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, 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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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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02 February 2024

February Half Term

If you’re wondering how to keep the kids occupied this February half term, or you're already looking ahead to the Easter holidays, Northumberland has all you need for a fun-filled trip. With family days out and activities for all budgets and weather conditions, this beautiful area won’t disappoint. Whether you want to explore historical castles and Roman forts, go for a refreshing coastal walk, or enjoy a swim, read on for the best things to do in Northumberland over the spring half term.  When is the February half-term?  Exact half-term dates vary from school to school and depending on your region. It also changes each year. So if you’re planning on heading to a different part of the UK for the week, it can be helpful to know the half-term dates of the area you’re visiting — in Northumberland, it’s Friday 16th to Monday 26th February 2024. Remember, half term can be a busy time in Northumberland, so we recommend booking any accommodation in plenty of time! The best indoor family activities in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ad Gefrin (@adgefrin) February may not be known for warm and dry weather — but don’t worry, Northumberland has got you covered with an array of rainy-day activities for all ages.  Start your half-term adventure with a visit to Bamburgh Castle? Along with spectacular outdoor views, you can also explore the inside of the castle. Multiple museums, staterooms, and the impressive King’s Hall all offer plenty to see. There are even immersive displays and a cafe for refreshments.  Ad Gefrin is another great day out for all age groups. Younger family members will find the museum’s Anglo Saxon artefacts fascinating, while the grown-ups are sure to appreciate a tour of the whisky distillery. Ad Gefrin’s bistro also offers delicious meals including Sunday lunch and afternoon tea options.  If you want an indoor activity that helps the kids burn off a bit of extra energy, why not visit one of Northumberland’s leisure centres for a swimming session? There are pools, slides, saunas, and soft play areas across the region. And don’t forget the array of National Trust and English Heritage properties across Northumberland. Admire pre-Raphaelite paintings at Wallington House, Garden & Estate, discover old cooking ranges and fireplaces at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, and marvel at Cragside’s pioneering Victorian innovations. Free things to do in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hexham Abbey (@hexhamabbey) A great day out doesn’t have to break the bank — and there are lots of free things to do in Northumberland, all year round. Walks and hikes With its incredible views and varied landscapes, Northumberland is the perfect place for a refreshing family walk. From tranquil beaches like Budle Bay to the ethereal Holystone Wood, there are walks and hikes for every experience level. Whether it’s a sunny day or grey and cloudy, Northumberland’s beautiful landscape is sure to brighten your half-term.  Hexham Abbey Hexham Abbey is filled with magnificent stained glass windows and over 1300 years of history — all brought to life through interactive exhibitions and an engaging visitor’s centre. You can also wander the grounds and then round your visit off with a warming cuppa in the welcoming cafe. Fresh air activities           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by English Heritage (@englishheritage) Blow away the cobwebs with some fascinating outdoor activities — but where to start? No matter which part of Northumberland you’re visiting this half-term, you’ll find fascinating historical sites, areas of natural beauty, and plenty of space for the kids to run around.  Roman forts Northumberland’s wealth of Roman forts showcases the region’s historical importance. From Chesters Roman Fort — a bathhouse that would have been a favourite stop for Roman soldiers and is now a popular tourist attraction — to the panoramic views of Housesteads Roman Fort, step back in time along Hadrian’s Wall.  Unleash your inner archaeologist with tasks and trails at the different sites, and pack a picnic to enjoy as you look out across the rolling hills of the Northumberland countryside. Alnwick Garden  Surprise and magic await explorers of the Alnwick Garden. Not only can you marvel at over 4000 plant varieties, but there are also spell-binding water sculptures, an incredible tree house, and the mysterious Bamboo Labyrinth to follow.  But that’s not all — Lilidorei is a new addition to the space. This impressive play village is sure to keep the children occupied as they run, climb, play, and enjoy captivating tales from their Story Keepers. The Alnwick Garden is the perfect place to let your imagination come alive. Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory Wonderment in Northumberland doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Recognised as one of the best international dark sky parks, Northumberland is the perfect place to stargaze. Whether you’re an avid astronomer or a keen beginner, Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory offers stargazing sessions, astrophotography courses, and activities for all. Handle real-life meteorites and see the night sky in a whole new light. It can get chilly outside at night, so wrap up — but don’t worry, there’s also a warm room where you can get cosy with a hot drink. Stay active with sports and adventure days           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Pedal Power Cycling Ltd (@pedal_power_cycling) While exploring Northumberland on foot is great, those who prefer to get around on two wheels can enjoy the rush of cycling over hills and dale with bike hire from Pedal Power. Rent a road or mountain bike or opt for a more leisurely cycle on a tandem bicycle. With adult and children’s bikes available, all the family can experience the Northumberland countryside in a new way this February half term.  You could take your bike over to Kielder Water & Forest Park and try out one of the many scenic cycle trails.  Alternatively, take to the water itself with an array of water sports— you’ll find over 2000 acres of water, perfect for water-skiing, paddle boarding, fishing, and sailing. So whether you’re after an exhilarating adventure or a peaceful stroll, you can enjoy it all at Kielder. Explore Northumberland this February half-term Whether it’s a weekend break or a whole week’s holiday, Northumberland is the perfect destination for your half-term break. Whatever the weather, there are activities for all the family — so start planning your spring adventure with Visit Northumberland today.
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02 February 2024

