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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.