounding medieval architecture and decor, as well as the beautiful gardens onsite. 4) Walltown Country Park           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) Hadrian’s Wall is a major attraction for many visiting Northumberland, attracting tourists from across the globe to admire its incredible engineering and many popular forts that are scattered along it. However, this unmissable site is a whopping 73 miles long, leaving plenty room for lesser-known spots and hidden gems in its midst. Get away from the crowds and discover the irresistibly peaceful spot of Walltown Country Park, a site that used to be a working quarry until 1976 when it was filled in and landscaped so that, today, it is a haven for wildlife and nature. You can relax and admire the wildlife here, feed the ducks, enjoy a coffee from the visitor centre on site and use the spot as a base to discover some staggering viewpoints in Northumberland National Park and along Hadrian’s Wall.   Top tip - Pick a clear day to enjoy an evening meal in a local village pub before parking at Walltown Country Park and walking to Hadrian’s Wall for the evening. You are guaranteed a spectacular sunset viewing spot and will most likely have the area to yourself. 5) Hauxley           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Peter Bell (@petermbell) Northumberland’s coastline is undoubtedly one of its major draws for a holiday. There are staggering castles, miles of pristine sand and a number of bays to explore. But have you heard of Hauxley, a hidden gem on the Northumberland coast just a short drive from some of the more well-known spots? The area is home to stunning, peaceful Low Hauxley beach and one of the best wildlife watching spots in the North East, Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre. Looking out over Hauxley Nature Reserve, this spot attracts a myriad of birds and is one of the easiest places in Northumberland to see red squirrels and tree sparrows. Enjoy the walks and nature trails around the reserve, the tranquil nature hides and a delicious snack or beverage in The Lookout Cafe which offers staggering views over the lake. Top tip - There is no entry fee for Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre but donations are welcome to help with the upkeep of the site. A small parking charge applies for all visitors. 6) Seaton Delaval Hall           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cal \ Adventure \ Travel (@adventure_cal) There are a number of stunning stately homes in Northumberland, boasting fascinating history, beautiful grounds and amazing architecture. One that is slightly lesser-known than some of its fellow National Trust properties in Northumberland is Seaton Delaval Hall, based right at the south of the county near the lovely coastal village of Seaton Sluice. One of The National Trust’s most ambitious conservation projects, Seaton Delaval Hall has just had a four-year, £7.4 million renovation and the results are spectacular, including the restoration of stunning cantilevered staircases, transformation of the basement, addition of playful interpretations that tell the story of the house, and building of a cafe onsite. From history-lovers who are fascinated by the hall’s background and architecture, to families coming to enjoy the interpretations and an educational day out, to anyone looking for a peaceful and picturesque picnic spot, this is the perfect place.    Top tip - You can walk directly from the grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall to the gorgeous, pristine coastline at Seaton Sluice if you want to extend your day out. You’ll also find some excellent pubs here and locally renowned fish and chip shop The Harbour View, which is a must-visit when you’re in Seaton Sluice. 7) Howick           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Wayne Ridley (@wayne_ridley_photography) Another lesser-visited spot on the Northumberland coastline is Howick, a tiny, picturesque village nestled between Craster and Boulmer. Those who know Howick well will have a mental picture of Howick Bathing House, which teeters on the coastline here and makes for a beautiful photograph with Dunstanburgh Castle ruins visible in the distance. The hidden cove, Rumbling Kern, is revealed at low tide, with its rocky landscape and tidal pools offering a great family day out rockpooling and discovering the sealife. You can only reach this spot on foot, but it is just a short walk from the available parking on the coast of Howick. Venture slightly further inland to visit Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum, another of Northumberland’s more secret attractions. This site is the home of Earl Grey Tea, as Charles 2nd Earl Grey lived here and had his namesake tea specially blended for him by a Chinese Mandarin, using bergamot to offset the taste of the water from the well. You can enjoy a cup of traditional Earl Grey here in their tea room before exploring the stunning gardens.   