Stay this spring

At Visit Northumberland, it’s never too early to plan for a spring break. Soon enough, we can say goodbye to the cold drizzle and welcome the Easter season of renewal and revival (hopefully with better weather, too!). When you visit Northumberland in spring, there’s always something to do — no matter the kind of escape you’re looking for. The best thing about spring is that it sometimes offers summer-like weather without the summer holiday hustle and bustle. So, if you’re thinking about taking a tour of this stunning county, read on to find out more about your accommodation options. Why is spring one of the best times to visit Northumberland?           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Laura | UK Travel (@thiswildandbeautiful) Spring in Northumberland brings milder temperatures — the perfect way to shake off the winter blues. Warmer weather means you can make the most of what Northumberland has to offer, and one of this region’s key features is its areas of outstanding beauty. From outdoor activities to family fun days out, you can be sure to enjoy Northumberland in all its glory. Key destinations, towns, and villages in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Amy Louise (@xamylouisetravelsx) From the famously spectacular fortress Alnwick Castle, to the coastal village of Seahouses, Northumberland is home to some of the most quaint and picturesque towns and villages.  When planning your trip to Northumberland, think about who you’re going with and the kind of environment you want to be in. Would you rather pop into cosy cafes in the heart of the historic town of Warkworth? Or take a magical walk across the coast for once-in-a-lifetime views of Bamburgh and Bamburgh Castle? Alternatively, you could be looking for family-friendly accommodation with plenty of fun days out nearby to keep the kids entertained. Either way, we have a variety of destinations to choose from. Choosing your stay based on location If you’re unsure where to start with booking your Northumberland stay, why not think about the landscape you want?  Coastal stays           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Inn Collection Group (@theinncollectiongroup) There’s nothing quite like admiring golden sunsets, exploring hidden gem bays, and relishing in the delectable seafood of the Northumberland coast. When it comes to the top seaside locations in Northumberland, not much can top The Bamburgh Castle Inn.  Overlooking the picturesque harbour in the fishing village of Seahouses, it’s the perfect place to eat, drink, sleep — and most importantly —- explore. If you’re travelling as a couple, you can indulge in romantic sunset settings, and there are even dog-friendly rooms so you can bring your four-legged friend along.  Travelling on a budget? The Seahouses Hostel offers a peaceful retreat within walking distance of the beach, coastal walks, tourist attractions, and local amenities — for as little as £18 per night. Countryside stays           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Acorn Leisure Holidays (@acorn_leisure) You may wish to experience the life of a countryside dweller, and you’ll be happy to know that Northumberland has an abundance of rural market towns. Visit the walker’s paradise of Wooler, set in the foothills of the Cheviots on the edge of Northumberland’s National Park. The Tankerville Arms stands as a timeless testament to comfort, heritage, and ever-warm hospitality. It’s the perfect starting point for exploring the nearby castles, rolling hills, and the neighbouring villages of Harthope and Ingram. Accessible stays Everybody has the right to experience the wonder of Northumberland, and as such, there are many accessible accommodation options available. From wheelchair-accessible holiday parks to accessible glamping pods, there’s something for everyone.  If you have mobility, visual or hearing requirements, our accommodation providers in Northumberland have been accredited by the National Accessible Scheme. This scheme officially recognises their ability to cater for visitors with specific accessibility requirements. Choosing your stay based on accommodation Searching for a specific type of accommodation? Staying in Northumberland offers a variety of experiences, whether you choose a cottage, bed and breakfast, or inn. Cottage stays           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Luxury Holiday Cottages (@breamishvalley) Breamish Valley Cottages, near Alnwick, are award-winning cottages located at the foot of the Cheviot Hills. The cottages combine elegance and comfort with excellent facilities, including an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, steam room, tennis court, games room, and gym.  Enjoy the tranquillity and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, with some of the UK’s best walking countryside right on your doorstep. Bed and breakfast stays           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cragend Grange (@cragendgrange) Northumberland’s B&Bs allow you to stay by the sea, in the countryside, or in quaint towns and villages. They provide a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploring. Choose from various settings — will it be a traditional working farmhouse or a Georgian guesthouse? — and experience legendary Northumberland hospitality. Many B&Bs are part of the "Produced in Northumberland" verification scheme, so you can try authentic local food and drink throughout your stay. If this sounds like your kind of holiday, we highly recommend the Old Rectory Howick in Craster.  Hotel stays           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The B & B Directory (@thebandbdirectory) Fancy a serviced stay so you can focus on sightseeing? Northumberland’s hotels offer the highest standard of customer service — allowing you to completely relax and take in the atmosphere.  You’ll find the Langley Castle Hotel within the walls of a renovated fourteenth-century castle. This beautiful setting is only 40 minutes from Newcastle Airport and a 28-minute drive from the iconic Hadrian’s Wall. Fresh meals are also available in Josephine's Restaurant throughout your stay and there’s an on-site sauna. For a postcard-perfect stay, pop over to The Pheasant Inn near Kielder. Expect open fires, exposed stone walls, oak beams, and a mix of historic Northumberland memorabilia. Sleep soundly before exploring the National Park, Hadrian’s Wall, and the Scottish Borders. Camping and glamping If you’re visiting Northumberland for its wondrous sights, why not stay amongst it all? Set up your tent underneath the starry coastal skies of Bamburgh at Budle Hall. It’s your chance to have a wild camping experience, only a short walk away from Budle Bay. For countryside ambles, head on over to the pitches of The Boe Rigg, situated just outside Bellingham within the Northumberland National Park and the Dark Skies Park. Take your Northumberland stay up a notch with some luxury glamping. Head to The Bell Tent at the Old Rectory in Howick for a luxury tent with a double bed and a wood-burning stove. Wake up feeling refreshed in the morning with your provided continental breakfast, and wind down in the evening with your own private BBQ and seating area. Experience the wonder of Northumberland this spring Once you stay in Northumberland, you’ll never want to leave. From luxury and romantic weekend breaks to dog-friendly and group stays, come and sleep beneath the stars at one of our campsites, warm your toes by an open fire at a local inn, or cosy up in a fairytale-style cottage. Whatever you’re looking for, a stay in Northumberland holds the answer.
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08 January 2024

Robson Green in Northumberland

If you haven’t seen it, Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes is a must-watch. Across series 1 and 2, he takes viewers to his favourite scenic spots in the North East, showcasing many of Northumberland’s hidden gems. You can catch series 1 and 2 on BBC iPlayer. Follow in his footsteps with our guide to where Robson Green visited in Northumberland, what activities he did and how you can do them too.  Robson Green's Weekend Escapes: Series 2 Series 2, Episode 1 - Alnmouth In the first episode, Robson Green meets Kevin Whateley at YOLO bar in Ponteland before they head off to explore Alnmouth. There, they meet Claire from Soul 2 Sand, who offers therapeutic, group sand art experiences in Northumberland. They watch the waves wash away their creations before joining Alnmouth Community Rowing Club and heading out onto the water at Alnmouth Bay. Then, they make their way north to Chathill, where they meet teacher and piper Ian Gelston, before visiting their incredible accommodation for the night, Trees at Tughall. This is a luxurious cabin accommodation hidden amongst the trees just a short distance from Beadnell. Each cabin is named after a tree and Robson stays in Ash, admiring the stunning interiors and floor to ceiling windows that bring a peaceful sense of being connected to nature. Series 2, Episode 2 - South Northumberland In episode 2, Robson is joined by Angela Lonsdale as they set off to explore south Northumberland. Their first stop is Sweethope Lough, near the village of Bellingham, for a thrilling outdoor, cold swimming experience. They do this with the guidance of expert Fenwick Ridley from H20 trails, who runs guided cold water swimming activities in Northumberland as well Sauna and Dip and Stand up Paddleboarding. They enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the lough before getting dry and moving onto their next therapeutic experience, perfumery. But first, they take a peek at their accommodation for the night, a stunning refurbished railway carriage at the edge of Northumberland National Park named Wannies Retreat. Here, Michele Riveroll, qualified perfumer and founder of Scentica Studio, meets them to guide them through a perfumery workshop. The following day, they visit Bellingham village to meet Northumbrian musician Ian Brown, for a musical walk along the banks of North Tyne, before enjoying a laughter yoga experience with teacher Katie Williams from Laughter Love.
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14 December 2023

