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