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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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.