Vera Filming Locations in Northumberland

We’re very lucky to have the picturesque landscape of Northumberland featured in many films and TV shows, immortalising its stunning natural beauty. With its diverse and sprawling landscapes, the gems of Northumberland have become a sought-after destination for filmmakers and tourists alike.  You may already know that the rolling hills of Northumberland stole the heart of the UK TV series, Vera — so grab your magnifying glass and a cuppa, and let’s zoom in on the locations that have played a huge part in the intriguing cases of ITV’s  Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope. What makes Northumberland a unique filming location? You won’t have to look too hard to find out how popular Northumberland is as a filming location. The walls of Alnwick’s mediaeval Castle alone have welcomed anyone and everyone, from the iconic cast of Downton Abbey to the mystical wizards and witches of Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Due to its vast, contrasting and varied terrain, Northumberland’s vibrant filming history has piqued the interest of viewers, tourists, and filmmakers around the world. If we go further afield, the iconic crime series Vera showcases the region’s natural beauty, historic towns, and unique landscapes in all their glory — and has done so since 2011. This is down to the fact that Northumberland makes an incredibly striking backdrop to its complex and unsettling detective plot. Northumberland’s towns and villages through Vera's lens The charm of Northumberland lies in its towns and villages, each brimming with rich character and history. Vera has brought to life the essence of some of Northumberland’s quaint towns and villages, notably Hexham and Wylam, with their historic streets and picturesque settings. A key pit-stop for any Vera enthusiast on tour! With a variety of B&Bs and hotels in Northumberland, it couldn’t be easier to see the sites in all their glory. The historical tapestry of Hexham The market town of Hexham is a gateway to the past. With its ancient abbey and bustling market streets, it is far more than just a scenic location. Hexham is steeped in history, offering a glimpse into the region's rich heritage, as well as boasting an array of independent shops, cosy pubs and restaurants to enjoy throughout your stay.  The riversides of Wylam Wylam village is another hidden gem in Northumberland's crown, and it has been beautifully captured in Vera over the years of shooting. This tranquil village has serene river walks and a charming ambience that captures the peaceful countryside life, adding depth to the series' spooky narrative. The Northumberland coastline Vera's panoramic shots of the Northumberland coastline are nothing short of spectacular. Whether you’re a lover of landscape panoramas or not, there’s no ignoring the dramatic cliffs, sprawling beaches, and the untamed beauty of the rough seas.  Not only has the Northumberland coastline added visual grandeur to the series, but it’s also offered a way for viewers to experience these vistas first-hand. So whether you choose to explore the rugged coastline at Dunstanburgh, explore the vast beach at Bamburgh or head to a more off the beaten track beach like Druridge Bay, you too can enjoy the scenic beauty of Northumberland’s coastline.  Vera Filming Locations in 2023 In the latest series 13 of Vera, we welcomed a new chapter alongside some other sights of Northumberland.  The fictional home of Vera can be found on Lindisfarne Island, also known as ‘Holy Island’, which sits just off the northeast coast. Its beauty lies in the fact that you must travel by the grace of the tides. It’s also known as a ‘thin’ place, where Earth and Heaven are believed to meet. So, while it may be a small, windswept island, it is one of the holiest sites in England with its liminal placement and eye-opening vistas. Definitely worth a visit in our eyes! An equally captivating location featured in series 13 is Amble Marina, a picturesque spot that adds a touch of maritime charm to the show. Nestled in the heart of Amble, known as 'the friendliest port', this marina is not just a haven for boats but also a scenic backdrop for the series. The marina, with its array of yachts and fishing boats, reflects the town's rich seafaring heritage. Surrounded by quaint shops and local eateries, it offers a glimpse into the everyday life of this vibrant coastal community. The serene ambience of Amble Marina, combined with the stunning views of the North Sea, makes it a location that's as peaceful as it is visually striking, perfect for the mysterious and contemplative scenes in Vera. Much of the filming of Vera also occurred in Alnmouth, with its colourful houses, tranquil beaches, and bustling wildlife. What’s more, Alnmouth sits in one of Northumberland’s areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As well as Alnmouth, you will also spy shots of Amble Harbour’s glistening waters, the ancient village of Warkworth, and the magnificent sand dunes of Bamburgh with Lindisfarne Holy Island only a glance away. Experiencing Northumberland through Vera's eyes Exploring Northumberland will allow you to step into the world of Vera, discovering it for yourself and not just through your television screen. For those looking to immerse themselves in the region's beauty, why not go for a walk through the lush forests of Northumberland, or experience the great outdoors of Kielder village, forest, and reservoir? The Northumberland National Park is another must-visit for breathtaking scenic views, from peaceful waterfalls to ancient walls lining the Scottish Border. These enchanting locations not only enrich the narrative of Vera but also embody the spirit of Northumberland. Discover the drama and mystery of Northumberland There’s no denying that the enchanting allure of Northumberland offers an unforgettable experience for Vera fans. From the historic towns of Hexham and Wylam to the majestic coastline of Amble and Alnmouth — each location in Northumberland is a story waiting to be explored.  Step into the mystery world of Vera and discover the beauty and charm of Northumberland for yourself. Visit Northumberland for all the wonderful sights it has to offer and experience a journey where the stories of Vera and the region intertwine in one memorable adventure.
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13 December 2023

