Planning a short break or week away? Northumberland has so much to offer and it's not as far as you think - just over three hours from London by train.
Northumberland is a magical place filled with ancient castles, hidden gardens, clear coastline dotted with nature, rolling hills, rugged moorland, sweeping views, friendly market towns and villages and a cultural heritage of our own. There is so much waiting for you to discover.
Beautiful in the day time and simply spectacular in the evening. Home to Europe's largest International Dark Sky Park, Northumberland proudly offers some of the best stargazing experiences and darkest night skies in England.
If we haven't convinced you yet, here are ten reasons (We could name many more) why you should visit Northumberland.
'2016 Year of the English Garden', marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of landscape architect Lancelot Capability Brown. Born at Kirkharle in Northumberland, Lancelot Brown attended Cambo village school before learning his trade on the Kirkharle estate until 1739. You can see and exhibition about his life at Kirkharle Courtyard and starting in March Kirkharle will be hosting a range of Capability Brown related events.
This “land of the far horizons” is a scenic gem at the top of England, anchored by the Cheviot Hills and undulating southward in swaths of open moorland and grasslands and dotted with traditional villages. Due to its remoteness Northumberland National Park is one of the least visited parks in England. It covers approximately one quarter of a million acres of protected landscape with breath-taking views, crystal clear waterways, some of the darkest skies in Britain and rich wildlife habitats. The park is free to enjoy.
Covering 73 miles of the North East and North West of England, this celebrated World Heritage Site is the best known frontier in the Roman Empire. Walk along the wall and discover 2000 years of history at English Heritage’s many forts, museums and remains of thriving Roman towns.
Dramatic views, sandy beaches and iconic castles sum up the essence of Northumberland's coast. Apart from being the perfect place to stretch your legs and unwind amongst some of England's most stunning scenery, the Northumberland Coast is home to thousands of waders, geese and ducks who enjoy rich feeding available on mud flats. There's a national nature reserve on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne as well as great vantage points to watch nature at places including Druridge Bay, Craster and Belford.
Race along sandy beaches, paddle in the sea, explore woodlands, trot along Hadrian’s Wall and curl up in a dog friendly pub with the whole family. For many dog owners the prospect of leaving their dog in kennels whilst they go on holiday can be daunting. Rest assured your four legged friend will receive a warm Northumbrian welcome from numerous accommodation providers so there is no need for them to stay at home. Many attractions in Northumberland welcome dogs; Ford & Etal is a perfect destination for a day out - 32 miles of footpaths and bridleways criss-cross the estates. Many National Trust and English Heritage properties welcome dogs in their beautiful grounds (Please check before travelling).
Two separate attractions in the historic town of Alnwick which make for a magical day out. Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and has been home to the Duke of Northumberland's family, the Percys, for 700 years. More recently Alnwick castle has become famous for playing home to Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films and as Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey. Exit the Castle through a gate in the wall and you will enter The Alnwick Garden; a vibrant place with beautifully landscaped gardens, magnificent architecture and unique features, all brought to life with water. The Garden's centrepiece is the Grand Cascade, an iconic structure and the largest water feature of its kind in the country. Children will love the interactive water sculptures in the Serpent Garden and a visit to the Garden of Fairytales is a must.
Standing high on a basalt outcrop, overlooking the North Sea, Bamburgh Castle is one of the most impressive looking castles in England. Its battlements offer views of Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, the Farne Islands and the Cheviot Hills. Home to the Kings of Northumbria this magnificent coastal castle has a history of occupation dating back to the 1st century BC.
Based on the much loved book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler the Stick Man Trail at Kielder Water & Forest Park is sure to delight young children. Set off with a hop and a twirl and help get Stick Man back to the family tree. Follow the epic adventures of Stick Man whilst learning about the importance of forests for people, wildlife and timber. The self-led trail is primarily aimed at younger children, but all the family will enjoy finding the trail panels and completing the fun activities.
The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park has Gold Tier status and is Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park. Covering 572 square miles of the Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park, visitors have the opportunity of seeing up to 2000 stars at any one time – a truly breath-taking experience.
You don’t need an expensive telescope to enjoy Northumberland’s dark skies, just wrap up warm, pack a pair of binoculars, a hot drink and bite to eat and head off to enjoy a star studded show.
10. Winter Warmers
If you need any more reasons to visit Northumberland, a lot of our accommodation providers have some great offers for you including 4 nights for the price of 3, 10% off and more.
Northumbria Coast & Country Cottages are offering 10% off any two consecutive weeks booked over the Easter holidays in selected properties.
Crabtree & Crabtree are offering up to 15% off short breaks or a weeks stay at some of their properties.
Book for two or more people to stay a week at Dilston Mill Bed & Breakfast and receive a 10% discount. Book directly [Offer valid the first two weeks in March 2016]
Farlam Hall are offering 3 nights DB&B for the price of 2. Book directly with Farlam Hall either by email or phone, quote 'Love the North'
All offers are subject to Terms & Conditions (Available via the accommodation provider).