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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22 July 2024

Morpeth Restaurants - The Ultimate Guide on Where to Eat

Welcome to Morpeth — a charming market town in Northumberland, brimming with fantastic dining options. Whether you're here with family, planning a romantic meal as a couple, or grabbing a quick bite en route to your next adventure, Morpeth has a variety of restaurants for you to choose from, no matter your tastes.  From dog-friendly cafes to settings perfect for group meals and celebrations, let’s take a closer look at what this idyllic town can offer your taste buds. Family-friendly restaurants in Morpeth Morpeth offers a variety of family-friendly restaurants that cater to big bellies and little bellies. Ephesus Restaurant is a popular choice, offering delicious Mezze and Charcoal Grill dishes that the whole family can enjoy. The relaxed atmosphere and varied menu make it an ideal spot for family dinners.  Another great option would be The Chantry Tea Room, where you can enjoy home-cooked British grub in a cosy setting. We’re sure your little ones will love the selection of homemade cakes, scones and treats, too! For more family-friendly dining options in Northumberland, check out our food and drink page. Romantic dining restaurants in Morpeth If you’re after a spot of intimate dining, Morpeth has plenty of romantic dining venues tailored to couples. Lollo Rosso Italia is a local favourite for those seeking a romantic meal with a twist. It boasts an extravagant Italian menu, and you may even get to experience the live music they play! They also have Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free options available. Transport yourself for a taste of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand by visiting Nadon Thai. It provides a warm and inviting atmosphere with a variety of delicious Thai dishes. They even run a happy hour from 5.30 - 6.30 pm every day, where you can get a starter, beer, or soft drink with a main for just £15.50.  For more ideas on romantic dining spots, check out our blog on the best Sunday lunches and afternoon teas in Northumberland for a more casual, romantic dining experience. Cafes and quick bite dining in Morpeth If you're dining solo or need somewhere quick to fill your belly, Morpeth has plenty of charming cafes and tearooms. Just over the road from Morpeth’s Stepping Stones, you’ll find Cafe Des Amis — a delightful spot offering a range of coffees, teas, and light bites such as sandwiches and pastries. A great spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Learn more about Northumberland’s local produce and on our Produced in Northumberland page. Also, don't forget to visit the Morpeth Markets for a few fresh, local goodies! Restaurants for group dining and special occasions Planning a gathering or special celebration? Morpeth has several restaurants that are fit for larger groups. The Black Bull is a friendly and relaxed bar and restaurant with a lively atmosphere and a menu packed with pub favourites.  Just down Morpeth High Street, you’ll find The Townhouse Bar & No.59 Restaurant — perfect for a bite to eat and an after-dinner tipple. They’re open for food and drink from Thursday to Sunday and for private hire for special occasions. They can fit up to 40 people in the building.  For more options, browse our Northumberland pubs and bars section and explore things to do in Morpeth with your group. Dog-friendly restaurants and pubs in Morpeth Why should your furry friends miss out on what Morpeth has to offer? Take your four-legged friend into this fabulous gastro pub and luxury inn for a waggy welcome. The Joiners Arms welcomes dogs with a bowl of fresh water or even a doggy beer if you’d prefer! If you’re staying in Morpeth, they even have dog-friendly rooms that come with a few extras for you and your pooch. Traditional pub-grub in Morpeth Home-cooked grub, local beers and comforting decor is sometimes all you need when travelling to a new area. For those who enjoy a traditional pub experience, The Sun Inn offers a classic pub atmosphere with a great selection of ales and traditional dishes. The Waterford Lodge Hotel is another tourist favourite, known for its friendly service and delicious food. Explore the restaurants of Morpeth today No matter where you choose to wine and dine in Morpeth, we hope our suggestions have provided you with a touch of inspiration. Morpeth’s town may be on the smaller side, but its food scene is incredibly diverse for all foodies — tourists and residents alike. Ready to plan your visit to Northumberland? Head over to our website or get in touch with our team with any questions. Happy dining!
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22 July 2024