Get Active in Northumberland

With its vast and varied landscapes, Northumberland is the perfect place to get active. From coastal hikes to hilltop cycling, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy — but Northumberland is also home to a host of indoor sports and pursuits. So no matter the season or the weather, you can have fun, get active, and stay healthy on your Northumberland adventure.  Getting out and about in Northumberland Northumberland locals and visitors alike are in for a treat with the region’s incredible landscapes. With quaint villages, refreshing beaches, and rolling hills and valleys, there’s a terrain for every activity. Where is best for walking in Northumberland? Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an epic hike, Northumberland is brimming with scenic walking routes. If you’re looking for a chilled Sunday amble, try a short walk along the Northumberland coast. Perfect for family outings and dog walks, make your way from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle. This short but sweet walking trail showcases the best of Northumberland’s rugged coastline and gives you the chance to explore an impressive English Heritage site. (Don’t forget to check our guidance on dog walking across the Northumberland coast. Not only will it protect rare shorebirds, but it will keep your four-legged friend safe, too). And if you’re on the hunt for incredible views, you can’t beat Hadrian’s Wall. Steeped in history, the area offers 73 miles of dramatic scenery, Roman forts, and an array of long and short trails — no wonder it’s such a popular destination for Northumberland walking groups. Why not stop off at Chesters Roman Fort for a picnic pitstop?           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by English Heritage (@englishheritage) The best part of visiting Northumberland is that you’ll never be far from a breathtaking walking trail, no matter where you’re staying. From Bamburgh Castle to Lindisfarne Priory and the magical Alnwick Castle, the county is packed with historical sites surrounded by rural beauty. Browse our National Trust and English Heritage sites to find your next day out.   The best cycling routes in Northumberland Keen cyclists are sure to enjoy Northumberland’s fresh air. Bring your own bike or hire one from Pedal Power. Choose from a huge range of bikes, including mountain, road, and hybrid bikes — you could even enjoy a romantic day out with a tandem bike! Based in Amble, Pedal Power can deliver your bike to you, wherever you’re staying.  Looking for a bit of guidance? Let the Pedal Power team set you up with maps for a self-guided tour or enjoy a fully supported local ride. Cycling is a great way to see all Northumberland has to offer, even on a short weekend break.            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Pedal Power Cycling Ltd (@pedal_power_cycling) Rock climbing opportunities in Northumberland See Northumberland from a height with a climbing experience! Exploring, etc. is on hand to provide rock climbing and abseiling sessions for beginners and experienced climbers.  Is the weather preventing you from exploring Northumberland’s rock faces? Go for a family-friendly climb at one of Northumberland’s many leisure centres. Where can I canoe or paddle board in Northumberland? Did you know that Pete from Exploring, etc. also provides guided canoe trips? In pairs or groups, it’s a great way to explore Northumberland by water.  Is paddleboarding more your thing? Head to Coquet Shorebase in Amble and make a day of it with a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) experience. If you’re staying around Kielder or Falstone, the Kielder Water and Forest Park is your ultimate destination. Whether a paddleboard, canoe or pleasure boat is your vessel of choice, embrace tranquillity and marvel at panoramic views from the centre of Kielder Lake.            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Sycamore cottage glamping - Northumberland huts & cabins (@sycamore_cottage_and_glamping) Where are the best swimming pools in Northumberland? Those looking for a lower-impact water-based activity will be thrilled to discover Northumberland’s wealth of indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Whether you prefer to do lanes or enjoy a gentle wild swim, you’re sure to find the ideal pool or waterway.  For the best of both worlds, visit Haltwhistle. Not only is this historical town close to some of the region’s most popular attractions (including Vindolanda and Housesteads Roman Fort) but it’s also home to the only outdoor swimming pool in Northumberland.    What are the best golf courses in Northumberland? Some days, a relaxing activity is in order — and what could be more luxurious than a round of golf followed by a spa session in a top Northumberland hotel? Both Matfen Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate and Linden Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa offer the perfect combination of countryside pursuits and opulence.            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Matfen Hall (@matfenhall) Fine-tune your downswing then indulge in a spa treatment before tucking into a delicious meal. Running Events in Northumberland Looking for a fun and exhilarating activity to join in whilst you are visiting the region? Look no further, as Events of the North, have the toughest and most challenging running marathons, in some of Northumberland’s best known locations, including Kielder Water and Forest. Fancy taking on their ultimate Northunbrian marathon? Find out more about local running events with Visit Northumberland.            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Marathon (@kielder_marathon) We recommend after a long and strenuous run through Northumberland’s rugged countryside, that you refuel with some local produce at one of our many fantastic restaurants and pubs, serving everything from fresh seafood to traditional Sunday lunches.  Explore Northumberland outdoor activities for all the family Whether you’re a local to Northumbrian or you’re visiting the area on holiday, you’ll find a whole host of outdoor activities and sports to keep you occupied. From gentle afternoon strolls around ancient castles to a weekend of water sports, plan your next Northumberland adventure with Visit Northumberland.  Explore accommodation, from cosy cottages to luxurious hotels and create a fun-filled itinerary for an unforgettable holiday.
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20 November 2023