Top tip - Sitting in the heart of Howick is beautiful B&B, Old Rectory Howick. This Georgian Country House is only 400 yards from the seafront and offers beautiful rooms, fresh, local food and an irresistibly tranquil setting. 8) Hareshaw Linn           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) Northumberland is home to many fantastic waterfalls - some are very popular and clearly mapped out and some are a little more obscure and difficult to get to. One that sits somewhere in the middle is Hareshaw Linn, the lesser-known waterfall in Northumberland National Park that can be easily accessed from the village of Bellingham if you know what you’re looking for. Head to the car park in Bellingham where you will find the well sign-posted, picturesque, woodland footpath to the waterfall which will take you over bridges, past trickling streams, amongst oak, hazel, elm and ash trees until you eventually reach an opening where breathtaking Hareshaw Linn waterfall awaits. Stick around once you reach this magical spot and enjoy a picnic, listen to the birds, admire your surroundings and even go for a dip if you’re brave enough to withstand the cold. *This route may have been affected by Storm Arwen so please check ahead on Northumberland National Park’s website before visiting.   Top tip - We worked with bloggers Brock and Betty on a guide to Northumberland’s waterfalls. Take a look for more waterfall routes and some top tips on visiting waterfalls in Northumberland. 9) Warkworth Hermitage           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northern Adventures (@northernadventuresltd) You may have already heard of Warkworth Castle, an astounding site in the beautiful coastal village of Warkworth that looks particularly charming in spring when it becomes surrounded by daffodils. But did you know that Warkworth is home to a secret medieval hermitage that can only be accessed by rowing boat? Simply book a ticket to the Hermitage on arrival at Warkworth Castle, walk half a mile up the serene River Coquet and join the rowing boat that is rowed back and forth by a member of staff so that visitors can admire this mysterious spot. When you get there, you will see the religious site that is carved out of rock and was probably built as a private chapel for the first Earl of Northumberland. Top tip - Warkworth village is worth an explore and its winding, cobbled streets, great cafes and independent shops make for a lovely day out. Plus, sweeping Warkworth Beach is another of Northumberland’s quieter coastal spots. 10) Chesters Roman Fort           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by James McCune (@jamesmccune) Northumberland National Park is home to numerous fascinating Roman forts holding thousands of years of history, with Hadrian’s Wall dipping and diving across its landscape. One of the quieter forts along the wall is Chesters Roman Fort, which is one of a series of permanent forts built during the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. The cavalry fort, known to the Romans as Cilurnum, was built in about AD 124 and housed some 500 cavalrymen until the Romans left Britain in the 5th century. Pioneering excavations in the 19th century exposed the structures visible today and these excavations yielded one of the best collections of inscriptions and sculpture on Hadrian’s Wall. There is a collection of famous finds and some lesser-known artefacts, including delicate glass work and intriguing graffiti.    Top tip - Before you head home, go and see Brocolitia Roman Temple, which is just a five minute drive away from Chesters Roman Fort. Here you can see the remains of a temple which was dedicated to the mysterious deity Mithras, who inspired a secretive and exclusive cult which was popular amongst Roman soldiers.  Now you are fuelled with fresh ideas for a day out in Northumberland, go out and explore the hidden corners of this amazing county and make sure to tag us in your adventures at @visitnorthumberland or use the hashtag #visitnorthumberland. Author: Jenni Meikle  
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13 July 2022

What's new for 2022 in Northumberland

Set the trend on your next trip to Northumberland with our list of ten of the best, brand new hotels, glamping sites, activities, experiences and more for you to try in Northumberland. 1) Ospreys and Canapes with Wild Intrigue           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Polar_brock (@brock_and_betty) In the tranquil landscape of Kielder lies one of Northern England’s most outstanding conservation success stories; the return of the Osprey. This activity, launched by Wild Intrigue and Kielder Waterside, sets sail on serene Kielder Water in the evening, ready for a striking sunset.  While you admire the rare Ospreys soar overhead and fish in the water, your expert guide will share the history, ecology and inspiring conservation story of the Osprey, all while you munch on the delicious canapes that will be served on board.  