Plan your day out to Ford and Etal

If you’re looking for a charming and historic destination in North Northumberland, look no further than the hidden gem of Ford and Etal. This beautiful area offers a variety of attractions and activities, making it an ideal destination for a quick visit, a full day out, a weekend stay, or even for a longer summer holiday.  Whether you're looking for a relaxing few hours in the countryside, an expert historical tour, or family-friendly activities, Ford and Etal has something for everyone.  Ready to start planning your visit? Let’s give you an idea of what you can get up to. For a few hours Maybe you’re en route to your next big adventure and fancy a stop-off. Or maybe you live locally and need a spot of fresh air?  Lady Waterford Hall is a must-see if you’re a history buff, with its stunning Pre-Raphaelite artwork and rich history. This former schoolhouse offers a glimpse into the area’s past and is perfect for a short visit.   After exploring the hall, take a leisurely walk around Etal Castle. It was built in the 14th-century and has beautiful ruins to explore with picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. For a quick bite to eat, stop by the Etal Post Office Shop & Tearoom. Enjoy a cup of tea and a generous slice of homemade cake while soaking in the village atmosphere.  For a full day Start your day with a visit to Heatherslaw Cornmill. This working watermill and museum provide a fascinating look at traditional milling processes that have been in action for over 700 years.  Afterward, hop aboard the Heatherslaw Light Railway for a scenic ride through the estates. It’s the best way to see the countryside, rest your legs, and learn more about the area's history all at once. Don’t forget to try out the local cuisine in Northumberland once your journey has finished. There are plenty of local pubs and bars for a post-walk tipple or traditional Sunday lunch. When your bellies are full, head over to Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre. This is a family-friendly attraction where you can meet and learn about heavy horses (working horses) and other farm animals, something fun, educational and enjoyable for all ages.  For a weekend A weekend is the perfect amount of time to enjoy the wonders of Ford and Etal. Begin your weekend with a leisurely walk in the rolling Cheviot Hills. Get your hiking boots on and enjoy the variety of pathways and nature walks on offer.  Stay at one of the areas charming accommodation options, like Laverock Law Cottages & Glamping or The Tankerville Arms. Whether you choose to glamp under the stars, enjoy the home comforts of your own cottage, or feel the community vibe in the Tankerville Arms, it’s the best way to wind down after a day of exploring. If you’re visiting during the festive season, don’t miss the magical Ford and Etal Christmas Market. The market features local crafts, delicious food, and a bucket full of festive cheer — the perfect holiday activity for couples, families, or solo travellers. Alternatively, if you visit in October, the Ford and Etal community hosts plenty of Halloween events for a spot of spooky fun. Spend your second day exploring more wonders of the estates, visiting local shops, and enjoying the natural beauty around you. Ford and Etal is your oyster! For a summer holiday visit Ford and Etal is an excellent destination for a summer holiday in Northumberland. You’ll find plenty of attractions to visit, wonderful eateries to try, and comfy places to stay. If your family is quite the active bunch, spend your time trying some outdoor activities like cycling trails, picnicking, and exploring the beautiful landscapes. Take a scenic walk along the Ford and Etal Waterfall Trail, where you can discover hidden waterfalls. For history enthusiasts, visit Flodden Battlefield to find out more about the history of the area's bloody battles and conflicts. For a more unique place to go in Northumberland, why not explore the Ford Moss Nature Reserve? This special place of scientific interest has a variety of wildlife for you to spot and rare plant species for you to learn about.  Consider staying at Yearle House Cottages or Homildon Cottage — these family-friendly accommodation options have all you need for a summer holiday to remember. Come and see what Ford and Etal have to offer Take a look at our Northumberland Travel Tips for more detailed information and to start planning your adventure. From places to stay and things to do to local places to eat, we have all the information you need to make your stay in Northumberland one to remember.
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02 July 2024