Cosy cottages in Northumberland

Find the perfect Northumberland cottage for your winter getaway with our round up of some of the best cottages in Northumberland for a winter break. We've picked a selection of countryside hideaways and seafront stays, all with the cosy characteristics that we crave in the winter months, such as open fires, soft robes, private hot tubs and sky lights for looking up at the stars. Breamish Valley Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Luxury Holiday Cottages (@breamishvalley) Breamish Valley Cottages are nestled at the foot of the Cheviot Hills and are the definition of cosy winter hideaway. With log burners and an on-site spa with heated swimming pool, sauna and steam room, there’s no better place to warm up after a winter day out traversing the Cheviot Hills, discovering the local history and admiring the surrounding scenery. There is also an on-site restaurant, The Bosk, where you can enjoy delicious meals with amazing views through the floor to ceiling windows. Till Fishing           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Till Fishing (@tillfishing) Till Fishing is a paradise for anyone looking to reconnect with nature this winter. Sitting on a private stretch of the unspoilt River Till, you will wake up to the peaceful sound of silence, other than the gentle background noise of trickling water and chirping birds. Nearby woodland walks and ancient landscapes can be enjoyed during your stay, as well as larger attractions that are a short drive or train journey away from this base near Berwick. On-site bread making workshops with Pauline Beaumont, author of Bread Therapy, are a must when you stay here. Beach and Quiet - Hemmel House           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Jane Riley (@beachnquiet) Beach and Quiet’s coastal Craster cottages are winter havens. Their elegant cottage, Hemmel House, is conveniently located for a bracing wander along the beach, followed by a local pub stop for some winter warming home-cooked food, before returning to warm your toes in the glow of the property’s crackling log burner. The ground floor offers spectacular, uninterrupted rural views with the sea and Dunstanburgh Castle on the horizon while you stay warm and snug inside and you can end your evening by stargazing beneath Northumberland’s incredible dark skies using the cottage’s telescope. Village Farm Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Village Farm Cottages (@villagefarmcottages) Village Farm Cottages have a number of properties located midway between some of Northumberland’ must-visit market towns and villages, Alnwick, Alnmouth and Warkworth. From log burners to rustic wooden beams, and private hot tubs to on-site leisure facilities, there are so many qualities that make Village Farm Cottages an excellent choice for a winter break. Wrap up warm and admire the staggering nearby Northumberland coastline and AONB, and head out on an adventure to enjoy some of Northumberland’s best attractions that are only a short drive away. Burradon Farm House and Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Burradon Farm Houses&Cottages (@burradonfarm) Burradon Farm Houses and Cottages has a range of snug, country cottages that range from accommodating two guests to a group of eight. Located on a working farm close to Northumberland’s magnificent beaches and with fantastic walking routes on the doorstep, the cottages boast beautiful views, wood-burning stoves to snuggle up in front of in the cold winter evenings, are all dog friendly (a small charge applies) and offer a tranquil home from home with super-comfy beds and cosy living spaces. Burradon Farm is located a short drive from some amazing country pubs and restaurants and you can enjoy anything from wining and dining to walking and cycling. Ingram Valley Star Barn           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by IngramValleyGB (@ingramvalleygb) Ingram Valley’s Star Barn is offers the ultimate antidote to the busy stresses of life, as its rural location and position under Northumberland’s Dark Sky Park allow you to immerse yourself in Northumberland’s nature and completely relax. Arrive to an overflowing welcome hamper holding gift vouchers for nearby Ingram Cafe and Gift Shop and make use of the barn’s wetsuits and Dry Robes if you are brave enough to take a winter sea dip! Step into your hiking boots and enjoy nearby Northumberland National Park’s nature trails, misty valleys and magnificent Hadrian’s Wall, then come home to warm up and gaze at the stars. Wydon Farm B&B           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Wydon Farm B&B (@linda_wydon_farm) Have the best of both worlds at Wydon Farm B&B in one of their refurbished self-catering rooms. Their snug, ground floor rooms now come fitted with a microwave, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and a toaster and you will arrive to a stocked fridge full of breakfast essentials. Based just a 20 minute walk from Haltwhistle, which is accessible by train should you prefer a car-free break, meaning homely pubs and some excellent restaurants are just a starry evening’s walk away from your accommodation. Plus, this excellent destination means that staggering National Park landscapes and Hadrian’s Wall are nearby too. The Coachhouse at Crookham,       Ford and Etal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Coach House (@thecoachhousecrookham) The Coach House in Crookham has five newly renovated studios situated within a 17th century coach house, the oldest unfortified building in North Northumberland. Each snug studio sleeps two and welcomes four-legged friends, and you can expect to arrive to wine, chocolates, flowers and dog treats to welcome you to your new home for the week or your weekend break. Some studios have breathtaking views of the Cheviot Hills and all are in a spectacular position for stargazing and boast two acres of fields that guests can use, home to sheep and hens and you can even have fresh free-range eggs for breakfast every day. They are also located near the Battle of Flodden site, the pretty, must-visit villages of Ford & Etal and are an easy drive to the coast at Berwick.   Cottages in Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Original Cottages (@originalcottages) Cottages in Northumberland is a cottage agency that offers a range of beautiful cottages across the country, including some excellent winter retreats in Northumberland.  Have a look at The Toddles in Wooler, based in stunning countryside perfect for stargazing and exploring Northumberland's incredible landscapes. Spend a cosy evening by the warmth of the crackling log burner after a long, misty walk and enjoy nearby Ad Gefrin, Chillingham Castle and other fantastic attractions on your doorstep.  Little Hideaways           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Little Hideaways (@ourlittlehideaways) Little Hideaways offers five stunning, Seahouses-based cottages all with log burners, charming decor and excellent locations on Northumberland’s coastline. Hidden in a cobbled courtyard of traditional fisherman’s cottages,  they all sit within easy reach of unspoilt beaches, ancient castles and access to amazing wildlife. Their location in the traditional fishing village of Seahouses means that a range of amenities are just a short walk away, as is Seahouses harbour where you can set off for a fantastic boat trip to The Farne Islands. Just four miles away lies outstanding Bamburgh Castle, which you can actually see in the distance when you are in Seahouses, as well as Lindisfarne Castle. Cherry Tree & Almond Apartments           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cherrytree & Almond Apartments (@ctabeadnell) Beadnell-based Cherry Tree & Almond Apartments are ideally located in a beautiful coastal village, popular with surfers and anyone looking for a coastal break, as Beadnell Bay is one of the most beautiful sections of Northumberland’s coastline. The cottages are dog friendly and all offer the opportunity for some spectacular winter walks, with ancient castles as your backdrop  and the Northumberland Coast Path on your doorstep. Whether you want to escape for a quiet winter weekend walking on the beach, or fill your time with sightseeing and outdoor pursuits, this is the perfect base for any type of trip. Head into Beadnell for a selection of popular cafes, pubs and restaurants, such as Beadnell Towers and the Saltwater Cafe, or simply stay snug in the comfort of your cottage and make use of your self-catering facilities. Coast and Country Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Coast & Country Northumberland (@coastandcountrynorthumberland) Coast and Country Northumberland offers a selection of five coastal properties, all sitting in and around one of Northumberland’s most beautiful fishing villages, Craster. You can hunker down for a relaxing, romantic break in one of their immaculate and luxurious cottages, enjoying the local cafes, short walks to the seafront and harbour, and a warming glass of red wine with their famous seafood at The Jolly Fisherman pub. Or, head out on an adventure and cycle the Northumberland Coast Path, discover the local history at one of the many coastal castles here in Northumberland and admire the local wildlife. No matter how you spend your trip, you can end each day at your cottage with uninterrupted sea views, an open fire, large private grounds and more depending on which cottage you pick. Host and Stay           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Host & Stay (@hostandstayuk) Host and Stay is a cottage agency offering a number of cottages across the whole of Northumberland. Take your pick from cosy log burner cottages, coastal stays and market town getaways as they have so many to choose from including some of the cottages already mentioned above. If you need a hand filtering your search by location, have a look at our towns and villages page to see which is the right fit for your stay. Carraw Luxury Holiday Homes           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Carraw Farm - Self Catering Accommodation (@carrawfarm) Carraw Farm offers two luxury holiday homes quite literally on Hadrian's Wall, the northern frontier of the Roman empire. Vesta View is located on the road between the wall and vallum ditch and Shepherds Retreat sits on the wall foundations, both offering amazing views, stunning decor and Vesta View has a log burner to cosy up next to after a day of exploring. With Roman forts on the doorstep, as well as cycling routes, hikes, pubs-a-plenty and castles around the corner, this is an unmissable winter getaway in Northumberland. Chesters Stables           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Chesters Stables (@chestersstables) Nestled away in rural Northumberland, Chesters Stables is a countryside getaway offering the ultimate luxury cottage break, with beautiful furnishings and thoughtful touches in every detail. Enjoy the site's peaceful 100 acre grounds, the best local walks along staggering Hadrian's Wall and in Northumberland National Park, and end each day by warming up beside the fire or basking in a freestanding bath tub. Duneside House and Seaside House           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by My Coastal Escapes (@mycoastal_escapes) Duneside House and Seaside House are part of My Coastal Escapes and both offer breathtaking breaks along the Northumberland coast. Based in Chathill near Beadnell, sea views, nearby walking routes, coastal castles and amazing wildlife are all within easy reach of these stunning cottages. Windy days at the beach, evenings on the balcony gazing at the stars and morning coffees by a cracking log burner can all be enjoyed on a winter break here, not to mention fantastic winter days out in Northumberland. Now that you are fuelled with ideas for the perfect place to stay in Northumberland in winter, get booking your cosy winter cottage break in Northumberland.  Author: Jenni Meikle
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10 November 2023

