Catch up with our latest blogs

Looking for inspiration for a family adventure on the coast, a romantic weekend break star gazing under dark skies, or relaxing walks on the beach spotting wildlife? Visit Northumberland has got you covered, with our round up of inspiring blogs that will make you want to discover some of the best attractions Northumberland has to offer, the most delicious food and drink places, as well as activities and events taking place in the area throughout the seasons, whether you need to find the perfect local comfort food for winter or the most scenic spots to enjoy a day out with the family, there is something for everyone to experience in Northumberland.

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13 October 2023

A taste of Northumberland in autumn

If you’re visiting Northumberland this autumn, you might be wondering where you can find the best restaurants, pubs, and eateries. After all, no visit to the region is complete without exploring the local cuisine — and Northumberland has a wealth of irresistible food venues to explore. Whether you’re looking for comforting pub grub or a fine dining experience, here’s our ultimate guide to Northumberland’s food scene. Best pub food in Northumberland: our must-visits First up, pub food. Be it steak and chips, a mezze platter, or something a little different, there’s nothing like a pub meal when you’re exploring a new area. For classic pub meals, the warm and cosy Pheasant Inn in Kielder is a great place to start. The Pheasant’s traditional menu uses local produce, including fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits from the inn’s very own cottage garden. The Lord Crewe Arms is another pub brimming with character. Located in Blanchland, it offers a delicious British menu that’s great for refuelling after exploring the quaint fairytale village. Expect an array of breakfast, lunch and dinner menus alongside an afternoon tea offering.  The best Northumberland restaurants for fine dining and special occasions Are you looking for something a little bit special? Here are some Northumberland restaurants serving up incredible cuisine fit for a memorable dining experience. Langley Castle Hotel Standing proud in Langley-on-Tyne, is the impressive Langley Castle Hotel. This 14th-century castle boasts luxurious accommodation and an intimate fine-dining restaurant. The Josephine Restaurant specialises in fish and game, all cooked to the highest quality and presentation.  Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Matfen Hall (@matfenhall) The gorgeous Matfen Hall is a five-star gothic mansion that exudes sophistication. As well as being a stunning wedding venue, it offers some of the best fine dining dishes in Northumberland. With a range of unique dining areas to choose from, there’s something for everyone. The Emerald Restaurant in particular is the ideal venue for five-star dining in an impressive setting. From lobster tail and beef sirloin to a selection of petit fours, enjoy dishes from Matfen’s talented chefs.  Which restaurants in Northumberland have the best view? From its historical buildings to its sprawling coastline, Northumberland isn’t short on great views. And if you’re searching for restaurants with a view of the best sights in Northumberland, here are some inspiring venues. The Treehouse Restaurant           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Treehouse Restaurant (@thetreehousealnwick) Anyone visiting Alnwick is sure to head to Alnwick Castle (which you may recognise from the Harry Potter film franchise). Just a short walk away is the beautiful Alnwick Garden, home to the Treehouse Restaurant. Truly a magical setting, the Treehouse lets you dine amongst the treetops, surrounded by twinkling lights. With a modern British menu that focuses on seasonal, local produce, it’s a fantastic experience for all. The Forest Bar & Restaurant           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Forest Bar & Kitchen (@kielder_forest_bar_kitchen) For panoramic views of the beautiful Kielder Water & Forest Park, you can’t beat The Forest Bar & Restaurant. As you sample light