Catch up with our latest blogs

Looking for inspiration for a family adventure on the coast, a romantic weekend break star gazing under dark skies, or relaxing walks on the beach spotting wildlife? Visit Northumberland has got you covered, with our round up of inspiring blogs. Our inspirational blogs will make you want to discover some of the best attractions Northumberland has to offer, hidden gem spots captured in film and television series like Vera and Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes, the most delicious food and drink places, including our favourite takeaway spots for fish and chips, or restaurants for the ultimate Sunday lunch, as well as activities and events taking place in the area throughout the seasons, whether you need to find the perfect local comfort food for winter or the most scenic spots to enjoy a day out with the family, there is something for everyone to experience in Northumberland.

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10 June 2024

Our Guide to Hadrian's Wall

Towns and villages There a few towns and villages that hug Hadrian's Wall and make the perfect base when you're planning on exploring the ancient stones that stretch across Northumberland's landscape and Northumberland National Park. We have a picked out a few to help guide you on where to stay on your next visit. There are a number of towns and villages in the vicinty that are worth exploring but just to name a few:           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Corbridge, Northumberland (@thisiscorbridge) HEXHAM - This beautiful, bustling town is home to Hexham Abbey, Hexham Old Gaol and stunning Sele Park. Not to mention a number of restaurants, pubs, art galleries and independent shops to enjoy inbetween hiking and cycling Hadrian's Wall, plus hotels, B&Bs and cottages to choose from for overnight stays in Hexham. CORBRIDGE - Just a riverside walk or short drive away from Hexham, Corbridge is a must-visit when in this region of Northumberland. Home to Corbridge Roman Town, where you can walk through a Roman time capsule and discover ancient armour and trinkets uncovered, and lesser known Aydon Castle, this is another vibrant and picturesque village with many restaurants, pubs, cafes and accommodation to choose from. HALTWHISTLE - Perfect for a pint after a long day of exploring Hadrian's Wall, Haltwhistle is the closest town to the stunning central section of Hadrian's Wall and Northumberland National Park. Enjoy pubs, tea rooms and the 'bastle trail' here, where visitors can follow plaques marking the surviving bastles of which Haltwhistle has the largest number in England. BLANCHLAND - Around a 20 minute drive from Hexham, we had to mention the tiny, fairytale village of Blanchland. Home only to a pub/ hotel, a tea room and a village shop, you will still manage to while away a whole morning here just taking pictures, relaxing in the amazing Lord Crewe Arms or having a cuppa in The White Monk Tea Room.   SLEEP - Hotels and B&Bs           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lord Crewe Arms Blanchland (@lord_crewe_arms) LORD CREWE ARMS, BLANCHLAND - The Lord Crewe Arms is an atmospheric, candle-lit, medieval hotel, restaurant and bar in the honey-stone village of Blanchland. Expect stylish decor, amazing food and breathtaking surroundings. LANGLEY CASTLE - Feel like royalty at Langley Castle, where you can literally sleep and eat like a King or Queen within the grounds of of a 14th century castle. Roaring fireplaces, stone interiors and opulent decor make this an extremely unique stay. MATFEN HALL - If you want luxury, look no further than Matfen Hall, Northumberland's first and only (as of May 2024) five star hotel. Set within 300 acres of land, with its own spa and golf course, prepare to be wowed by the opulence and grandeur of this hotel. BATTLESTEADS - If you want to do a spot of stargazing during your stay, Battlesteads is the perfect place. With its own on-site observatory, you can spend the night under the stars, plus they have a fantastic restaurant with a menu filled with locally-sourced produce, including vegetables from their own polytunnels. WYDON FARM - Wydon Farm B&B is a National Trust working farm, nestled away near the beautiful town of Haltwhistle. Based on the banks of the river South Tyne, you can relax along the riverside, try your hand at fishing and explore the beautiful walking routes right on your doorstep. DUKE OF WELLINGTON INN - The Duke of Wellington Inn is a cosy village pub award-winning seasonal food, cosy roaring fire and local ales to try during your stay. Gorgeous rooms and a beautiful countryside setting make this a fantastic stay near Hadrian's Wall. SLEEP - Self Catering           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Chesters Stables (@chestersstables) CHESTERS STABLES - Chesters Stables are luxury, renovated stable suites nestled in the heart of rural Northumberland, sleeping between 2 and 8 guests and offering beautiful furnishings and thoughtful touches throughout. HOST AND STAY'S MAGGIE'S COTTAGE - Maggie's cottage is based in Hexham and is a stunning accomodation made up of an open plan living, kitchen and dining area with a beautiful fireplace and woodburning stove. Enjoy al fresco morning coffees on the outdoor terrace and all of the amentiies in nearby Hexham. CARRAW FARM - Carraw Farm's two luxury cottages sit quite literally on Hadrian’s Wall, as they are based within the former Hadrian’s Wall infrastructure. Vesta View sits on the road between the Wall and Vallum Ditch and Shepherds Retreat is tucked away on the Wall foundations. HADRIAN'S HOLIDAYS - Hadrian's Holidays offers a luxury B&B and self catering lodges near Hadrian's Wall. Their idyllic setting at the Four Wynds offers a breathtaking trip, and they serve delicious breakfasts using organic, fairtrade and locally sourced ingredients. KELLAH FARM - Choose between a modern farmhouse Bed & Breakfast or a traditional self-catering cottage base at Kellah Farm. This working hill farm offers a staggering setting, fantastic, locally sourced breakfasts and easy acess to Hadrian's Wall.  THE HYTTE - The Hytte (pronounced "hutta") is an award winning, accessible, self-catering accommodation near Hadrian's Wall. Sleeping eight guests, it is perfect for families or larger groups and is a Norwegian inspired, traditional timber mountain lodge with grass roof and a sauna and hot-tub spa. HADRIAN'S WALL CAMPSITE - If you're looking to camp near Hadrian's Wall, Hadrian's Wall Campsite is an excellent option. With excellent walks, stargazing and history on the doorstep, you can pitch up here in tent, motorhome, campervan, or book one of their luxury glamping pods. EXPLORE           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Vindolanda (@officialvindolandatrust) VINDOLANDA AND THE ROMAN ARMY MUSEUM - Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum hold thousands of objects which illuminate the daily life of the Roman community who lived on the site. You can even watch live excavations take place every summer and watch objects being uncovered for the first time in 2000 years. HOUSESTEADS ROMAN FORT - Housesteads Roman Fort was an auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall, overlooking Whin Sill and sparsely populated hills making it a beautiful visit as well as a fascinating one. Here you can wander the barrack blocks and the hospital, or simply enjoy the panoramic views. CORBRIDGE ROMAN TOWN - Walk like a Roman through the streets of Corbridge Roman Town, a time-capsule of Roman life. You can discover Roman armour and trinkets uncovered with the Corbridge Hoard at the museum, which is also home to the largest of Hadrian's Wall's collections. CHESTERS ROMAN FORT - Chester's Roman Fort is one of the Roman Empire's most northern outposts. The most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain, take a look around the amazingly well-preserved bath house and visit the museum which is home to the famous Clayton Collection. NORTHUMBERLAND NATIONAL PARK - Explore Northumberlnad National Park and you will accidentally stumble upon long sections of Hadrian's Wall, staggering viewpoints, and complete peace and tranquillity. Hadrian's Wall stretches across Northumberland National Park's landscape so you can explore on foot or by bike. HIKE AND CYCLE - There are incredible walking and cycling routes along Hadrian's Wall and it is the perfect way to explore the history and get close to nature. If you prefer a guided experience, Saddle Skedaddle offers guided tours and overnight itineraries along the wall. Explore independently with Pedal Power's bike hire or join one of their incredible guided experiences. And Hadrian's Wall Baggage Transfer makes exploring the wall nice and easy by transferring your luggage to your next accommodation while you are out exploring. SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT - If you're spending a few days or more in the area and fancy something a bit different, head out on some adventure activities. GoApe is based at Matfen Hall and makes for a fun and thrilling family day out. Or try All Out Adventures based at Slaley Hall, where you can try quad biking, clay pigeon shooting and paintballing. EAT - Breakfast and Coffee           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Garden (@the_garden_hexham) Start your day with a delicious brunch or wake up with a cup of coffee at some of our cafe picks: THE GARDEN HEXHAM - The Garden is one of Hexham’s newest haunts, it opened in March 2024 and is a charming, cosy cafe serving brunch bowls, beef brisket bagels and other delicious brunch items, not to mention fantastic coffee. WHITE MONK TEA ROOM, BLANCHLAND - This beautiful tea room in picturesque Blanchland is a converted Victorian school serving mouth-watering home made bakes and snacks. Great for a pit stop after hiking or cycling at Hadrian’s Wall. THE CORBRIDGE LARDER - The Corbridge Larder is renowned for its amazing hampers filled with local, Northumbrian produce, and they are also home to The Heron Cafe where you can sample these delicious goods on the menu. NORTHUMBERLAND HQ, VALLUM - Another 2024 addition to Northumberland, Northumberland HQ is a specialty coffee bar and mico roastery at Vallum Farm, with a shop attached serving local Northumbrian goods. EAT - Pubs and evening meals           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hjem (@restauranthjem) THE BEAUMONT, HEXHAM - The Beaumont is a Victorian hotel based in the heart of Hexham with a beautiful restaurant and outdoor terrace for sunny days. Their exquisite, ever-changing, seasonal menu keeps customers returning time and time again. BOUCHON BISTROT, HEXHAM - Bouchon Bistrot is a fantastic, French restaurant with a chic and cosy interior and a menu that celebrates the culinary delights of the French countryside. A fantastic spot for evening meals and also offering excellent lunch and early dinner deals. RESTAURANT HJEM (Michelin Star) - Restaurant Hjem was the first restaurant in Northumberland to be awarded with Michelin Star status. Based in the small village of Wall, its name plays on the Scandinavian “Hjem” and the Northumbrian “Hyem” meaning home. This is perfect for special occasion dining. RESTAURANT PINE (Michelin Star) - Also a Michelin Star restaurant, Pine was Northumberland’s second Michelin addition and is set in an old cow barn, where you can enjoy the sloping Northumberland landscape alongside Hadrian’s Wall while you’re dining. THE ANGEL OF CORBRIDGE - Based on the lovely, cobbled streets of Corbridge, this quintessentially British pub dates back to 1569 and serves local cask ale and fantastic pub grub to be enjoyed in their wood-panelled lounge with open fire. There are so many more fantastic businesses along Hadrian's Wall than we are able to fit into one blog, so don't hesitate to do some more research and visit our things to do, food and drink and Hadrian' Wall pages for more inspiration.
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16 May 2024