2) Hillside Huts           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hillside Huts & Cabins (@hutshillside) This truly unique luxury glamping accommodation has relaxation and wellbeing at its heart. Set in natural woodland on a farm near Morpeth, the rural setting and rustic style of the stunning huts allow you to truly connect with nature, not to mention the meadow yoga sessions you can partake in during your stay. This focus on nature does not compromise on comfort and luxury and each cabin has its own private decking with a wood-fired hot tub and fire pit, plus other features such as freestanding bathtubs, an outdoor shower and a bountiful hamper filled with local treats on arrival. Top tip - Enter our competition for the chance to win a two night stay here. 3) The Magic Bottles Adventure           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Escape Key (@escapekeynewcastle) The Magic Bottles is a brand new outdoor ‘escape room’ style family adventure game in the magical town of Alnwick, where broomsticks, bookshops, jousts and dragons are just a few of the possibilities. Using your smartphone, the game guides you around Alnwick where you will meet characters from the town’s past at various points along the route. The game is inspired by the legend of The Dirty Bottles pub, whose window holds haunted bottles that (legend has it) the landlord of the pub tried to move 200 years ago. After touching them, he immediately dropped dead and no one has touched them since. The game skilfully blends this local legend with a Harry Potter-inspired plot where the players take the role of young wizards to tackle a variety of challenges.   4) Till Fishing’s Border View Cottage           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Till Fishing (@tillfishing) Nestled on the border of England and Scotland, Till Fishing’s newly renovated cottage near Berwick is perfect for exploring Northumberland. You can cosy up in front of the crackling open stove at the end of a day exploring nearby Berwick and Northumberland’s staggering coast, or sit out in the west facing garden to watch the sunset. The cottage is pet friendly so you can bring your pooch on your staycation. The River Till is just a short walk from the cottage offering serene, waterside walks, excellent fishing opportunities and even wild swimming if you fancy a dip. Based on a working farm, there is an abundance of wildlife including red squirrels, badgers, deer and many species of birds.    5) Bamburgh Under Canvas           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Bamburgh Under Canvas (@bamburghundercanvas) Starting purely as a pop-up concept in summer 2021, Bamburgh Under Canvas is an adult only glampsite located within one mile from the historic village of Bamburgh, and the success of the pop-up made owners Cam and Amy decide to make this a permanent fixture for 2022. The experience is as close to camping as you can get without compromising on comfort, as the luxuriously furnished Lotus Belle tents have proper beds with bedding and even cooking/ barbeque facilities provided. If you are visiting for an occasion or just fancy treating yourself to an extra touch of luxury, there is one deluxe tent on-site with the added bonus of a private, wood fired hot tub under the stars. The site’s proximity to Bamburgh means you can feel the sand between your toes on striking Bamburgh Beach, explore majestic Bamburgh Castle and enjoy exquisite food on the village high street. Travel further afield for attractions such as Holy Island, Beadnell, Craster and a host more of Northumberland’s highlights. 6) Bothy Ho Ho at Budle Bay Croft           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Budle Bay Croft (@budle_bay_croft) Budle Bay Croft’s newest addition, Bothy Ho Ho, is a beautiful, two bedroom glamping cabin located on a coastal farm near idyllic Budle Bay. This cosy, wooden cottage is family, couple, solo-traveller and pet friendly and is ideally located to explore Northumberland’s wonderful beaches, majestic castles, and quaint towns and villages. The open plan lounge and dining area offers tranquil views and a crackling log burner perfect for warming your toes after a day on the beach. There are a number of luxurious touches, including a Hotel Chocolat velvetiser for the creamiest of hot chocolates when you’re curled up on the sofa at the end of the day, and outdoor seating to enjoy a glass of wine under the stars on warm evenings.   7) Sea Kayaking in Craster with Adventure Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Adventure Northumberland (@adventurenorthumberland) Starting from the picturesque harbour at Craster, this astounding adventure takes you along a staggering stretch of Northumberland’s rugged coastline, navigating around reefs, under cliffs, along hidden coves and beside secluded beaches. Stopping regularly to explore these hidden sections of shoreline and maybe even jump from the cliffs, you will pass the stunning, ruinous remains of Dunstanburgh Castle as you paddle. This three hour trip (including one hour for kitting up) is an unmissable experience on your next visit to Northumberland.   