bites from the lunch menu or a substantial dish from the evening selection, you can gaze out across the water to the distant shores. Where to go for Sunday lunch and comfort food in Northumberland Is there anything more comforting than tucking into a hearty Sunday lunch on a crisp autumn day? Luckily, Northumberland has an abundance of pubs and restaurants excelling in classic roast dinners and other nostalgic favourites. The Linden Tree Pub           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Linden Tree ( The elegant Linden Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa is a sophisticated resort that exudes luxury at every turn. However, nestled in its grounds is The Linden Tree pub, a welcoming venue providing all manner of hearty dishes — from traditional Sunday roasts and pies to warming soups and crumbles. Bamburgh Castle Inn            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Bamburgh Castle Inn (@thebamburghcastleinn) Another must-visit is Bamburgh Castle Inn. On a Sunday, you can enjoy a range of carvery options alongside home-cooked light dishes and classic British dishes. The award-winning menu features vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, too. What better way to finish off a bracing walk along Bamburgh beach than with the ultimate British comfort food classics? Which restaurants in Northumberland are family and dog-friendly? Whether you’re catching up with old friends or heading on holiday with the whole clan, it can be helpful to know the best family-friendly and dog-friendly restaurants in Northumberland.  We’re particularly fond of The Drift Cafe in Cresswell. Situated close to a beautiful pond, it’s a great space for bird watching and wildlife lovers. If the sun is shining this autumn, why not get a takeaway lunch and sit outside while the kids and dogs have a run-around? Alternatively, the inside is light, airy and welcoming with a good stock of second-hand books and local produce to purchase. On your visit to The Drift Cafe make sure to pick up some whisky from Ad Gefrin or artisan preserves from local Northumberland producers.  Another option is the Whitehouse Farm Centre in Morpeth. While this one might not be suitable for dogs, it’s a great all-weather space for families with lots of activities for the kids to enjoy, from tractor rides, soft play, to outdoor play areas. Enjoy everything from coffee and cake or a light nibble to a hearty homemade dish.  Top seafood restaurants in Northumberland With its abundant coastline, it’s no surprise that Northumberland is home to some fantastic seafood restaurants. Whether you’re looking for fish and chips, or locally sourced salmon from Berwick-upon-Tweed, you’re sure to find the perfect catch.  Try The Jolly Fisherman’s famous crab soup after exploring Craster, opt for haddock chowder at The Whittling House in Alnwick, or treat yourself to award-winning mussels at The Potted Lobster in Bamburgh. (As an added bonus, The Potted Lobster is another great Northumberland restaurant that’s suitable for all the family, including your four-legged furry friends).           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗝𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗙𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻 (@thejollyfisherman) Where to find vegetarian and vegan food in Northumberland While Northumberland is indeed known for its fish and seafood, there are also plenty of venues providing vegetarian and vegan options.  The Holly Bush Inn is ideal for veggies visiting Greenhaugh, while the Battlesteads Hotel near Hexham offers a stand-out selection of 5-course and 8-course vegetarian tasting menus.  Experience culinary delights with Visit Northumberland Whatever sort of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Northumberland has restaurants, cafes and cosy pubs for all occasions. This autumn, embrace local Northumbrian produce and let the region's best chefs delight you and your loved ones with irresistible dishes from breakfast to dessert.  Start planning your Northumberland trip today.
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13 October 2023

