Admittedly, February is (sometimes) not the best time to head out on a hike or go for a beach stroll. That being said, you can still make the most of Northumberland on those cold and drizzly days!
From things to do this February half term to indoor activities to fill your Feb with, take a look at our round up of 10 things to do on a rainy day:
1) Explore Alnwick's Indoor Attractions
Barter Books is undoubtedly one of the cosiest places to escape the storm. This old, second hand bookshop is steeped in history, and open fires, armchairs and model trains are just a few of its quirky features. You are encouraged to carry your coffee (or a fruit shoot) from the café area and enjoy it with a book by the warming fire. Once you’ve toasted your toes here, visit the newly re-opened Alnwick Playhouse for its showing of Rumpelstiltskin and enjoy the magical performance as a family (showing on 20th February).
2) Be Spellbound by Bamburgh Castle
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From now until November, Bamburgh Castle will be open every day, just in time for February Half Term. This is the earliest the castle has opened its doors to the public since the 1950s, and entering the grounds of this fascinating, medieval castle takes you through impressive, stone-walled corridors, towering turrets and formidable fortresses. Head along on the 18th February for a photoshoot with acclaimed photographer Phil Punton and Bamburgh Castle as your backdrop.
3) Indulge Indoors
There’s nothing like a bit of foodie indulgence when the weather is miserable. Pile the family into the car and visit Doddington Diary, where soft, creamy, home-made cheeses and ice creams fill the counters. Visit Brocksbushes for one of their Food Lovers Friday and Sampling Saturday events, where you can try delectable, locally-produced tasters. 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. Adults can sip on local ales and spirits, along with fruit gins made by Battlesteads’ co-owner herself.
4) Try a Cookery Course
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If you fancy getting more hands-on with your food, make it yourself at Linnels Farm. Offering Gardening, Cookery & Floristry Courses, the farm is set in the idyllic, rural countryside near Hexham and offers cookery courses with a touch of luxury. Join chef Andy Snell in preparing a South East Asian Street food inspired lunch, including Malaysian style salads, noodle dishes and spicy sambals. Or, try a gluten free baking session that involves morning bread baking, a gluten-free-feast for lunch and an afternoon of trying and taking home gluten-free bakes.
5) Learn a new skill at The Sill
The Sill’s enriching events and exhibitions are a brilliant way to bond as a family or catch up with friends whilst keeping warm indoors. The Lost Words Festival, running throughout February, is hosting Kids Clay Workshops and holding musical performances. Enjoy a drop-in whistle making workshop where you can make your own wooden whistle (disclaimer: we hold no responsibility for parents’ earache after a whistle-filled car journey home). If you’re visiting without kids, try a taster spoon carving session or a clay jug workshop.
6) Be happy at Hexham Abbey
Hexham, recently voted the happiest place to live in the UK, is a beautiful, cobbled market town with cafes and restaurants a-plenty to hide away from the rain. Spend the day here and visit Hexham Abbey, the monastery-turned-abbey that was built by Saint Wilfrid in 674. The eerie crypt from the original building still remains today, and the dusty stones in this chamber actually came from the Roman ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. Every Tuesday, a craft fair is held in the Abbey’s entryway, where local traders showcase their handmade gifts and products. Pop into to Hexham Forum Cinema afterwards for some vintage film viewing at this quaint theatre that first opened its doors in the 1930s.
7) Step into a fairy tale 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 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. While the garden and tea rooms have been open since January, the house itself will re-open ready for February half term.
8) Wander through Wallington House
Wallington House will also open in time for February Half Term, so if it’s too drizzly for Snowdrop Planting (a lovely event held in Wallington Hall’s peaceful woodland in February) you can explore the superb country house. Adorned with decadent, pre-Raphaelite features, the house holds years of history and everything from intricate artwork to delicate doll houses can be admired there.
9) Immerse yourself in Berwick’s culture
The Maltings by Ollie Cowgill
If it isn’t the right kind of day for a roam along the River Tweed, visit Berwick-Upon-Tweed's Town Hall where graffiti from unruly 18th century cellmates lines the walls of the haunting jail, then to Berwick Barracks, built in 1717 and now home to three museums. End your history tour with the ruinous remains of breath-taking Berwick Castle, which is perched on a rocky outcrop over the river. Then, cosy up together for a film viewing or a theatre production at The Maltings, where you can watch anything from an Abba Reunion Tribute show, to the Shaun the Sheep Movie, to the award-winning Little Women remake.
10) While the day away at Wentworth 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 Wentworth Leisure Centre while you’re taking shelter.