8) East Farm Glamping           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by East Farm Luxury Glamping (@eastfarmglamping) Providing a perfectly romantic, rural escape for couples, East Farm is surrounded by rolling fields and peaceful countryside. Spend your Northumberland getaway in this secret spot and you’ll be surrounded by blooming trees, wildlife and the soundtrack of British farmland. Opening in September 2021, Duck Pond Cabin is fully furnished and equipped for two, and a traditional log burner warms the open plan kitchen/living/diner. The real highlight is the wood fired hot tub that sits on your private, fairy light-strewn terrace, overlooking the peaceful duck pond and the remote landscape beyond. A brand new Shepherd's Hut will be a welcome addition in early 2022, so keep your eyes peeled. 9) Hallow and Crux           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hallow & Crux (@hallowandcrux) “Sleep like a wizard,” at Hallow and Crux, the hotel inspired by witchcraft and sorcery that Alnwick has been waiting for. Given the town’s starring role in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, when Alnwick Castle is the backdrop for Harry and co’s first flying lesson, what better place to stay than in one of four individually designed bedrooms with a wizardly, whimsical twist. With names such as, “Dumbledorm,” and, “The Marauders,” candlelight sets the tone of the interior, as well as four poster beds, stone walls and hanging tapestries. Two of the rooms sleep four making a fantastic options for a Northumberland holiday with the kids, and the hotel’s location makes it an excellent spot for exploring Alnwick’s attractions including Alnwick Castle, The Alnwick Garden and Barter Books. Not to mention that this hotel is part of The Dirty Bottles pub, so mouth-watering meals are just a staircase away. Top tip - Speaking of witchcraft, Hallow and Crux isn’t the only new thing bringing a hint of magic to Northumberland. Pop into Sweet Solstice, a new witches' kitchen specialising in magical sweet treats including delicious chocolate frogs, as well as a myriad of other irresistible pastries that fill the counter. 10) Trees at Tughall           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Trees at Tughall (@trees_at_tughall) Trees at Tughall is a new, contemporary and modern self-catering accommodation just a two minute drive from Beadnell Beach. The concept of these stunning cabins is simply to offer a clean platform to enjoy nature, far away from the clutter and hustle of modern life. Just one look at the cabins will make you feel just that, with their light and airy decor, floor to ceiling windows and position in nature, each of them are placed in what feels like a completely private spot with their own specific relationship to their surroundings. Whether that be amongst ancient woodland or beside a trickling stream, the therapeutic qualities of nature are sure to take effect when you stay here. Close to some of Northumberland’s finest stretches of coastline and the rugged Cheviot Hills, there is also a bustling local dining scene, with the Potted Lobster and quirky takeaways such as Embers just down the road. 11) Land Rover Defender Hire with Overland Adventures           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Overland Adventures ( Go completely off the grid with Overland Adventures' expedition-ready Land Rover hire. From their beautifully rural location on the outskirts of Morpeth, incredible beaches, countryside, lakes and the Scottish Border are all within easy reach. Set out for an overnight adventure in the fully equipped Land Rover that has a Howling Moon roof tent, 270 awning and camping gear, plus there is parking on-site so you can leave your car once you pick up your new one. If you're arriving by public transport, they also offer a handover service from all local airports, train stations and North Shields ferry terminal.    12) Keep your eyes peeled for Ad Gefrin           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ad Gefrin (@adgefrin) Opening in February 2023, Ad Gefrin will be a world class Northumberland Anglo-Saxon Museum and English whisky distillery in Wooler. This must-see visitor attraction will celebrate and showcase the unique heritage, ancient hospitality, and contemporary crafts, arts and produce of Northumberland, re-awakening the Northumbrian tradition for Whisky distilling that has slept for over 200 years. Be a trend-setter on your next trip to Northumberland and try one of its brand new accommodations, activities and experiences. Make sure to tag us in your adventures @visitnorthumberland and use our hashtags #endlessexperiences and #visitnorthumberland. Author Jenni Meikle  
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