5 reasons to visit Hadrian's Wall?

Northumberland is home to many attractions and historical sites, including the wonders of the Northumberland National Park, all of which are uniquely beautiful.  Today, however, we’re shining the spotlight on one of Northumberland’s most treasured landmarks — one that takes its visitors back in time to follow in the footsteps of the Romans. It can only be Hadrian’s Wall.  The vibrant history of Hadrian’s Wall           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) Hadrian’s Wall has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1987 and it acted as the northwest frontier of the Roman empire for a staggering 300 years.  But how long is Hadrian’s Wall? Built by the Roman army in 122AD under the orders of Emperor Hadrian, the wall itself runs for approximately 73 miles. To put this into perspective, it would take the average person between six and eight days to walk Hadrian’s Wall from start to finish. Standing at 15 feet tall, Hadrian’s Wall is one of Northumberland’s most iconic and symbolic attractions, allowing visitors to transport themselves back into the past. It’s a great day out for solo travellers, groups, and families — and here’s why. 5 reasons to visit Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) Wondering why Hadrian’s Wall should be a hit on your Northumberland itinerary? This iconic historical site is far more than just a pretty picture with beautiful scenic spots. 1. It’s a great location for walking, hiking and cycling Fancy getting your steps in for the day? You can plan an active day around Hadrian’s Wall with ease. The Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail offers visitors an expansive journey through rich history and lush landscapes, from Wallsend in Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast.  It’s ideal for couples seeking a romantic weekend stroll or families looking for an educational adventure — it’s up to you whether you’d like to take in the views on a leisurely walk, a vigorous hike, or a refreshing cycle. With your Hadrian's Wall walk map in hand, you’ll easily be able to navigate through varied terrains —  perfect for an active day out no matter how you choose to explore. 2. There’s plenty of accommodation nearby After a busy day of adventuring the wall and nearby attractions (more on those in the next section), you’ll need somewhere to rest your feet and recoup for your next adventure in Northumberland.  Thankfully, Hadrian’s Wall accommodation isn’t hard to come by, with various places happy to accommodate families, couples, and solo travellers. Some of our favourites include Wydon Farm B&B, Carraw Farm Luxury Holiday Homes and Battlesteads. Would you rather be close to nature? Hadrian’s Wall is home to many an off-grid campsite offering a direct view of Northumberland’s stunning landscapes. If camping isn't your style, there are plenty of quaint bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages and guesthouses that provide a cosy setting, including Chesters Stables and the Host & Stay. These are perfect for couples seeking a quiet retreat or families wanting a comfortable rest stop between their activities, or for a more luxurious setting get your rest at Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate or Langley Castle hotel.  You’ll also find an array of hostels available — ideal for solo adventurers and groups. No matter where you choose to lay your head, you can rest assured you’ll be somewhere comfortable where you can soak up the area’s rich history and natural beauty.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Langley Castle Hotel (@langleycastle) 3. You can take advantage of the popular attractions and sites nearby Hadrian’s Wall is a clear star attraction, but in this area you also have the option to split up your day by visiting nearby English Heritage sites, castles, and museums. Starting with the impressive Birdoswald Roman Fort, you can delve into the lives of Roman soldiers and see the longest continuous remaining stretch of the Wall.  Nearby, Corbridge Roman Town offers a glimpse into Roman urban life, while the charming village of Corbridge presents delightful shops and quaint streets — perfect for a stroll and a spot of lunch.  Just a short drive away, Aydon Castle stands tall — a beautifully preserved 13th-century manor house providing a captured moment in time of Medieval England. On a visit with history buffs? Head over to the Vindolanda Museum and explore their exceptional Roman artefacts, including the famous Vindolanda Tablets.  Be sure not to miss Chesters Roman Fort with its preserved Roman baths, and Housesteads Roman Fort (one of the best-preserved forts on the Wall) offering dramatic views that are symbolic of Roman military history. However, many people suggest that the best place to see Hadrian’s Wall in all its glory is Walltown Crags. Expect breathtaking views and a captivating spot to stop for a picnic.  4. It’s an opportunity to try out the local food and drink  Hadrian’s Wall can be found in The Tyne Valley — a rich area bordering three counties, allowing you to explore the eateries of nearby towns such as Haltwhistle and Hexham. Haltwhistle is located in the geographic centre of Britain, and it’s the closest town to the central section of Hadrian’s Wall. If you take a lunchtime detour into Haltwhistle, you’ll be met with quirky tearooms, welcoming pubs, and restaurants waiting to be explored. For the gory history lovers, change the tune with Hexham’s bloody past — the past home of rampaging Vikings and England’s first purpose-built prison, Hexham Old Gaol. Immerse yourself in its historic outdoor markets, countless independent stalls and local food outlets for an authentic and fresh takeaway experience. 5. It’s a chance to experience the wall’s iconic historical symbolism The main reason to visit Hadrian’s Wall on your visit to Northumberland? The powerful symbolism it holds. Whether you’re looking from the scenic sections of the wall or viewing its grandeur from afar, there’s no denying that Hadrian’s Wall is a powerful marker of strength and authority. Its presence today serves as a bridge to the past, embodying both division and protection in one historical structure. No wonder it continues to fascinate and educate visitors from all over the world. Explore the wonders of Hadrian’s Wall with Visit Northumberland However you choose to explore Hadrian’s Wall and its surrounding areas, we’re sure it will be a fond memory for you and whoever else you bring on your travels. Stay in Northumberland, explore what our wonderful county has to offer, and let your experience of Hadrian’s Wall be a tick off your bucket list.
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07 May 2024