Northumberland Summer What's On Guide

There’s no better place to be than Northumberland this summer. From getting your ‘vitamin sea’ at the coast to festivals, outdoor events and more, this vibrant county is filled with events, attractions, and activities for all the family.  Want to know what’s on in Northumberland in the coming weeks? Read on and find out. Events in Northumberland: what’s on this summer? Northumberland is one of the most exciting counties in the UK, brimming with historic castles, vibrant towns and breathtaking beaches. And there's so much going on that everyone's welcome to visit Northumberland events this summer. Here's our pick of what's going on this year. The Northumberland Balloon Festival Friday 12th - Sunday 14th July | Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat & Sun Midday - 10pm | Tynedale Rugby Club, NE45 5AY           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland balloon festival (@northumberland_balloonfestival) Prepare to be dazzled by a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes at the Northumberland Balloon Festival, where dozens of vibrant hot air balloons will be released in unison, creating a mesmerizing display over Northumberland’s breath taking landscapes. As dusk falls, the festival will transform into a magical wonderland with the Night Glow events, when balloons will be tethered to the ground and illuminated, lighting up in time with music. Peter Pan - Live Theatre Show Saturday 13 July 2024 | 6pm - 8pm, Gates Open: 5:30pm | Bamburgh Castle, NE69 7DF           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Bamburgh Castle (@bamburgh_castle) Admire the magical grounds of Bamburgh Castle while watching the mischievous Peter Pan embark on an adventure at The Peter Pan Live Theatre Show. With Wendy Darling, the cheeky Tinkerbell, the hilarious Smee, and a host of other exciting characters, Peter Pan will face the most feared villain of them all, the infamous Captain Hook! Expect catchy music, audience interaction, and incredible surroundings. The Dinky Dub Fest Friday 26 - Sunday 28 July | Noon, Fri / 9am, Sat | Druridge Bay Country Park, NE61 5BX           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Dinky Dub Fest (@dinky_dub_fest) Alnwick Castle’s June Mighty Dub Fest has introduced the Dinky Dub Fest, a fantastic family event set in beautiful Druridge Bay Country Park. Expect a chilled-out weekend near the beach, with excellent bands playing on Friday and Saturday evening and a number of food and drink vendors to choose from. You can even use the lake for water sports activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding, where equipment hire is available or you can bring your own. The Bellingham Show and Country Festival Saturday 31 August 2024 | 9am - 5pm | Bellingham Show Field, NE48 2JY           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Bellingham Show (@bellingham_show) From the world famous Big Pete Monster Trucks to Giant tortoises, bubbleologists to the hilarious sheep show, and Northumbrian Piping to live bands you won't believe your eyes at Bellingham Show. Taking place on the Show Field in Bellingham on Hexham Road, there will be continuous main ring entertainment, beer tents with live music, children's entertainment, sheep dog demonstrations and more. With local craft and food traders, there's plenty to fill in the whole day ​Lindisfarne Festival Thursday 29 Aug - Sunday 1 Sept 2024 | 12pm | Beal Farm, Berwick-upon-Tweed  TD15 2PB            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lindisfarne Festival (@lindisfarnefest) Set on the magical Northumberland coast, the Lindisfarne Festival is the ultimate end-of-summer party. With an eclectic line-up over eight unique stages, plenty of mayhem and magic can be found. Head for the Viking Brew House for a pint of Lindisfarne Mead, or explore the musical, mystic vibe of the Temple. Officially the best value festival in the UK, it's the ideal place to kick back and recharge your batteries before returning to work.  More summer events in Northumberland Astronomy events at Kielder Observatory | 1 Jul onwards (Every day) Cragend Farm Historic Houses Tours | Tuesday 2 Jul - Wednesday 3 Jul | (runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from May - October) Art Fairs at Etal | Weds 10 Jul Breadmaking at Heatherslaw Corn Mill | Thurs 18 Jul Gruffalo Party Trail at Kielder Forest | Tues 23rd Jul - September Battlesteads Beer Festival | Thurs 25 Jul - Sun 28 Jul  Corbridge Chamber Music Festival | Thurs 25 Jul - Sun 28 Jul Knights’ Tournament at Belsay Hall | Sat 27 Jul - Sun 28 Jul Circus Skills Weekend and Viking Games at Bamburgh Castle | Sat 3 Aug - Sun 4 Aug Northumberlandia Food and Craft Market | Sun 4 Aug Classic Car Show at Etal Showground | Sunday 11 August 2024  Great North Bike Ride | Sun 24 August 2024 Glendale Show | Mon 26 August 2024 North East Dog Festival | Saturday 31 August - Sunday 01 September Brewery Tour and Tasting, First and Last Brewery | Sat 13 Jul & Sat 3 Aug Take a look at our Northumberland events calendar No matter what kind of activities you’re looking for, Northumberland has plenty to explore this summer.  From romantic ruined castles to pop-up gin bars and family-friendly festivals to some of the most demanding cycling in the country, it doesn't get any better than sunshine-filled events in our incredible county. Whether you looking for a day out with the family, free things to do, or a day trip on a budget, Northumberland has it all. Want to know more? Take a look at our Visit Northumberland Events Calendar today and start planning your getaway.
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24 June 2024