Christmas Markets in Northumberland

There’s nothing quite like a festive day out to get you feeling merry in the run-up to Christmas day. Wrapping up warm to pick out your presents, embracing a flurry of snow, and sipping on a mulled wine are simple seasonal moments worth looking forward to all year.  When it comes to Christmas days out, Northumberland delivers in abundance – especially with Christmas markets. Here’s what we’ve got to look forward to in 2023.  What makes Northumberland Christmas markets so magical? There’s something about Northumberland that feels inherently festive. From the magical historic castles and quaint market towns to the dark starry skies, it all takes on a new life at Christmas time. Whether you’re a local exploring your neighbouring towns, or you’re coming from further afield, winter is a wonderful time to see what the region has to offer. Having said that, Northumberland also has a thriving market scene all year round, with Bedlington, Blyth and Greenhead being just a few of the regular fixtures.  Must-visit Christmas markets in Northumberland this December If you’re hoping to find some unique gifts and enjoy the warm glow of twinkling fairy lights, here are some must-visit Northumberland Christmas markets to explore. Ford and Etal Christmas Market            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) Now with 75 vendors, the Ford and Etal markets extend over three sites, in Ford, Etal and Heatherslaw. But don’t let that put you off – exploring this wider area is all part of the fun. Why not make your market visit an adventure and take a winter walk between the three? Alternatively, jump on the Heatherslaw Light Railway or make the most of the double-decker bus which operates as a shuttle for the event.  Across the three, you’ll be rewarded with local shops, cafes and entertainment  – and that’s on top of the confectionery, pottery and treats for furry friends at the markets themselves. We’ve also heard Father Christmas himself could be in attendance. This year, the Ford and Etal Christmas Market is on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November. Mark the dates in your diary – it’s one for the whole family to enjoy. The Christmas Fair at Belsay Hall There’s always a beautiful selection of specialist crafts at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens traditional gift fair, from festive trinkets to gorgeous homewares. There are countless ways to make a day of it, with the Grade I listed gardens, Crag Wood Walk and medieval castle a matter of steps away. As an added benefit, entry is free for English Heritage members.  The Christmas Fair at Belsay Hall is on from Saturday 25th - Sunday 26th November – the perfect time to get ahead on your Christmas shopping. But if you can’t make that weekend, the festive event fun is far from over. Father Christmas will be visiting each Saturday from the 2nd to the 23rd December.  Hexham Christmas Market   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Hexham (@visithexham) The picturesque town of Hexham is another must-visit for Northumberland Christmas markets, with a variety of stalls lining Beaumont Street up into the abbey for one day only.   Pick out your favourite seasonal delights from local artisans and treat yourself to a tipple. With the surrounding trees strung with lights, it’s a beautiful scene to be a part of. You might even have the chance to spot reindeer in the park. By the time Saturday 9th December comes around, the Christmas countdown will be well and truly on.  It’s easy to see why Hexham Christmas Market proves popular year after year. Morpeth Festive Market   View this post on Instagram A post shared by Morpeth Markets (@morpethmarkets) Morpeth markets are much loved year-round, so it’s no surprise they’re such a hit at Christmas. They’re packed with traders offering delicious local street food, unique gifts and so much more – all across a weekend-long event.  While there’s one dedicated Morpeth Christmas market, you can also enjoy the town’s usual farmers markets and craft stalls throughout November and December. So there’s sure to be something on any weekend you’re in the area. Discover the festive magic at Morpeth Christmas market on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November.  Experience a winter wonderland with Christmas in Northumberland  This is just the beginning of the wonderful winter events happening in Northumberland this Christmas. Once you’ve decided on the Northumberland Christmas markets you’d like to visit, you can discover all the other festive events taking place throughout November and December. No festive day out or weekend away in Northumberland would be complete, without passing the hours in a cosy pub next to a roaring fire. Explore all the places to eat and drink in Northumberland for hearty grub, including some of the region's best Sunday lunch options.  Get your Northumberland Christmas market shopping wishlist in order and join in on all the festive fun.
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15 September 2023