What to do in Northumberland this June

There are so many events in Northumberland in June, from Twice Brewed Beer Festival, gin-tasting at Langley Castle and wild walks with Hepple Gin, to Puffin photography, The Mighty Dub Fest in the grounds of Alnwick Castle and more. Enjoy Cragend's Historic Houses Tours, wildlife walks and talks at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre and more with our round up of things to do in Northumberland this June.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by HEPPLE SPIRITS (@hepple_spirits) Saturday 1 June | Hexham Regatta Saturday 1 June | Puffins! Farne Islands Photography Tour Tuesday 4 June - Sun 13 October | Lowry and the Sea Exhibition at Granary Gallery, Berwick (every Tuesday-Sunday)  Tuesday 4 June - Wednesday 5 June | Cragend Farm Historic Houses Tours (runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from May - October) Saturday 8 June - Sunday 9 June | 1940s Themed Weekend at Bamburgh Castle Wednesday 12 June | Art at Etal Thursday 13 June | Northumberlandia Guided Walk Friday 14 June | Gin Tasting Evening at Langley Castle Hotel Friday 14 - Sunday 16 June | Paxton House Antiques Fair           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Mighty Dub Fest (@mighty_dub_fest) Friday 14 - Sunday 16 June | Mighty Dub Fest at Alnwick Castle Saturday 15 June | Pop Up Potters at Tyneside Pottery Works, Bardon Mill Saturday 15 June | Big Wild Saturday at Northumberlandia Saturday 15 June | Lakeside Way - Kielder. Ride with Bike 4 Health Saturday 15 - Sunday 16 June | Bamburgh Castle Live War of the Roses Joust Tuesday 18 June | Foraging and Folklore Walk Wednesday 19 June | Hauxley Wildlife Group: Water Voles in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Country Pub - Hadrians Wall, Northumberland (@twicebrewedinn) Wednesday 19 June | Hauxley Reserve Walk at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Saturday 22 June | Simonside Coastline Hike with CHS and Geordie Hiker Wednesday 26 June | Orchids on Holy Island Thursday 27 June | The Secret Diary of Henry VIII at Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum Thursday 27 June | Hidden Hepple - Walk on the Wild Side Friday 28 - Sunday 30 June | Twice Brewed Beer Festival
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01 May 2024

Things to do this May in Northumberland

Take a look at some of the best events happening this May bank holiday and beyond in Northumberland and add them to your schedule! Whether you're here for a romantic long weekend or a family retreat for the school holidays, you can enjoy makers markets in Northumberland's market towns, family events at historical attractions and more. Things to do in Northumberland on the May bank holiday weekend           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Charlotte at Twisted Willow (@twistedwillownorthumberland) Friday 3 May | Barn on the Bay's Wild Beachside Campout  Friday 3 May | Wine and Cheese Evening at Langley Castle Saturday 4 - Monday 6 May | Ugly Bug Safari at Belsay Hall Saturday 4 - Monday 6 May | Louisa Waterford Prize Exhibition - A perfect Paradise at Lady Waterford Hall Sunday 5 May | Nature Watercolour painting at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Monday 6 May | Blanchland Artisan Spring Makers Market   Other things to do in Northumberland in May           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by This is Creative Enterprise (@thisistice) Saturday 11 May | Foraging and Herbal Medicine Walk Saturday 11 May | Willow Bird Feeder Workshop Tuesday 14 May - Wednesday 15 May | Cragend Farm Historic Houses Tours (runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from May - October) Wednesday 15 May | Wild Food Foraging at Horton Burn Saturday 18 - Sunday 19 May | Agria Dog Walk at Belsay Hall Hall and Gardens   Things to do in May Half Term in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland County Show (@northcounty.show) Saturday 25 May | Northumberland County Show Saturday 25 May - Sunday 26th May | Amble Puffin Festival Saturday 25 - Sunday 27 May | Viking Reenactments and Marley the Pony at Bamburgh Castle Saturday 25 May - Sunday 2nd June | Whitehouse Farm Centre Dinosaur and Dragon Weekend and Princesses and Superheroes Half Term Week Saturday 25 May - Sunday 2nd June | Incredible Insect Trails at Wallington Hall Saturday 25 May - Sunday 2nd June | Kids rule at Belsay Hall, Warkworth Castle and Chesters Roman Fort Tuesday 28 May | The Princesses Afternoon Tea at Matfen Hall Wednesday 29 May | Birds of Prey at Woodhorn Museum Thursday 30 May | Family Conservation Crafts at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Friday 31 May | Walltown Wild Sounds Safari, Walltown Frogs and Flapjacks and Walltown Nature Rangers For more events and goings-on next week, just visit our events guide, enter your dates and get searching.
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23 April 2024

Plan Your Day on Northumberland’s Coast

Northumberland is home to some of the most beautiful and peaceful coastlines in the country. With 35 beaches to choose from, this scenic county is an excellent choice for a weekend getaway, extended school half term holiday break, or a memorable day trip. To make the most of your day at the seaside, we’ve put together an easy guide for you to embrace all that Northumberland’s coast has to offer.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Berwick-Upon-Tweed (@visitberwickupontweed) 1. Choose your favourite Northumberland beaches to explore Choosing the beaches you’d like to explore is an excellent place to start. From one-of-a-kind sunset spots to barely-touched hidden bays, our beaches offer a place for all the family. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Carolyn (@theslowtraveler) Bamburgh A prime Northumberland coastal destination for foodies and beach-lovers alike, Bamburgh is truly spell-binding. Take a magical beach walk with the grand Bamburgh Castle silhouette only a glance away. If you love Northumberland’s coastal walks, why not start your journey to Bamburgh Beach from Seahouses? After getting some fresh sea air, head to Bamburgh Village and explore its quaint cafes for a well-deserved treat. Beadnell Picture golden sands, water sports, and sand dunes. This is only a taste of what Beadnell Bay has to offer. Set in a horseshoe shape, Beadnell Bay has protected waters, making it a family favourite for water sports fans of all ages. Fancy trying your hand at kitesurfing, kayaking, or wakeboarding? Beadnell Bay has it all — including food and drinks spots with excellent local produce for a post-activity refill. Druridge Bay If you’re a nature lover, Druridge Bay is calling your name with its fabulous wildlife watching and bird-watching opportunities. Look out for wintering wildfowl, teal, and goldeneye. This seven-mile stretch of beach runs from Amble to Cresswell, opening up to the spectacular Northumberland Coast Path — perfect for avid walkers, horse riders, and cyclists.  Low Newton Low Newton by the Sea houses white fisherman’s cottages, quaint micro-breweries, and a picturesque sandy beach. Home to the charming Embleton Bay, this National Trust site may be small but it has plenty to offer. Explore rock pools, paddle in the shallows, or marvel at the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle across the distance. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Looking for an Insta-worthy getaway? Newbiggin-by-the-Sea offers glowing sunrises and fiery sunsets to light up your grid.  Spot the dolphins that frequently visit the bay, admire Sean Henry’s ‘Couple’ sculpture, and spend time in The Newbiggin Maritime Centre to learn about this town’s rich history, culture, and heritage. If you’re heading to Northumberland with your four-legged friend and are in need of beaches suitable for dogs, Newbiggin is for you. It’s also accessible, with wheelchairs to hire and ramps leading to Newbiggin’s shore. Don’t forget — these are just five of the best Northumberland beaches. You can find more Northumberland coast destinations that are areas of outstanding beauty in the region using our handy map tool. 2. Find a place to stay near the coast           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Beach House Hotel (@beachhouseseahouses) One of the best places to stay in Northumberland is near the coast. It’s the most effective way to get an idea of town and seaside life — side-by-side.  Northumberland’s bed & breakfasts, hotels, inns, and hostels are an excellent choice if you’d prefer the luxury of serviced accommodation. Put your feet up after a day’s adventure, and dine in-house to try some of the freshest seafood available. Fancy going off-grid in Northumberland? Take a look at our self-catering accommodation choices, or why not sleep under the stars by camping or glamping? If you’re on a family trip for the school holidays, Northumberland also features renowned caravan sites and holiday parks for all the family to enjoy. Everyone should be able to enjoy the charm of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is why many areas offer accessible accommodation. From local B&Bs set upon hilltops to old farmhouses surrounded by wildlife, it’s a chance for everyone to experience Northumberland’s beauty. You can find out more about accessible accommodation and accessible places to visit with our guide to accessibility in Northumberland.   3. Plan your beach activities in Northumberland You’ve chosen your dream beach getaway area and your accommodation is booked to round off your day out — the only thing left? Start booking your coastal activities for some exciting things to do. The Coast and Castles Cycle Route The Northumberland coast boasts an array of castles, perfect for spotting as you pass by on two wheels.  This iconic Northumbrian cycle route covers 192 miles, stretching from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Sites you can expect to see include Tynemouth Priory and the Berwick Walls — not to mention an array of castles. From Alnwick Castle and Bamburgh to Dunstanburgh and, of course, Edinburgh, it's the ideal route for castle enthusiasts. Explore the castles           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Emma | Northumberland Adventures (@northumberland_adventures) But why just pass these castles when you could explore them? Stand 150 feet above the Northumberland coast path and visit the magnificent Bamburgh Castle. Enjoy sweeping views and explore the treasure-lined staterooms. You can also pop over to Warkworth Castle, above the River Coquet, for a chance to see how the powerful Dukes of Northumberland once lived.  Alternatively, adrenaline-seekers can get ‘marooned’ on Holy Island with a visit to Lindisfarne Castle. This spectacular castle has been a main attraction for years. Walk around the enchanting walled garden, and learn about the wonder of the lime kilns — a nod to Lindisfarne’s industrial past. Walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Craster to Dunstanburgh is an easy walk for all the family, offering sea views and a constant view of Dunstanburgh Castle. What’s better, it’s mostly grass and flat so it’s suitable for an all-terrain pushchair. Take breaks on the stoney beaches along the way — perfect for exploring and climbing.  Try your hand at watersports  Northumberland is home to some of the best beaches for taking a dip in the water and trying out some watersports. From paddleboarding and kayaking to surfing lessons, experience the thrill of the sea. 4. Decide where to eat and drink by the sea If you like to eat local, then Northumberland’s seafood selection is second to none — and where better to try it than along the coast? From lobster hatcheries to trusty fish and chip shops and Michelin-star gems, you’ll find traditional dishes and haute cuisine at restaurants up and down the Northumberland coast. Fancy a night-in? Order from one of Northumberland’s takeaways for a delicious, fresh taste from the comfort of your accommodation. Explore the coast with Visit Northumberland There’s no better time to explore the stunning Northumberland coast — make the most of its barely-trodden beaches, local seafood eateries, and historic sites. Whether it’s a family day out or a well-deserved weekend retreat, plan your visit to Northumberland today.
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22 April 2024