Things to do in Northumberland this Christmas

The yuletide season is just around the corner. And if you’re visiting Northumberland this Christmas time, you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re gift shopping at one of the fabulous Christmas markets Northumberland has to offer or staying for a winter holiday, here’s an insight into the region’s festivities. Places to visit  Are you heading to Northumberland for a weekend or day trip? With plenty of attractions and destinations, even a short visit can be packed full of merriment. But where to start? Ad Gefrin            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ad Gefrin (@adgefrin) As wonderful as the festive season is, there’s no denying that winter weather can be somewhat hit-and-miss. Fortunately, Ad Gefrin is the perfect rainy-day attraction. Witness the alchemy of whisky-making in the incredible distillery and explore the immersive Great Hall. Here, stories from Northumbria’s Golden Age are brought to life.  Why not pick up a bottle of whisky or gin as a souvenir? It’s the ideal Christmas gift or celebratory new year tipple. Kielder Observatory            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Observatory (@kielderobservatory) On a clear winter’s night, there’s nothing more magical than gazing at the stars. Located in the heart of Europe’s biggest dark sky park, Kielder Observatory offers an inspiring stargazing experience for all the family. With a range of events throughout November and December, you can explore the wonder of the cosmos. Winter walks across Northumberland           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) From beautiful treks around Hareshaw Linn to a wander along the Amble and Warkworth harbour sides, there are plenty of lovely winter walks to keep you moving throughout winter.   To really blow away the cobwebs or walk off your Christmas lunch, go for a refreshing stroll through one of Northumberland’s most striking features — Hadrian’s Wall. Scattered with Roman forts, the impressive 73-mile stone wall will transport you back in time, bringing history to life and showcasing the local area’s dramatic landscape.  Housesteads Roman Fort at Haydon Bridge includes a fascinating interactive museum, while Chesters Roman Fort at Chollerford is home to a spectacular Roman Bathhouse. (Just make sure you check the museum’s Christmas holiday times to avoid disappointment!) Get into the seasonal spirit with Christmas fairs and markets Ready to start your festive shopping? Find unique gifts and embrace the sights, sounds, and aromas of the season with an array of Christmas markets and fairs taking place across Northumberland.  Ford and Etal Estates           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) There’s something truly special about a Christmas market — from the scent of roasting chestnuts to the tinkle of sleigh bells. And the folks at the Fort and Etal Estates certainly know how to put on a memorable yuletide market.  Spread over three venues and two days (25th-26th November), the market features more than 70 stalls, showcasing food, drink, local crafts, gifts, and more. Plus, little ones can enjoy seasonal storytelling sessions. Christmas fair at Belsay Hall  If you’re looking for a Christmas fair in central Northumberland, why not pop along to  Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens? Free to English Heritage members, the fair is sure to get you feeling merry. Browse handmade goods from local artisans and find the perfect treats and gifts for your loved ones.   Wherever you’re staying in the region, discover more Christmas Markets across Northumberland. What’s on in Northumberland this Christmas? We love a classic Christmas market, but Northumberland is also home to a range of other festive events. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come over the festive period. Festive Afternoon Tea at Wallington House           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by National Trust Wallington (@wallington_nt) Christmas at Wallington House, Gardens & Estate is a sparkly affair in more ways than one. As well as featuring a stunning 20ft Christmas tree, Wallington House is home to a very special Festive Afternoon Tea. Enjoy tasty nibbles and either a warming cuppa or a small bottle of prosecco. Your afternoon tea will be accompanied by Wallington’s resident pianist.  Find your way through Cragside’s Merry Maze           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by NT Cragside (@ntcragside) From the 2nd December to New Year’s Day, you have the chance to follow the twists and turns of Cragside’s Merry Maze. A great activity for all the family, this free maze features fun quiz questions to help you through. Once you reach the centre, you’ll find some jolly photo props so you can take a triumphant festive selfie.  The best places to eat and drink this Christmas From chocolate treats to Sunday lunches, food is a big part of Christmas celebrations. And if you’re looking for delicious places to eat in Northumberland, you’re in luck. Here are just a few of our favourite cafes, restaurants and eateries to explore: If you’re searching for a delicious Christmas Day lunch for your Northumberland stay, go all out with the luxurious menu at Eshott Hall. Enjoy an irresistible array of canapes, followed by your choice of Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and a decadent dessert. The best bit? No washing up! Planning a family get-together in the run-up to the big day? The Pheasant Inn near Kielder Water is a cosy 17th-century pub offering delicious home-cooked meals — including a full Sunday roast followed by sticky toffee pudding.  If a roast dinner doesn’t take your fancy, Northumberland is home to some fabulous seafood restaurants. Head to the award-winning Potted Lobster in Bamburgh for fresh dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.  Christmas breaks in Northumberland: where to stay With its incredible scenery and historical sites, Northumberland makes a wonderful Christmas destination. If you’re planning a Christmas weekend escape in Northumberland — either in the lead-up or for Christmas Eve, itself, you’ve got plenty of options to explore. For a self-catering stay, snuggle up in a cosy cottage — such as Breamish Valley Cottages — or a petite but perfectly formed shepherd’s hut. PoSHHuts provides a comfortable glamping experience close to Kielder Water.  If you prefer serviced accommodation, Wydon Farm B&B offers delightful rustic rooms. The working farm near Hexham is ideal for those looking for a slice of rural life. You can even collect free-range eggs from the resident hens for your traditional breakfast!  Celebrate all things Christmas in Northumberland Northumberland is the destination to be during the most wonderful season of the year. Start planning your Christmas break in Northumberland and let the merriment begin.
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10 November 2023