The best Sunday lunches in Northumberland

There’s nothing more comforting than gathering with loved ones and tucking into a hearty lunch on a Sunday. And whether you’re looking for a traditional roast dinner with all the trimmings or something a little lighter, there are plenty of restaurants in Northumberland to explore. If you’re ready to fuel up with a Sunday lunch on your Northumberland getaway, take a look at some of our favourite pub grub, fine dining, and alternative recommendations. From festive Christmas Sunday lunch options and classic winter warmers, to seasonal spring and summer menus packed with local produce, our region offers the best Sunday lunches to enjoy. Round off your week in Northumberland with a Sunday lunch Sunday is the perfect day to take a step back and have a rest. Perhaps you’ve had an adventure-packed week of sightseeing on the Northumberland coast or you’ve spent the weekend perusing museums and galleries.  Either way, why not let Northumberland’s best restaurants treat you to a Sunday lunch packed with ingredients reared and grown locally in the Northeast? Locals and visitors alike are sure to be impressed by the quality the county has to offer — but where to start? Read on for some inspiration. The best pub lunch options in Northumberland  A pub lunch is a surefire path to cosy comfort and a full belly. No matter the season or the weather, these venues provide some of the best pub food in Northumberland. The Pheasant Inn If you’re searching for a classic roast dinner followed by heavenly sticky toffee pudding, then The Pheasant Inn is your ultimate destination.  Located one mile from Kielder Water, it’s the ideal spot to stop after a morning walk around the beautiful reservoir and country park. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder this family-friendly venue is a popular pub lunch destination for locals and tourists across Northumberland. So book ahead to avoid disappointment!  Lord Crewe Arms Historical and atmospheric, the Lord Crewe Arms Restaurant and Bar is the perfect setting for a comforting Sunday lunch made with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. First built in the 12th century, the Lord Crewe Arms has been a favourite place to stay and eat in Blanchland for centuries. And what of its pub lunches? There’s plenty to try, and the Lord Crewe Arms Sunday Sharing Platter is a great option for couples. With two or three courses to choose from, you’ll be set for the rest of the day. Why not head down to the Crypt Bar for a romantic candle-lit drink after?  Explore more of our favourite pubs and bars in Northumberland. Which restaurants in Northumberland offer fine dining Sunday lunches? Are you in the mood for something sophisticated? Northumberland is home to some renowned restaurants serving up Sunday lunches fit for royalty. Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa is a luxurious venue for weddings and gatherings but it also provides excellent Sunday lunches for those just visiting — with an open fire in winter that completes the traditional ambience. Enjoy a sumptuous twist on the classics with dishes ranging from roast leg of Northumbrian lamb to seared salmon fillet and spicy couscous with a caper and sweet chilli dressing. Alternatively, explore Doxford’s daily lunch menu, which includes the likes of duck parfait, followed by seabass. Round the meal off with a delightful cheesecake or chocolate fondant.  Close to Alnwick, it’s the ideal location for Sunday lunch after visiting Northumberland’s most famous castle. Eshott Hall Another elegant lunch spot, Eshott Hall is a great venue for those exploring Alnwick and Morpeth. Eshott’s Lounge Menu is brimming with classic dishes reimagined with a touch of luxury.  The venue’s chefs are proud to use local, seasonal ingredients in their creations — including those sourced from the hall’s own kitchen garden. Whether you’re staying at Eshott Hall or just popping by for Sunday lunch, its scenic surroundings are some of the finest in Northumberland.  Walwick Hall As well as being a lovely boutique hotel, Walwick Hall is home to one of the best restaurants in Northumberland. From exquisite afternoon teas to an award-winning tasting menu, Walkwick’s Dining Room provides both set and a la carte menus with something for everyone.  Looking for alternative Sunday lunches? Sometimes, a full roast dinner isn’t what you fancy. Fortunately, Northumberland has plenty of restaurants ready to cater for alternative Sunday lunches.  The Whittling House With its impressive coastline, it’s no wonder that there are plenty of seafood restaurants in Northumberland. The Whittling House focuses on Northumbrian produce and offers an array of seafood options alongside a more traditional Sunday roast menu. From haddock chowder and scallops to a prawn and crayfish cocktail, it’s a haven for seafood lovers. Plus, The Whittling House is dog-friendly (by prior arrangement) so you can bring your furry friend along, too.  Find The Whittling House in Alnmouth, and book a snug corner for couples or a large table for groups. The Potted Lobster Another must-try seafood restaurant in Northumberland is The Potted Lobster in Bamburgh. As well as serving delicious fresh dishes made with locally sourced fish, it’s a stone’s throw from the stunning Bamburgh Castle and beach.  This family-friendly restaurant also offers dairy-free and gluten-free menus, making it the ideal choice for those with dietary requirements.   Ad Gefrin An Anglo-Saxon museum and whisky distillery might not be your first thought when deciding where to go for Sunday lunch but Ad Gefrin is an experience like no other. As well as discovering the magic behind Northumbrian whisky and gin, you can visit Ad Gefrin’s Bistro. Try a classic Sunday roast made with local ingredients or go for something a little different from their daily menu.  Light bites are available for when you want something smaller to nibble, whilst heartier mains are also on offer. From risotto and lamb stew to roasted butternut squash, you’re sure to find something to enjoy. Explore Sunday lunch options in Northumberland The best restaurants in Northumberland take pride in sourcing ingredients from the local area. Combined with skill and experience, these chefs bring an unmistakable Northeastern flair to the classics — whether that’s a full Sunday roast or something a little less traditional. No matter if you’re local to Northumberland or just visiting us for a weekend, don’t miss out on a delectable Sunday lunch. Explore pubs, restaurants, and other places to eat with Visit Northumberland.
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08 September 2023