Meet Northumberland's award-winning businesses

Northumberland stole the show in the North East Tourism Awards 2024, achieving gold in an amazing nine of the available fourteen categories. So, if you want to know where to stay, what to do and where to eat in Northumberland, look no further than the latest award winners in the county: Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award - The Alnwick Garden           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Alnwick Garden (@alnwickgarden) Built to be unconventional, The Alnwick Garden is a unique, contemporary garden in the beautiful town of Alnwick, where you can lose yourself in the mysterious Bamboo Labyrinth, explore the perils of The Poison Garden or picnic by the Grand Cascade. Awarded for their outstanding accessibility and inclusivity, The Alnwick Garden team embed inclusivity into every decision they make, including in the design features, activities, events and more. From being a completely wheelchair accessible attraction and offering free use of mobility scooters on-site (pre-bookable), to offering sensory maps and braille signage, they ensure that every single visitor feels welcome, comfortable and has a fantastic experience. Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year - Hadrian’s Wall Campsite            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hadrian’s Wall Campsite (@hadrians_wall_campsite) Hadrian’s Wall Campsite is a fantastic campsite less than a mile from Hadrian’s Wall, with incredible sweeping views of Northumberland National Park, sunsets and dark skies that will make you want to stay up all night gazing at the sky, and nearby historical sites that you may struggle to fit into one stay. They offer everything from grass pitches, most of which offer electric hook up, to a variety of self-catering options all the way up to their shepherd’s hut and The Bunkbarn. Admired by judges for its spectacular customer service and staggering surroundings, you can pitch yourself here for Hadrian’s Wall hikes, immersing yourself in nature and enjoying other nearby attractions Northumberland has to offer. Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award - Northumberland Zoo            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland Zoo (@northumberlandzoo) Home to over 80 species, from tiny Harvest Mice to fluffy Snow Leopards, Northumberland Zoo is a fantastic place for a family day out in Northumberland. Offering private experiences with different animals, as well as a Zookeeper Experience, the zoo wasn’t only recognised for its outstanding offer for visitors, but also its ethical, responsible and sustainable values and practices. Owners are passionate about creating a North East hub for wildlife conservation and they participate in conservation breeding programmes and much more. They also ensure that sustainability is ingrained into every detail of the business, including using wood for their exhibits from their local sawmill, the use of solar panels, having their own borehole as their water source and sourcing the animals’ fruit and veggies from their local market as well as onsite from their own polytunnels. Experience of the Year - Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Andrew Douglas (@farne_islands) Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours is a repeat winner in the North East England Tourism Awards AND has been announced as a finalist in the national awards in London. The Farne Islands are a small group of islands a few miles off the coast of the Northumberland village of Seahouses where adorable puffins return every year, from May to September, for mating season. Serenity’s purpose-built catamarans are the perfect platform for viewing the Farne Islands and their spectacular wildlife, with easy access on and off the boat, wheelchair access (when the tides are right), a toilet on board and 360 degree views. The decks are all one level so it’s easy to walk around, and their wildlife guides go the extra mile to make the experience a special one. This award-winning experience is not to be missed when you visit Northumberland. Large Visitor Attraction of the Year - Whitehouse Farm Centre            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Whitehouse Farm Centre (@whitehousefarmcentre) Whitehouse Farm Centre is Northumberland’s largest, family-run farm attraction spread over 40 acres, located south of Morpeth. Whitehouse is a great place for families, school and group visits of all ages enabling visitors to see, handle and feed a wide variety of animals from traditional breeds to more unusual and exotic species. As well as animals and activities, there are indoor and outdoor play areas to discover and explore, so there is always fun to be had whatever the weather, and parents can relax with a hot drink in hand from The Hungry Pig Cafe. New Tourism Business of the Year - The Hiddle Hut            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hiddle Hut (@hiddle_hut) Despite being a Northumberland newbie, The Hiddle Hut has already stolen the show at the North East Tourism Awards. Situated under the Northumberland Dark Sky Park and immersed within breath-taking views of the countryside, their two-storey, luxury cabin offers a completely unique, bespoke hideaway. The second-floor bedroom mezzanine is linked to the ensuite bathroom via a bridge, where the roll-top bath of dreams awaits beside a window looking out onto stunning views of the surrounding rural landscape. The roaring log-burner means you can while the nights away in front of a relaxing open fire, and the star-gazing roof window over the King-sized hand-built bed means you can stargaze until you fall asleep. Pub of the Year - The Beresford Arms           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Beresford Arms Whalton (@theberesfordwhalton) The Beresford Arms is a restored coaching inn turned into a beautiful, cosy blend of original stone walls, exposed beams, and an open fireplace. In summer, choose between the sun-drenched front beer garden and spacious rear garden to enjoy an al fresco drink or meal, and in winter snuggle up in the dog friendly bar area. Based in the stunning Northumberland countryside, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and Cragside House are within easy reach, and you can rest your head in one of their lovely bedrooms tucked away in the former stables blocks. Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year - Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages (@kidlandleeholidaycottages) Nowhere feels like more of an escape from reality than staggering Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages. Sitting 1400 feet above sea level deep in Northumberland National Park, the mind-blowing views and complete, blissful silence, other than the sound of chirping birds and scurrying wildlife, will make you never want to leave. Their selection of luxury cottages and barn conversions offer a variety of features including warming log burners, panoramic private terraces and dark skies equipment to embrace the Gold Tier-rated dark skies above. Offering an off-grid experience without compromising on luxury, the cottages operate sustainably and are powered by solar trackers and wind turbines, water is pumped from two bore holes and filtered on site and in-cottage products are locally sourced. Unsung Hero - Duncan Wise, Northumberland National Park Authority            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland National Park (@northumberlandnationalpark) This award picks out an individual who is integral to Northumberand’s tourism industry and Duncan Wise, the Northumberland National Park's Visitor Development and Tourism Officer, scooped the Unsung hero award for his tireless efforts to establish Northumberland as the country's leading Dark Skies reserve and his contribution to firmly establishing the park as a place to enjoy nature.  The incredible Northumberland National Park is home to fascinating wildlife, a huge chunk of Hadrian’s Wall, Roman Forts, some of the darkest skies in Europe and fantastic views to be enjoyed on its endless hiking routes and challenging bike trails. Northumberland Silver, Bronze and Highly Commended Awards: Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award SILVER: Northumberland National Park Authority BRONZE: Spectrum Holidays HIGHLY COMMENDED: Vindomora Country Lodges Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year SILVER: Vindomora Country Lodges BRONZE: Woodland Chase Glamping Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award SILVER: Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages Experience of the Year BRONZE: Athey’s Moor Flying School Large Hotel of the Year SILVER: Matfen Hall Large Visitor Attraction of the Year BRONZE: Northumberland Zoo Pub of the Year SILVER: The Joiners Arms BRONZE: Twice Brewed Inn Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year SILVER: Honeybee Cottage BRONZE: Chesters Stables Small Hotel of the Year SILVER: Langley Castle Hotel Small Visitor Attraction of the Year SILVER: Kielder Observatory BRONZE: Falconry Days Taste of North East England Award SILVER: The Old Boathouse BRONZE: The Lord Crewe Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award Vera: TV Series and Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera book series Author: Jenni Meikle
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21 March 2024