New Year Stays

Is there anything more appealing than a cosy New Year escape in Northumberland? Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a family trip including your furry four-legged companion, Northumberland is the perfect destination for a New Year adventure. Need a bit of inspiration? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of suggestions to make your New Year stay in Northumberland one to remember. Why stay in Northumberland? With its varied and scenic landscape, historical towns, and attractions for all ages, Northumberland is a great place to visit all year round. But where to stay?  If you adore the great outdoors, camping or glamping can be a great option – when the weather is good.   However, when the forecast isn’t so great in the winter months, staying in a soggy tent can be less appealing. Likewise, big families and groups may find camping impractical. And, of course, you may just be looking for a little comfort and luxury — and Northumberland’s range of accommodation options including inns, hotels, self catering cottages and bed and breakfasts, mean there is a stay to suit everyone.  How to choose the best Northumberland accommodation for you The beauty of Northumberland accommodation is that there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a dog-friendly holiday stay to bring your four-legged friend to, you’re sure to find a space in Northumberland to cater to your needs. After a bit of opulence for a romantic weekend? Look for a luxury hotel with spa facilities and special events — Northumberland is renowned for its relaxation and wellbeing hotels.  As well as ensuring your accommodation has all of the attributes you’re hoping for, it’s also a good idea to think about your location. Do you want to be by the sea? Will you need to be in an area with plenty of attractions for children? Perhaps it’s important to be near public transport links. All of these factors can help you find the perfect Northumberland stay for your getaway.  The best stays in Northumberland When choosing accommodation, you need to think about whether you would like to eat out, exploring the local pubs, restaurants, cafes and tearooms in the region, or whether you would like to stay in self-catering accommodation, bringing back local produce treats to cook for yourself, or the essentials from conveniently located SPAR Thropton. Those looking for privacy and independence have plenty of self-catering cottages to explore across Northumberland, or for those who would like to be waited on hand and foot the area's range of hotels and B&B’s has got you covered. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your dream trip. Holiday cottages on the Northumberland coast Embrace the fresh sea air with a holiday cottage on the Northumberland coast. This area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) offers breathtaking views and plenty of beachside activities.  Midwood Cottage is a lovely self-catering property in Alnmouth. With a spacious garden and just five minutes from the beach, it’s the perfect balance of indoor cosiness and outdoor refreshment. It even won the 2018 Hidden Gem Award. Holiday inns and bed and breakfasts              View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Battlesteads Hotel (@battlesteads) Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Northumberland, countryside holiday inns and bed and breakfasts offer a tranquil escape for travellers seeking a serene retreat. Among these, some of our favourites include, The Holly Bush Inn, Chillingham Manor and the Battlesteads Inn, quintessential examples of Northumberland's hospitality and charm.  The Holly Bush Inn, with its rustic ambiance and warm atmosphere, welcomes guests with open arms, offering cosy rooms and hearty homemade meals that highlight the region's culinary delights.  Nearby, Battlesteads Inn combines traditional charm and exciting dark skies experiences at their very own observatory. Located in the heart of Northumberland, in Europe’s biggest dark sky park, you and the whole family can enjoy stargazing at the Battlesteads Observatory.  For a grand experience which will make you feel like you have stepped onto a film set, book your stay at Chillingham Manor bed and breakfast, the perfect combination of luxury and comfort. This destination is one of Northumberland’s hidden gems, just a stone’s throw from Chillingham Castle, Northumberland National Park, Cragside Hall and Estate and Alnwick Castle. The Inn Collection Group offers a number of inns across the county, from The Lindisfarne Inn on the edge of Lindisfarne Causeway, to The Bamburgh Castle Inn in the heart of Seahouses with fantastic seaviews. All of the inns have amazing New Year's Getaway deals so you can enjoy a two night bed and breakfast stay, which includes a New Year's Eve dinner and party, for special rates. Romantic hotel stays for couples           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa (@macdonaldlindenhall) In the heart of Northumberland, romantic hotels beckon couples seeking an intimate getaway. Couples can revel in the charm of historic estates turned cosy hotel retreats, where crackling fireplaces and elegant suites create a romantic ambiance. Imagine strolling hand in hand along the rugged coastline, exploring ancient castles, or sharing a quiet moment by the fireplace in a luxurious hotel. Some of the top hotels in the region include Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Course, Doxford Hall and Linden Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa.  Family-friendly Northumberland holiday cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by West Ord Holiday Cottages (@west_ord_cottages) Just five minutes from  Berwick-upon-Tweed, you’ll find West Ord Holiday Cottages, a collection of six delightful properties. Each one can accommodate up to six people, making it the ideal destination for families. Enjoy riverside walks and fishing, as well as a tennis court to keep you all occupied. Are you getting everyone together for a big family celebration? Beach and Quiet is an accessible holiday cottage in Embleton, on the edge of the Northumberland Coast AONB. Find your ideal Northumberland New Year stay  No matter what sort of New Year stay you’re after — a relaxing weekend break, an adventure-packed trip, or a luxurious stay — Northumberland has an array of accommodation options to suit you. From Alnwick to Wylam, explore Northumberland and enjoy accommodation that offers a home-from-home experience.
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13 October 2023