Explore Northumberland This Half Term

Wondering how to keep the kids occupied this half term? If you’re in the Northeast, you’re in luck — Northumberland has plenty of exciting things to do, come rain or shine. So whether you’re looking to explore autumnal landscapes or you’re in need of indoor attractions on a drizzly day, here’s why you should consider spending your October half-term in Northumberland. What’s on in Northumberland this October half term? As any Northumbrian local will tell you, Northumberland is packed with variety.  Boasting incredible scenery and a stunning coastline, it’s also home to museums, castles, historical sites, and so much more. With plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to entertain children of all ages, it’s the ideal destination for families. Read on to discover some of the best things to do with kids across Northumberland this autumn.  The best family activities in Northumberland Northumberland is a great place for families — there’s always something to see and do.  Experience magic at Alnwick Castle           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alnwick Castle (@alnwickcastleofficial) Alnwick Castle is a destination we highly recommend. There’s no question that it’s one of the best castles in Northumberland to explore over half term. The castle has an impressive history but is perhaps most famous for its on-screen role in Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons and other hit films and TV shows.  As any ‘Potterhead’ will appreciate, Alnwick Castle stood proud as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. This October, walk in the footsteps of wizards and witches and even learn to fly a broomstick. Whether you marvel at the magic or simply take in the striking medieval architecture, there’s plenty to see at Alnwick Castle. Discover animals at Northumberland College Zoo           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland College Zoo (@northumberlandcollegezoo) Are you a family of animal lovers? Northumberland College Zoo near Ponteland, is a great place to discover critters of all shapes and sizes. There are also plenty of activities for children to take part in — they can meet the zookeepers, burn off some energy in the playpark, and tuck into a homemade family picnic.  Free things to do in Northumberland this half-term Family holidays can add up, but Northumberland has a whole host of free activities for everyone to enjoy. Explore the Northumberland coast What better way to embrace the fresh autumn air than a coastal excursion? And while it’s vital to always check the weather and tide times for your safety, you’re sure to enjoy incredible Northumberland views all year round. Walking This area of outstanding natural beauty is perfect for everything from a casual stroll to a lengthy hike.  Wildlife Steeped in history, Northumberland’s coast is home to a plethora of animals, making it an ideal place to spot wildlife.  It’s particularly great for birdwatching, earning the title of "a birder's paradise", according to the Daily Telegraph. Look out for rare breeds during the autumn migration period.  Beaches October half-term might not be the season for sunbathing, but it’s a beautiful time to appreciate the sun setting over a Northumberland beach. Why not head to Bamburgh and admire the scenic views of the village’s famous castle from the shore?  Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre For something a little different, there’s always the Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre. This volunteer-led reserve is a haven for wildlife — and it’s free to visit.  Little ones will love following the discovery trails all year round. Even if the weather is grey this October half-term, you’re sure to spot some of Northumberland’s best-loved wildlife — including red squirrels and otters. There’s also a cafe and a range of workshops and activities for all the family to enjoy.  Keep cosy with rainy day activities There’s no denying that October weather can be less than desirable but Northumberland has indoor activities to keep the whole family entertained over half term.  Get cultural with the region’s fantastic museums and art galleries. We highly recommend the Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery if you’re keen to learn about local history. The Heatherslaw Corn Mill in the Ford and Etal Estate also makes a lovely day out. Here, you can see how Northumbrians have been grinding wheat, barley and oats for over 700 years.  Alternatively, why not get snug and snack on some popcorn at the Forum Cinema in Hexham? Enjoy the nostalgia of red velvet seats and art deco interiors as you get immersed in a movie. The Forum screens the latest blockbusters alongside independent films, world cinema, and live theatre screenings. There are also regular parent and baby screenings, perfect for those with very young children. Spooky season — Halloween activities and events October half term in Northumberland wouldn’t be complete without some Halloween activities. ‘Scarycrow’ trail at Ford & Etal Estates           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) The Scarycrow trail takes place at the Ford & Etal Estates near Berwick-upon-Tweed. Here, grown-ups and little ones alike will love spotting the weird and wonderful scarecrow characters dotted around the quaint village houses.  Halloween ‘Spooktacular’ at Whitehouse Farm Centre           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Whitehouse Farm Centre (@whitehousefarmcentre) Whitehouse Farm Centre in Morpeth is an all-weather attraction with adorable animals, a soft play area, and outdoor spaces. During the October holiday, a Halloween ‘spooktacular’ takes over. Expect pumpkin carving, a fancy dress competition, magic shows, and all manner of scarily fun activities.  This year’s spooktacular begins on the 28th of October and runs through the 5th of November, making it a great addition to your Northumberland half-term. Top Northumberland destinations Northumberland is packed with amazing destinations — perhaps too many to squeeze into one half-term holiday!  If you’re eager to peruse historical houses and estates, there are some impressive National Trust and English Heritage sites to choose from.  Cragside House & Gardens — This Victorian country mansion is renowned for being the first residence in the world to be lit by hydroelectric power. Explore the site’s stunning gardens and woodlands while you’re here.  Wallington House, Gardens and Estate — Wallington offers 13,500 acres of land to enjoy. With woodlands, a range of fun play parks, a walled garden, and a property filled with paintings and books, it’s a jam-packed day out.  The Farne Islands — October is the ideal time to hop on a boat and spot fluffy seals off the coast of the Farne Islands. Wrap up warm and enjoy wildlife spotting at one of the most iconic spots in Northumberland.  Housesteads Roman Fort — Discover Northumberland’s history at this iconic Roman fort, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas and browse an interactive museum.  Belsay Hall, Castle, and Gardens — Did you know that the quarry garden at Belsay Hall has its own microclimate? As such, its gardens are home to incredible tropical plants all year round, as well as an impressive castle with spectacular countryside views. Dunstanburgh Castle — Remote and majestic, Dunstanburgh is a sight to behold. Close to the Scottish Borders, it looks out across the rugged Northumberland coastline.   Visit Northumberland this half term This October, let Northumberland be your half-term haven. Whatever the weather, there are activities and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Start planning your trip today.
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10 August 2023