Northumberland is for everyone: Accessible attractions and places to stay

We understand that going on a trip away when you have accessibility needs can make organisation just a touch more difficult. Thankfully, Northumberland is renowned for its accessibility, and we welcome all visitors. No matter whether you have mobility, visual, hearing, or other requirements, you’ll be sure to have a relaxing and joyful experience in this incredible county. From accessible travel options and planning your route’s terrain with the help of AccessAble, to roaming our beautiful beaches without worry, there’s plenty for you to do and experience.  With that in mind, we first need to take a look at the accessible places to stay in Northumberland. Accessible accommodation options in Northumberland Whether you’re visiting Northumberland for an escape to the seaside or a luxury 5* stay, we have a variety of accessible accommodation options available. Self-catering houses and cottages Self-catering accommodation allows you to make a home away from home. With privacy and comfort in mind, our self-catering options offer the perfect mix of freedom and the ability to relax on your terms.   Vesta View, Carraw Luxury Holiday Homes Vesta View is a modern, luxurious and spacious property, situated in Hadrian’s Wall Country and Northumberland National Park. The property has been designed to be accessible and inclusive for all, including a fully accessible bedroom with a wet room, and one for visitors with limited mobility — as well as three upstairs bedrooms.   Hemmel House, Beach and Quiet Offered by Beach and Quiet, Hemmel House is just a stone’s throw away from the historic harbours of Craster and Seahouses. With the master suite on the ground floor, the house is specially designed for those with mobility access concerns. You’ll also find a spacious wet room, and access panels for using the fridge and oven with ease.   Swallow Cottage, Burradon Farm Houses & Cottages Swallow Cottage sits in the midpoint between city, coast, and countryside — the best that Northumberland has to offer. Swallow Cottage is a two-bedroom ground-level property, fully accessible in line with the National Accessible Scheme. With low-level kitchen worktops for easy access and a wetroom with a seated shower facility, it’s more than ideal for guests with limited mobility.   Schoolhouse Fenwick, Holiday Cottage Looking for an accessible self-catering cottage just a stone’s throw away from one of the most iconic visitor destinations in Northumberland? Book your stay at Schoolhouse Fenwick holiday cottage, just 7 miles away from the beautiful Holy Island. Boasting stunning views, a spacious open plan kitchen dining area, a cosy log burning stove, a large en-suit wet room, and a single bedroom equipped with an electrical profiling bed and ceiling hoist. This self-catering accommodation is great for guests with limited mobility.  Camping and caravan Ready to feel the breeze on your face and the tingle of sea salt in the air? Accessible camping and caravan accommodation may be an option for you.   The Boe Rigg Centrally located just outside of Bellingham, you’ll find The Boe Rigg within the Northumberland National Park and Dark Skies Park. With 30 camping pitches and six caravan pitches available over 20 acres of land, you’ll be in for a relaxing and peaceful stay.   South Meadows Caravan Park South Meadows Caravan Park is set on smooth, flat land with wide tarmacked areas — perfect for wheelchair users. With step-free access to the reception and a disabled toilet and shower facility right next to a blue-badge parking area, you’ll be in great hands for the duration of your stay.  Hotel retreats Fancy a more luxurious stay to make the most of your visit? Take a look at our accessible hotel options in Northumberland, offering comfort, luxury, and five-star service.   Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa It is here where country living meets style. An idyllic retreat nestled in the Northumberland countryside, this gorgeous 18th-century country stately home hotel offers comfort for those with limited mobility needs. Linden Hall Hotel boasts a fully accessible room with a wet room bathroom and wide doors for your convenience. There are also an additional two rooms with walk-in showers, and all of these rooms are accessible via lift.   Langley Castle Hotel If you fancy living like royalty for the duration of your Northumberland holiday, why not book a room in this 14th-century castle, set in a 12-acre woodland estate? Situated in Langley, Langley Castle Hotel is the perfect location for discovering Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the Scottish Borders. Two of their rooms have been designated with disabled access in mind, ensuring a luxurious stay full of pampering and exploration. Accessible attractions and activities in Northumberland Now that you have your accommodation sorted, it’s time to start planning your stay. With a selection of day trips, attractions, and excursions to choose from, Northumberland offers a variety of things to do — perfectly suited to those with limited mobility. A day at the beach Every visitor deserves the freedom to roam Northumberland’s picturesque beaches. To make this possible, Beach Access North East (BANE) offers free loans of specialised equipment across the region, including Bamburgh, Beadnell, Blyth, and Newbiggin. For more information about Northumberland’s accessible countryside and coastline, why not watch S2 E8 of Robson Green’s Weekend Escape in Northumberland for a closer look at what the region has to offer? Including accessible pursuits perfect for relaxing and taking in the beauty of the region, as well as adventure activities for those seeking to enjoy the thrill of visiting Northumberland with Calvert Kielder.  Visit Kielder Water and Forest Take in the views around the 26-mile Lakeside Way, suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, and wheelchair users, and cast your eyes over the shimmering shoreline of Kielder Water. Take advantage of accessible routes Did you know that you can see detailed accounts of the terrain around you using AccessAble? Some of the most popular trails include Prudhoe to Wylam, Ladyburn Lake Circular Route, Rothbury Riverside Walk, Wallington Hall and Reavely Farm Family Circular.  Try your hand at wildlife watching From adorable puffins to rare ospreys, you’ll have the opportunity to see a range of wildlife in Northumberland. Go dolphin-spotting on the River Tweed in Berwick, or spot the fishes beneath the tumbling waterfalls of The North Pennies on its wheelchair-accessible trail. Sip away on a distillery tour Learn about Ad Gefrin — home to Northumberland’s first Single Malt Whisky. There is wheelchair access available throughout the Distillery Tour and Tasting, with a lift down to the ground floor.  You may wish to note that the tours around the distillery are through an ATEX-rated zone, so some electric and mechanised chairs may not be suitable for this. Due to this, it is recommended that you bring a manual chair. If this is not possible, you can request to borrow a manual wheelchair from Ad Gefrin. Roam the castle grounds Take yourself on a journey back in time, and take advantage of the accessible routes around some of the most spectacular castle settings in Northumberland, including accessible areas of the iconic Bamburgh Castle. Marvel at the Bamboo Labyrinths of The Alnwick Garden or the Jurassic-feeling Quarry Garden of Belsay Hall and Gardens.            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Pippa (@lifeofpippa) See what Northumberland has to offer Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat, an adrenaline-filled adventure, or a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Northumberland’s countryside and coastlines are here to create your home away from home. With its accessible accommodation options and wheelchair-accessible activities, it’s sure to be a trip that you won’t forget.
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11 March 2024