A taste of Northumberland in autumn

If you’re visiting Northumberland this autumn, you might be wondering where you can find the best restaurants, pubs, and eateries. After all, no visit to the region is complete without exploring the local cuisine — and Northumberland has a wealth of irresistible food venues to explore. Whether you’re looking for comforting pub grub or a fine dining experience, here’s our ultimate guide to Northumberland’s food scene. Best pub food in Northumberland: our must-visits First up, pub food. Be it steak and chips, a mezze platter, or something a little different, there’s nothing like a pub meal when you’re exploring a new area. For classic pub meals, the warm and cosy Pheasant Inn in Kielder is a great place to start. The Pheasant’s traditional menu uses local produce, including fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits from the inn’s very own cottage garden. The Lord Crewe Arms is another pub brimming with character. Located in Blanchland, it offers a delicious British menu that’s great for refuelling after exploring the quaint fairytale village. Expect an array of breakfast, lunch and dinner menus alongside an afternoon tea offering.  The best Northumberland restaurants for fine dining and special occasions Are you looking for something a little bit special? Here are some Northumberland restaurants serving up incredible cuisine fit for a memorable dining experience. Langley Castle Hotel Standing proud in Langley-on-Tyne, is the impressive Langley Castle Hotel. This 14th-century castle boasts luxurious accommodation and an intimate fine-dining restaurant. The Josephine Restaurant specialises in fish and game, all cooked to the highest quality and presentation.  Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Matfen Hall (@matfenhall) The gorgeous Matfen Hall is a five-star gothic mansion that exudes sophistication. As well as being a stunning wedding venue, it offers some of the best fine dining dishes in Northumberland. With a range of unique dining areas to choose from, there’s something for everyone. The Emerald Restaurant in particular is the ideal venue for five-star dining in an impressive setting. From lobster tail and beef sirloin to a selection of petit fours, enjoy dishes from Matfen’s talented chefs.  Which restaurants in Northumberland have the best view? From its historical buildings to its sprawling coastline, Northumberland isn’t short on great views. And if you’re searching for restaurants with a view of the best sights in Northumberland, here are some inspiring venues. The Treehouse Restaurant           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Treehouse Restaurant (@thetreehousealnwick) Anyone visiting Alnwick is sure to head to Alnwick Castle (which you may recognise from the Harry Potter film franchise). Just a short walk away is the beautiful Alnwick Garden, home to the Treehouse Restaurant. Truly a magical setting, the Treehouse lets you dine amongst the treetops, surrounded by twinkling lights. With a modern British menu that focuses on seasonal, local produce, it’s a fantastic experience for all. The Forest Bar & Restaurant           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Forest Bar & Kitchen (@kielder_forest_bar_kitchen) For panoramic views of the beautiful Kielder Water & Forest Park, you can’t beat The Forest Bar & Restaurant. As you sample light bites from the lunch menu or a substantial dish from the evening selection, you can gaze out across the water to the distant shores. Where to go for Sunday lunch and comfort food in Northumberland Is there anything more comforting than tucking into a hearty Sunday lunch on a crisp autumn day? Luckily, Northumberland has an abundance of pubs and restaurants excelling in classic roast dinners and other nostalgic favourites. The Linden Tree Pub           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Linden Tree (@lindentree.pub) The elegant Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa is a sophisticated resort that exudes luxury at every turn. However, nestled in its grounds is The Linden Tree pub, a welcoming venue providing all manner of hearty dishes — from traditional Sunday roasts and pies to warming soups and crumbles. Bamburgh Castle Inn            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Bamburgh Castle Inn (@thebamburghcastleinn) Another must-visit is Bamburgh Castle Inn. On a Sunday, you can enjoy a range of carvery options alongside home-cooked light dishes and classic British dishes. The award-winning menu features vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, too. What better way to finish off a bracing walk along Bamburgh beach than with the ultimate British comfort food classics? Which restaurants in Northumberland are family and dog-friendly? Whether you’re catching up with old friends or heading on holiday with the whole clan, it can be helpful to know the best family-friendly and dog-friendly restaurants in Northumberland.  We’re particularly fond of The Drift Cafe in Cresswell. Situated close to a beautiful pond, it’s a great space for bird watching and wildlife lovers. If the sun is shining this autumn, why not get a takeaway lunch and sit outside while the kids and dogs have a run-around? Alternatively, the inside is light, airy and welcoming with a good stock of second-hand books and local produce to purchase. On your visit to The Drift Cafe make sure to pick up some whisky from Ad Gefrin or artisan preserves from local Northumberland producers.  Another option is the Whitehouse Farm Centre in Morpeth. While this one might not be suitable for dogs, it’s a great all-weather space for families with lots of activities for the kids to enjoy, from tractor rides, soft play, to outdoor play areas. Enjoy everything from coffee and cake or a light nibble to a hearty homemade dish.  Top seafood restaurants in Northumberland With its abundant coastline, it’s no surprise that Northumberland is home to some fantastic seafood restaurants. Whether you’re looking for fish and chips, or locally sourced salmon from Berwick-upon-Tweed, you’re sure to find the perfect catch.  Try The Jolly Fisherman’s famous crab soup after exploring Craster, opt for haddock chowder at The Whittling House in Alnwick, or treat yourself to award-winning mussels at The Potted Lobster in Bamburgh. (As an added bonus, The Potted Lobster is another great Northumberland restaurant that’s suitable for all the family, including your four-legged furry friends).           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—™๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป (@thejollyfisherman) Where to find vegetarian and vegan food in Northumberland While Northumberland is indeed known for its fish and seafood, there are also plenty of venues providing vegetarian and vegan options.  The Holly Bush Inn is ideal for veggies visiting Greenhaugh, while the Battlesteads Hotel near Hexham offers a stand-out selection of 5-course and 8-course vegetarian tasting menus.  Experience culinary delights with Visit Northumberland Whatever sort of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Northumberland has restaurants, cafes and cosy pubs for all occasions. This autumn, embrace local Northumbrian produce and let the region's best chefs delight you and your loved ones with irresistible dishes from breakfast to dessert.  Start planning your Northumberland trip today.
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