Explore Northumberland by train

With almost 50 million cars on UK roads, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the UK also has an excellent train network just waiting to be used. The best part? A lot of Northumberland’s destinations are easily accessible from the comfort of a cosy train seat.  Whether you’re travelling from nearby cities or making a longer trip from the South or London, Northumberland’s train network is a convenient and picturesque way to view the hidden treasures our county has to offer.  Why travel to Northumberland by train? We think that taking the train to Northumberland is one of the most relaxing and efficient ways to start your adventure and get around Northumberland — whether it’s for a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a half-term break for the family.  Say goodbye to rushing drivers and traffic tailbacks as you glide through the countryside by train. You’ll also get to enjoy stunning views that are easy to miss when travelling by car, giving you the chance to appreciate parts of the region you wouldn’t usually take in. How to get to Northumberland by train Getting to Northumberland by train is straightforward, with direct routes available from major cities across the UK. What’s more, The East Coast Main Line passes through the Northumberland coast’s AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and has been voted one of the most scenic train routes in the UK. If you’re based in the South, you’re in luck, with plenty of well-equipped trains to ensure a pleasant journey. Expect Wi-Fi, catering services, and spacious seating for you to enjoy the scenic views.  What’s more, trains from London to Northumberland aren’t hard to come by. Wondering how far Northumberland is from London by train? The journey typically takes around three to four hours, depending on the specific route and service. Direct trains from London Kings Cross to Berwick-upon-Tweed or Newcastle are the most time-efficient. For those travelling from the north of the country, the trip is even shorter. Edinburgh, for example, is just over an hour away. Newcastle also has rail connections to Northumberland, making it easy for visitors from the North East to plan spontaneous day trips or weekend escapes. Our biggest tip is to book your tickets in advance to save a little bit of money, especially if you opt for off-peak travel times.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by London North Eastern Railway (@lner) Which Northumberland train stations are close to attractions? Northumberland offers many train stations that serve as a gateway to our region’s beautiful destinations, historic sites and attractions. Here are just a few: Hexham: Known for the historic Hexham Abbey and bustling market town atmosphere, Hexham station is the perfect stop for those interested in history and local culture.  Corbridge: A charming village with Roman heritage, Corbridge station offers access to quaint shops, cosy cafes, and ancient ruins. Berwick-upon-Tweed: This coastal town near the Scottish border is famous for its Elizabethan walls and scenic coastal walks. Morpeth: With its lovely parks and historical buildings, Morpeth is ideal for a relaxing day out. The train station is also located close to the town centre. Alnmouth: Serving the picturesque village of Alnmouth and a short trip away from Alnwick, this station is a favourite among families, film fanatics, and history buffs. Wylam: Nestled in the Tyne Valley, Wylam station is perfect for enjoying tranquil countryside walks and the birthplace of railway pioneer, George Stephenson. Brampton: Close to Hadrian’s Wall, Brampton station is ideal for exploring Roman Britain, including English Heritage’s  Birdoswald Roman Fort, Vindolanda  fort and museum and the stunning Northumberland National Park.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northern Trains (@northernrailway) Northumberland day trips by train Searching for a few handy itineraries to help you explore the best of Northumberland by train? Look no further. Hexham and Corbridge Start your day at Hexham Abbey, then take a short train ride to Corbridge to explore its Roman town and enjoy a riverside walk. Alnmouth and Alnwick From Alnmouth station, catch a local bus or taxi to Alnwick Castle, famous for its appearances in the Harry Potter films. Spend the afternoon at The Alnwick Garden or meandering around the town. Berwick-upon-Tweed Walk along the historic town walls, visit the Berwick Barracks, and enjoy a seafood lunch overlooking the coast for the perfect blend of history and natural beauty. Morpeth Visit Carlisle Park for riverside walks and gardens, then explore Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum for a quirky experience. Enjoy lunch in the historic town centre of Morpeth, then finish the day with the clock tower and medieval Morpeth Castle. Wylam Explore Wylam in more depth, the birthplace of railway pioneer, George Stephenson. Visit his Birthplace museum cared for by the National Trust and enjoy a countryside walk along the Wylam Waggonway. End the day at a local pub or café to refuel. Brampton Visit Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman fort of Birdoswald near Brampton. Hike along Hadrian’s Wall with views of Northumberland National Park. Finish off with a walk around the Moot Hall in Brampton before returning by train. See what Northumberland has to offer by train Ready to explore the wonders of Northumberland by train? Sit back, relax, and let our county’s train lines take you on a captivating journey.  Start planning your visit today with Visit Northumberland — peruse our detailed travel guides, accommodation options, and tips for making the most of your visit. You can also sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of any page for regular updates and exclusive Northumberland travel deals.
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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 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 vicinity 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 in between 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 Northumberland National Park and you will accidentally stumble upon long, scenic 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 micro 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 in Northumberland 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 ( 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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