Wildlife Watching in Northumberland

With such a diverse landscape, Northumberland is a fantastic place for wildlife. From rugged hills and historic sites to a sprawling coastline, there are plenty of habitats and lots of opportunities to spot rare birds, woodland critters, and even a dolphin or two.  No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to find fascinating wildlife across the county. Read on to discover the best wildlife-watching destinations and get an insight into the creatures sharing our beautiful corner of the country. The best wildlife-spotting destinations in Northumberland Northumberland is a wonderful place for animal lovers. Whether you’re staying for a weekend break or making a bank holiday of it, here are some must-see wildlife hotspots. Coastal destinations Northumberland boasts a beautiful coastline, stretching from Berwick-upon-Tweed to the River Coquet estuary. The designated National Landscape covers 40 miles of beaches and is home to a host of seabirds and coastal wildlife.  Head to Berwick-upon-Tweed, where you might spot grey seals, or explore Druridge Bay and keep an eye out for wildfowl among the dunes. Wallington House The perfect day out for families, Wallington House offers the perfect balance of rural peace and travelling convenience. Located just 20 miles northwest of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it’s home to some fantastic wildlife. With a secret garden and plenty of woodlands to explore, there are plenty of opportunities to see red squirrels, forest birds, and otters.  Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by HauxleyWDC (@hauxleywdc) With nature discovery trails, bird hides, and a natural play area, Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre is one of the top spots to see the best of Northumberland’s wildlife. Children will love learning about marine life with a pond dipping activity, and all the family can refuel at the cosy cafe.  Kielder Water and Forest Park For those who enjoy getting out and about on the water, Kielder offers the chance to sail and waterski. All the while, keep your eye out for water voles, otters, and perhaps a pipistrelle bat as the sun sets. Kielder Water and Forest Park is also home to around 50% of England’s native red squirrel population, so take a stroll through the quintessential Northumberland woodland and see if you can spot any.  If you fancy it, The Calvert Trust can arrange a guided Osprey and Wildlife motorboat cruise around Kielder Water to help you discover the impressive and rare sea birds. Northumberland wildlife — what can you see? While Kielder Water and Forest Park is the perfect place to see red squirrels, you may also find roe deer and badgers. Who else can you find in the Northumberland countryside? Wild cattle           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Malcolm Clubb (@malcolmclubb) Over in Chillingham — between Alnwick and Chatton — you’ll have the opportunity to see the descendants of ancient cattle who once wandered the meadows and forests of the British Isles. The distinguished wild cattle now roam Chillingham Park, with bulls, cows, and calves living independently — without human contact.  Dolphins           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland Wildlife Trust (@northwildlife) Head to the coast and you might catch a glimpse of elegant dolphins playing in the water. Visitors have reported sightings in Berwick-upon-Tweed and Whitley Bay.  Grey seals While you’re looking out for dolphins, it’s also worth keeping your eyes peeled for Atlantic grey seals. To boost your chances of seeing these delightful creatures, we suggest heading over to the Farne Islands. Every autumn, you can see 3000 fluffy seal pups lining the beaches — they make a very cute sight! Wild goats Did you know the Cheviots are home to wild goats? These shaggy-haired goats have been part of the Northumberland landscape since the Neolithic period and can be found in small family groups throughout the year. Salmon In the late summer and early autumn, hundreds of salmon make their way up towards the Pennines. Hexham Weir is a great place to visit at this time of year — you may even see the salmon leaping through the water as they swim upstream through the River Tyne. Bird watching in Northumberland Alongside fish and land-dwelling animals, Northumberland is the ideal location for keen birders. Whether you’re hoping to see birds of prey or seabirds, there are plenty of birdwatching opportunities.  From Cresswell Pond Nature Reserve to Bolam Lake Country Park, you’re sure to see all manner of rare bird species, no matter which part of Northumberland you visit.  Curlews With their long, stilt-like legs and haunting call, curlews are a striking bird to spot. The largest wading birds in the UK, curlews can be found in the Northumberland National Park and North Pennines, along with other moorland species.  Puffins           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Andrew Douglas (@farne_islands) Is there anything more joyous than the sight of a colourful puffin? With the largest colony of puffins, it’s no wonder the Farne Islands, just off the Northumberland coast, are noted as one of ​​Sir David Attenborough’s favourite places to see nature. Take a boat trip in June, and you can see adorable baby puffins — known as ‘pufflings’. Make sure you’re prepared for your Farne Island adventure with our guide on five things to know before you visit the Farne Islands. Marsh harriers and ospreys Further impressive sea birds can be seen on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Here, you’ll find more ospreys, along with majestic marsh harriers and Brent geese flying in from Svalbard. Spotting wildlife safely Whether you’re exploring Northumberland’s woodlands or strolling along the beach, wildlife watching can be an exciting experience. However, when seeing nature’s marvels up close, it’s important to approach the region’s furry and feathered residents with care and respect.  Many areas of Northumberland are pet-friendly, but it’s essential to know when and where you can let your dog off the lead and when you need to keep a close eye on them — especially on the coast.  Whether you have a dog or not, please always remember to keep a safe distance from birds and animals to avoid disturbing their natural behaviours. Quiet observation is key — use binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to witness them without intrusion.  It’s also worth checking which wildlife will be around when you visit and whether or not they’ll have young. Some animals can become very protective of their babies, so be especially mindful if you visit during breeding seasons.  Discover the birds and wildlife of Northumberland From spring to winter, there are always some incredible sights in Northumberland. The region’s wildlife offers endless opportunities to witness nature in all its glory. Whether you’re interested in seeing cute baby seals and puffins or witnessing leaping salmon and mysterious birds of prey, any animal lover will have an adventure.  Stay in Northumberland for a spring getaway,weekend break or extended holiday — start planning your visit today.
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04 March 2024

Afternoon Tea in Northumberland

Our county is home to a wide array of luxury hotels, manor houses, spas and cafes that serve the best Afternoon Tea in Northumberland, perfect for a day out with friends, as part of a romantic weekend break, or to treat your loved ones and celebrate a special occasion like mothers day and the easter break. From traditional Afternoon Teas to Afternoon Teas with a twist at some of the regions most hidden gem locations, we have featured some of the best places for afternoon tea in Northumberland to book now: Matfen Hall           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Matfen Hall (@matfenhall) Magnificent Matfen Hall, nestled away in 300 acres of unique parkland in Northumberland’s countryside, makes for an exquisite setting for Afternoon Tea. Offering a classic British Afternoon Tea, they serve up delicious savoury treats to begin with, followed by delicate, hand-crafted sweets and a selection of beverages to enjoy while you soak in your stunning surroundings. You will be seated in the elegant Morning Room, distinguished by its original oak panelling and large glass windows that offer plenty of natural light and views across their enhanting 300 acre estate. Extend your treat day with a trip to the hotel spa, or how about a spot of golf on the hotel’s 27-hole course.  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 of the town, the magic of Alnwick Castle 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, whether you are out and about enjoying the Easter weekend, a Spring stay in the area, a romantic getaway in Northumberland or treating your mum on Mother’s Day.  
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01 March 2024

