Why go abroad...

...when you can go up north!

Going abroad is tricky to say the least this year. It's no wonder people are re-discovering home soil and looking to the UK for an unforgettable staycation. Who needs to go overseas when you have staggering beaches, fascinating history, incredible wildlife, and diverse landscapes all on your doorstep?

This week is English Tourism Week so we are celebrating by rounding up 10 things to do in Northumberland that will make you forget all about going abroad. Switch the following for a staycation in Northumberland this year and discover our endless experiences...

1) Croatia’s waterfalls

If you were hoping to head to Croatia this year, wander from waterfall to waterfall in Northumberland instead. Nestled away in the idyllic Breamish Valley is Linhope Spout, a 60 foot chute of water that rushes into a 16ft deep plunge pool. Hareshaw Linn sits just a stone’s throw away from Bellingham, where secrets of St Cuthbert, an abundance of walking routes, and stone cottages adorned with ivy are all closeby. Seemingly secret Roughtin Linn, where you could almost miss the narrow path that leads down to it, tumbles in a secluded spot in Ingram Valley in The Cheviots.

2) Idyllic islands

For an idyllic island escape, simply venture across Lindisfarne causeway and visit Holy Island. This tidal island holds an ancient priory, an enchanting castle and Gertrude Jekyll Garden, and of course shimmering sea views fit to soothe the soul. Sip on Lindisarne Mead at St Aidan’s Winery, stop for a coffee at Pilgrim’s Coffee House, and stay the night at Belvue Guesthouse for a long weekend escape. *Always check safe crossing times before visiting Holy Island.

3) Rome’s history 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kate (@moira.willow)

When in Northumberland, do as the Romans do… from Hadrian’s Wall that plunges across Northumberland’s rugged landscapes, to the Roman auxiliary fort Vindolanda where ancient artefacts are uncovered during excavations every summer, Northumberland boasts a host of Roman history. Secrets of the Roman Empire are scattered across our countryside in our Roman Baths, Corbridge Roman Old Town and numerous forts.

4) The Azores’ dolphins 

It’s not just foreign seas that boast dazzling dolphin displays. Bottlenose dolphins are regulars on the Northumberland coast, and they have a habit of showing off to visitors. They can be seen from many points along our coast, but to heighten your chances, take a boat trip with Berwick Boat Trips. Heading out to the mouth of the River Tweed, regular sightings take place along with grey seal spotting. Venture over to The Farne Islands on a boat trip from Seahouses harbour and keep an eye out for dolphins while you’re admiring the puffins, as they love to race the boats in this area too.  

5) Canada’s log cabins 

Craving a cosy, Canadian-style log cabin getaway in the heart of nature? Northumberland’s remote treehouses, huts and cabins are the perfect fix for a rustic retreat. Woodland Chase’s glamping cabins and treehouse with hot tubs and wooden terraces, Huts in the Hills’ huts with spectacular views and outdoor copper bath tub, and Alnmouth Shoreside Huts that teeter on our staggering coastline are just a few options. Not to mention Hesleyside Huts’ cabins and brand new treehouse accommodation nestled away in Hesleyside Estate, or Kielder’s glass-roofed Sky Den that’s perfect for stargazing.

6) Iceland’s sealife 

Iceland’s marine life is one of its highlights, but you don’t have to travel there to see adorable puffins and incredible whales. Visit The Farne Islands from Seahouses harbour with Serenity or Billy Shiels boat tours and you can see thousands of colourful puffins and lazing grey seals. Humpback and killer whales are also known to have been spotted off Northumberland’s coastline.

7) Japan’s cherry blossoms 

If you’ve always wanted to walk beneath Japan’s famous Taihaku cherry blossom trees, you don’t have to travel as far as you think. Every spring, from the end of April to the beginning of May, The Alnwick Garden boasts the largest collection of ‘Taihaku’ cherry blossoms in the world. Comprising of 329 trees, they all bloom for a short-but-sweet two week period, when you can watch them fluttering above you while you wander through the orchard and relax on the swinging benches.

8) Norway’s Northern Lights

Beautiful Norway is known for its dazzling Northern Lights displays and star-studded night skies, but did you know you can see the Northern Lights in Northumberland? We’re fortunate enough to have extremely low levels of light pollution, making Northumberland one of the best places in the country to go stargazing. The Northern Lights have been known to dance over our coastline, and the whole of Northumberland National Park and most of Kielder Water & Forest Park make up our International Dark Sky Park. Both Kielder Observatory and Battlesteads Observatory host awe-inspiring stargazing events, where you can see thousands of stars, the Milky Way, and the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye.

9) Finland’s forests 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hannah (@explorewithhannah)

If you fancy exploring thick forest landscapes and foraging for food fresh from nature like the Finnish do, look no further than Kielder Forest. Offering the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature, you can wander along woodland walkways, weave your way through the trees by bike, and discover wildlife rustling on forest floors and soaring over treetops. Go foraging with professionals while you’re there to truly be at one with nature, or venture to our lesser-known woodland such as Warksburn, Hepburn and Holystone.

10) Mediterranean beaches

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Harley Bean (@harleyannx)

Crystal clear water, pristine sand and exquisite seafood aren’t specific to overseas. Northumberland’s coast is an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meaning it has been recognised for its distinctive character, striking beauty and outstanding wildlife. Endless beaches, quiet bays and countless castles sit along the stretch from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Seaton Sluice, just waiting to be discovered.

Show us that you are here for tourism by tagging us in your Northumberland adventures on social media and using the hashtag #EnglishTourismWeek21.