Girl at Hareshaw Linn waterfall

Top things to do on a rainy day

A guide to indoor attractions in Northumberland
Discover some of the best things to do on a rainy day in Northumberland with our blog. From indoor attractions to family activities, you won't be short of things to do even when it's raining.

A wet-weather guide to Northumberland

We will admit, Northumberland has its fair share of unpredictable weather, no matter the season. That's why it's important to come prepared with expert knowledge of the best things to do in Northumberland on a rainy day.

Don't worry - we have done the hard work for you and rounded up 10 of the best activities in Northumberland when it's raining, including some of the region's hidden gem attractions for you to enjoy.

From castles to country houses, check out our rainy day suggestions:

1) Be spellbound by Bamburgh Castle


Bamburgh Castle is open to visitors all year round and entering the grounds of this fascinating, medieval castle takes you through impressive, stone-walled corridors, towering turrets and formidable fortresses. A fantastic family day out for a rainy day, you can pick up a Children's Activity Pack, crammed full of challenges and puzzles to crack around the castle. If the rain does ease off, the outdoor grounds are also spectacular and the beach is just a stone's throw away.

2) Whet your appetite


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There’s nothing like a bit of foodie indulgence when the weather is miserable. Pile the family into the car and visit The Drift Cafe in Cresswell, where home baked goods fill the counters and the sea views are the icing on the cake. For a sit down meal, book a table at Battlesteads Restaurant where the fruit and veg is home-grown and the meat is smoked on-site. Or visit The Angel of Corbridge for delicious, locally-sourced traditional pub dishes. Find out more about Northumberland's pubs and restaurants perfect for a rainy day.

3) Embrace the rain


If you're going to get wet anyway, you might as well do it properly! For you brave and adventurous readers, throw on your waterproof and venture to Northumberland's waterfalls. We have a number of incredible waterfalls that, on a rainy day, look especially mystical. Feel the spray from the tumbling water tickle your cheeks and embrace the rain (then escape to a cosy pub afterwards and warm up by an open fire - you'll need it!).

4) Step into a fairytale at Cragside House and Gardens

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Cragside House looks like something from a fairy tale, peeping out of the thick woodland that surrounds it and showcasing the idyllic architecture of a traditional Victorian country house. Entering the National Trust estate is like travelling back to the future, as the house was years ahead of its time and was the first in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Lord Armstrong’s gismos and gadgets are still there today and are waiting to be admired by visitors. Book your visit for a half term history fix or a weekend away from the rain.

5) Shop 'til you drop


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There's nothing like a spot of retail therapy on a rainy day. Visit Manor Walks Shopping Centre for its excellent shops, restaurants and even cinema which are great for whiling away a rainy day. Time your visit with the second Saturday of the month for their Makers and Bakers Market, which is brimming with gifts, treats and crafts from local producers. Or spend the day in stylish Morpeth and fill your shopping bags at Sanderson Arcade. Blending the beauty of a traditional market town with modern high street names, there are ample opportunities to buy gifts and souvenirs.

6) While the day away at a Leisure Centre


The beauty of visiting a leisure centre is you can pack so much into your day without having to step outside between activities. With play areas, bowling alleys and swimming pools, plus gym classes galore if you want to get active, there’s plenty to do at Active Northumberland's leisure centres while you’re taking shelter. Head up to the very north of the county and visit The Swan Centre in Berwick, or to the magical town of Alnwick for a day at Willowburn.

7) Unleash your inner artist


A drizzly day is an ideal opportunity to appreciate Northumberland's art galleries. Dennis Kilgallon Gallery, based in Hexham, is known as "The Gallery in the Hills" and showcases the owners' original works, as well as other artists' drawings, paintings, sculptures and ceramics. Dockside Gallery up in coastal Berwick-upon-Tweed is another excellent choice, offering an ever-changing exhibition of uplifting artworks from a variety of artists specifically chosen for the quality and originality of their work.

8) Broaden your mind

Take the opportunity of a grey day to learn something new at one of Northumberland's museums. Bailiffgate Museum  recently won the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award in recognition of its outstanding family offering and relaxed atmosphere. Woodhorn Museum is another fantastic option, where you can delve into Northumberland's mining history. And finally, The RNLI Grace Darling Museum is a fascinating spot dedicated to Britain's greatest heroine, Grace Darling, who rescued nine survivors from a shipwreck in 1838.

9) Get medieval


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Get out of the rain in the medieval castle Belsay Hall, where you can power up 56 spiral stairs to marvel at the view from the top of the 14th-century defensive 'pele tower'. Explore the maze of rooms and keep an eye out for rare traces of elaborate medieval wall paintings. In the manor house style wing you can still see the old cooking range and fireplaces.

Find out more about our indoor attractions, and don't forget to tag us in your rainy day adventures at @visitnorthumberland or use our hashtag #endlessexperiences.

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Hadrian's Wall
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Outdoor adventures in Northumberland

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