What 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 some of the best things to do in Northumberland this Easter for some inspiration (and some terrible puns).  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 with Serenity or Billy Shiels. Kielder’s ospreys have made a return and you may be lucky enough to spot them when you visit. Chillingham Wild Cattle re-opens on 29th March and Chillingham Castle re-opens on 30th March, so head along to see the rare animals before paying a spooky visit to the castle with the highest levels of parranormal activity in the country. 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.  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. There are some other fantastic accommodation options in Kielder such as The Pheasant Inn, The Holly Bush Inn, Clear Sky Lodge Park and Kielder Waterside Lodges.  Join an Easter Egg Hunt           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by National Trust Wallington (@wallington_nt) Northumberland has a number of attractions to boast about and many of them are running exciting Easter egg hunts and trails this Easter. National Trust sites such as Cragside House and Gardens, Seaton Delaval Hall and Wallington Hall are running Easter trails within the grounds of their stunning gardens. English Heritage sites Warkworth Castle, Chesters Roman Fort and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens are running Easter quests, and at The Alnwick Garden, you can join an exciting Easter Egg Hunt, plant your own veg and join a Garden Gang Tea Party. Or head to Ford and Etal, where you pick up a free Easter Trail map from the Lavender Tearooms in Etal village, from the Visitor Centre or Heatherslaw Corn Mill Gift Shop or from Ford Village Shop in Ford. Have a look at our Easter page for full details on this year's Easter Egg Hunts.  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 will reopen 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 is known for its starring role as Hogwarts 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 one of the largest secondhand bookshops in Europe, a treehouse restaurant and, of course, magnificent The Alnwick Garden and Lilidorei. If you're looking to stay in Alnwick, The Hogs Head Inn is a fantastic inn just outside of Alnwick, and if you're looking for a cottage break then look no further than Village Farm Cottages which has its own on-site spa.  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 one of Northumberland's spa hotels. Stunning Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate is a magnificent country house and offers a luxurious leisure club featuring a swimming pool, gym, aerobics studio and 5 beauty treatment rooms. Near the Northumberland coast, beautiful Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa makes for an idyllic spa day in Northumberland. Set in a peaceful estate it offers a variety of fitness equipment and a spectacular spa with 5 treatment rooms, swimming pool, spa baths, sauna and steam room. Lovely Linden Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa is an 18th century country house hotel, nestled in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and offering a spa and leisure club perfect for a wellness retreat with a relaxation room, ELEMIS treatments and more.   Eat your way through Easter Sunday           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by JULIA🤍FOOD BLOG (@belterbait) A Sunday 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 in Bellingham, The Pheasant Inn in Kielder or The Duke of Wellington Inn in Newton, Stocksfield. Or, head to the coast to try The Drift Cafe with seaviews and new Greek restaurant. Or how about heading to the Breamish Valley and enjoying panoramic views of the rugged valley landscape while tucking into a delicious meal at The Bosk Restaurant.  Find out what's hoppening at Bamburgh Castle           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Bamburgh Castle (@bamburgh_castle) Join a Jurassic adventure at Bamburgh Castle this Easter as they have a brimming events calendar ready for the Easter holidays. Scavenge for dinosaur eggs on an egg hunt, delve into roarsome stories with an interactive storytime and make a Dippy dinosaur hanging mobile to take home. Don’t forget to soak in the scenic sea views, explore Bamburgh village and visit sweeping Bamburgh Beach while you’re there. Stay nearby at Glororum Holiday Park for a coast and castles-filled caravan stay, or enjoy a private cottage retreat at Little Hideaways in Seahouses. Or why not stay in Beadnell at fantastic Cherry Tree and Almond Apartments, just a short drive from Bamburgh.  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. 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.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. Stay nearby at amazing Cragend Farm, a working farm offering beautiful accommodation.   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 enjoying Northumberland's Roman history. Corbridge is a historical market town complete with stunning architecture, fantastic pubs and amazing Corbridge Roman Town. Once a bustling town and supply base, you can wander through the ancient streets and imagine life as a Roman. Or how about heading to Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum, whose ancient buried forts are some of Europe's most important and richest archaeological resources. There are many hotels, B&Bs and cottages near Hadrian's Wall and Northumberland's other ancient sites and forts, such as Carraw Luxury Holiday Homes, Wydon Farm B&B and Langley Castle. We hope we have left you with enough inspiration to have a fantastic Easter trip to Northumberland, whatever destination, attraction, activity or event you choose to explore. Tag us in your Easter adventures at @visitnorthumberland or use the hashtag #visitnorthumberland. Author: Jenni Meikle
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16 February 2024

What to do on a weekend in Northumberland

Northumberland is a fantastic area, filled with an array of attractions and activities to explore. Whatever time of year you visit, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you occupied from dawn to dusk. And if you’re visiting for a weekend, it can be helpful to plan ahead to make the most of your short but sweet trip. From sporting pursuits to historical sites, here are some activity ideas and top tips to help you make the most of your weekend escape in Northumberland. Embrace the fresh Northumberland air The beauty of Northumberland lies in its stunning landscape. There’s so much to explore no matter where you stay or how long you’re here for. If you’re wondering what to do in Northumberland, we’d recommend getting out and about to discover the region’s varied terrain.  Enjoy a hike            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland National Park (@northumberlandnationalpark) With its plethora of walking trails, Northumberland is the perfect place for a weekend hike. You might want to make this the focus of your weekend in Northumberland and trek some of Hadrian’s Wall. The world-famous Roman wall spans 73 miles, offering incredible views across the Northumberland countryside.  Alternatively, there are plenty of short walks, perfect for bringing some fresh air to your weekend in Northumberland. From coastal paths in the sunshine to wellie walks leading to a cosy pub lunch on a rainy afternoon, there are routes to suit all seasons, abilities, and time constraints.  Hikes and walks are also a great idea if you want an active and memorable weekend in Northumberland without a large price tag. For more ideas on budget-friendly activities, take a look at our guide to free things to do in Northumberland. Discover Northumberland wildlife           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Water & Forest Park (@visitkielder) If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, check who might be around when you’re in Northumberland. Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to spot rare seabirds, wild cattle and goats, and maybe even a seal or two. Keen birders can make the most of a weekend in Northumberland with a trip to the Farne Islands, where you can see colourful puffins, elegant terns, and sleek razorbills. What to do in Northumberland in the rain Of course, the British weather can be very changeable, and there’s no guarantee of pure sunshine in Northumberland. But don’t worry, there are lots of rainy-day and indoor activities to keep you busy on your weekend away too.   Relax with a spa weekend           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa (@doxford_hall) For the ultimate relaxation, why not book a luxurious spa weekend in Northumberland? Perfect for a romantic couple’s getaway, hen weekend, or catching up with friends, a spa trip is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and enjoy a bit of self-care.  If you’re heading to Alnwick, take a look at Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa. Tie an afternoon massage into your Northumberland trip or make a full weekend of it with a spa break — stay in one of the hotel’s grand rooms and enjoy the sauna, jacuzzi, heated swimming pool, and more.  Alternatively, go for a self-catered option with Cheviot Holiday Cottages. As well as staying in a beautifully renovated stable block, The Retreat grants you access to your very own pool, while The Gate Lodge includes a hydrotherapy hot tub and infrared sauna. Indoor activities for all the family           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Whitehouse Farm Centre (@whitehousefarmcentre) For those looking to keep the little ones occupied on a rainy day, you’ll find a host of options. Take them swimming at one of Northumberland’s local leisure centres, take a trip to the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, or meet the adorable residents of Whitehouse Farm Centre. For more details on family activities in Northumberland, take a look at our travelling tips for family fun. No weekend in Northumberland is complete without some delicious food. So why not explore family-friendly restaurants, too? Grab a snack at a cosy cafe, try some of the region’s iconic seafood, and enjoy a visit to a traditional pub. Discover Northumberland’s past with historical sites There are also plenty of indoor spaces at many of Northumberland’s historic sites. From castles to manor houses, there are National Trust and English Heritage sites that offer intrigue both inside and out. Chillingham Castle — touted as Britain’s most haunted historic castle, Chillingham Castle is a must-see for those with an interest in medieval architecture and history’s spooky side. Bamburgh Castle — If you fancy visiting a coastal fortress, head over to Bamburgh Castle. With its treasure-filled staterooms, archaeology museum, and striking sea views, there’s plenty to see.  Wallington House, Gardens, and Estate — Boasting 13,500 acres, Wallington House, Gardens, and Estate has a little something for everyone. From extended woodlands and a walled garden to a display of pre-Raphaelite paintings, this historical home makes a great day trip for your weekend in Northumberland. You can even stop for a hot meal at Wallington’s Clocktower Cafe. Cragside — Are you interested in smart technology? Cragside is a remarkable 19th-century home powered by hydroelectricity and packed with Victorian gadgets. Explore the beautiful woodland, let the kids run around in the play area, and enjoy a bite to eat at Cragside’s tea room. Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens - With it’s very own vast quarry garden, a mediterranean inspired manor hall and a tower castle to enjoy views over the Northumberland countryside, English Heritage’s Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens really has it all. Including events across the school holidays, explore their event programme and find out what your family can enjoy over bank holiday weekends, February half term and more.  Find out what’s on in Northumberland this weekend           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Bamburgh Castle (@bamburgh_castle) There’s always something to see or do in Northumberland. Alongside year-round attractions, the area is home to plenty of exciting events, too. From food festivals to art trails and music festivals, there are events for everyone.  If you visit around Christmas, look out for festive markets, while the Easter holidays are often filled with Easter egg hunts and spring fairs. Curious to see what’s on in Northumberland this weekend? Head to our events page for details on upcoming activities across the county.  Plan your weekend in Northumberland A weekend in Northumberland is sure to be fun-filled. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a jam-packed itinerary, you can tailor your Northumberland break to your needs.  Stay up to date with the latest events, find the perfect accommodation for your stay, and get ready for a lovely weekend in Northumberland.
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16 February 2024

The best fish and chips in Northumberland

Fish and chips — the number one seaside delicacy. There’s nothing quite like it, especially after a lengthy walk along the coastline. Something about the fresh sea air tends to get the belly growling and the mouth-watering, but thankfully Northumberland’s coastal areas have a lot to offer. If you’re visiting our wonderful county, then you’re bound to escape to the rugged shorefronts at some point during your stay. With this in mind, we want to make sure you’re prepared — especially if you get a hankering for some delicious food like fish and chips! So, where can you find the best fish and chips in Northumberland? Let’s find out. Northumberland’s best coastal destinations and activities The Northumberland Coast is a designated National Landscape — and for good reason. With 40 miles of coastline running from Berwick-Upon-Tweed to the River Coquet estuary in the Northeast of England, Northumberland offers some stunning coastal destinations suited to a variety of tastes and preferences. Here are a few must-see areas — ideal spots for coastal walks and that all-important Northumberland seafood. Bamburgh Bamburgh itself is a small, yet historically rich village, but it is also blessed with a pristine shoreline. Amongst the drifting sand dunes, you’ll find a castle view from every corner. Bamburgh Castle isn’t afraid of making itself known, creating a truly magic walk along Bamburgh Beach.  It’s the perfect seaside destination for those looking to learn more about Northumberland, and you may even catch a glimpse of Holy Island of Lindisfarne (as featured on ITV’s Vera) and the Farne Islands as you look out onto the horizon. Alnmouth Recently featured on Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes, Alnmouth is a quaint and tranquil seaside setting. Whether you’d like to walk, cycle or horse-ride across the sand, Alnmouth offers all of the above. Beyond its pastel-coloured houses, you’ll see a huge selection of bird and wildlife species, making it an excellent coastal destination for bird-watching fanatics. Alnmouth Beach is also dog-friendly, so your four-legged friend is more than welcome to join you on a short walk. If you fancy stretching your legs even more, you can even roam via St Oswald’s Way and the Northumberland Coast Path by bike using the Coasts and Castles Cycle Route. Or, if you fancy a touch of luxury, by horseback.  Seahouses If you’re visiting Northumberland just for fish and chips, this would be our top recommendation. Seahouses is one of Northumberland’s historic fishing villages, offering daily boat trips to The Farne Islands for puffin spotting during the spring and summer months. Roam the beaches, cast your fishing nets, and get stuck into the rock pools for hours of spotting and adventuring. If that doesn’t take your fancy, grab your bodyboard and hit the waves or explore the sand dunes.  These are just a few of the many coastal destinations Northumberland has to offer, so don’t forget to learn about Northumberland’s other seaside destinations. The best fish and chips in Northumberland After all that adventuring, we’d say it’s the perfect time for some hearty and fresh seafood. But where should you go in Northumberland to find your perfect catch? Let’s take a closer look at a few of our top fish and chip restaurants and takeaways in Northumberland — just make sure you have a snack ready as you read along, as you may get peckish. The Harbour View, Seaton Sluice Looking for award winning fish and chips just outside of Newcastle? Head to The Harbour View at Seaton Sluice. Just a stone’s throw away from the hidden gem, stately home Seaton Delaval Hall, you can either takeaway fish and chips and wander down to the beach, or enjoy a meal to remember in their restaurant. So whether you prefer the classic cod and chips, a fishcake and mushy peas, or scampi and chips, enjoy traditional Northumberland fish and chips at The Harbour View.  Robson & Son’s Craster Kippers, Craster Fancy something a bit different? Within the peaceful village of Craster lies the world-famous traditional fish smokers — producers of the legendary ‘Craster Kippers’. With over 100 years of experience in smoking salmon and kippers, it’s definitely worth a stop on your itinerary. Now, order your freshly smoked seafood, and grab your piping hot brown paper bag. All that’s left for you to do is find a seat overlooking Craster Harbour, and revel in the world-class taste experience.  Neptune’s Fish Restaurant, Seahouses Named the ‘plaice’ to be, Neptune’s Fish Restaurant has been a favourite for tourists visiting Northumberland for over twenty years. Located just a short walk from the Seahouses Victorian Harbour, it’s the perfect place for fish and chips to dine in or takeaway. For afters, there’s also an on-site ice cream parlour with a selection of speciality handmade ice creams available. The Fish Shack, Amble As reviewed by The Hairy Bikers themselves, The Fish Shack in Amble provides passersby with fish and chips, locally smoked seafood, and freshly steamed mussels overlooking Amble’s beautiful harbour. It’s rustic and cosy, offering beautiful views, high-quality service, and a relaxed atmosphere. If you’re looking to go all-out on your visit, they even offer ‘The Fish Shack Seafood Sharing Platter’. You’ll find a selection of dressed crab, roasted sea bream, tiger prawns, cod goujons, mackerel pate, north Atlantic prawns, furikake squid, Lindisfarne oysters, Scottish mussels, along with hot and cold smoked salmon. That’s without the included sides, sauces and dips! Don’t worry — they also offer small plates, big plates, and even pizza, so you can take the whole family knowing they’ll be well-fed.  The Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Bamburgh Castle Inn (@thebamburghcastleinn) Overlooking the picturesque harbour of Seahouses, The Bamburgh Castle Inn is the perfect place to eat, drink, sleep, and explore. It truly has it all, including a wonderful variety of home-cooked meals. Take a look at their extensive menu, where you will find everything from hearty mains to delectable starters. In their ‘From The Fryer’ section, they have fish and chip dishes, all of which have been cooked in beef dripping for a delicious, traditional flavour. As standard, all fish dishes are served with thick-cut chips, mushy peas, and a lemon wedge — delicious. A taste of the sea, from Northumberland to you No matter where your adventure takes you, we can guarantee that you will find a fish and chip shop in every one of Northumberland’s stunning coastal towns and harbours. With their charming atmospheres and fresh, local catches, it’s an experience for the taste buds that will stay with you long after your stay. Explore the best seafood eateries, restaurants and takeaway spots in Northumberland. Browse their menus — and why not find a cosy place to stay for that more-than-necessary post-meal rest?  At the end of your busy day exploring and adventuring, you’ll always have a fresh cone full of hot fish and crispy chips waiting for you in Northumberland.
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