A guide to Northumberland accommodation

From amazing hotels and cosy traditional inns, to remote hostels and immersive camping experiences, Northumberland has it all. No matter if you’re touring our impressive region by caravan or enjoying a family-friendly holiday on one of our breathtaking beaches.  Are you looking for holiday accommodation in Northumberland? Our guide will help you find something to suit your style and budget.   Self-catering accommodation in Northumberland             View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Luxury Holiday Cottages (@breamishvalley) Wherever you go in our region, you’ll find outstanding beauty in our towns and villages. And what better way to explore everything Northumberland has to offer than booking our fabulous self-catering accommodation?  For award-winning luxury with Alnwick on the doorstep, Breamish Valley Cottages offer spectacular comfort and style. With incredible hiking and cycling on the doorstep, as well as the Heritage Coast just a stone’s throw away. And what better way to unwind after a long day’s adventure than in the indoor heated pool?    Right on the banks of the River Tweed, West Ord Holiday Cottages offer dog-friendly accommodation near the Northumberland Coast. There are miles of riverside walks to enjoy,  as well as Alnwick, Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands to explore, just a 15 minute drive away.    Clear Sky Lodge Park is set on 46 acres of the stunning Ravenshill Forest. Teeming with local wildlife, this location is handy for all the activities that Kielder has to offer. These dog-friendly lodges are a great way to escape to nature and then relax in your own hot tub under the stars.     And if you're looking for group accommodation in Northumberland directly on Hadrian's Wall, Carraw Farm offers luxurious and spacious accommodation for ten guests in Vesta View.    Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Try our selection of self-catering agencies with a wide selection of picturesque properties across the region.  B&Bs in Northumberland            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Market Cross Guest House (@marketcrossguesthouse) For the perfect weekend getaway, why not relax in a local B&B?   Wydon Farm is a National Trust working farm where you can collect eggs and sleep in a four-poster bed after visiting Hadrian's Wall and the Border Country.    For fabulous urban luxury, The Walls B&B and Market Cross Guest House offer 5-star Gold accommodation in Northumberland, with sophistication and style for the ideal weekend retreat. But if you crave peace and tranquility, book into the Old Rectory Howick just yards from the breathtaking Northumberland Coast. Feast on world-famous Craster kippers and Lindisfarne oysters, or relax in the sauna.    If you’re looking for the flexibility of an AirBnB in Northumberland, Sarah’s Air BnB, with accommodation for six people, is right on the Hadrian's Wall path in the beautiful village of Corbridge.  Pet-friendly accommodation in Northumberland             View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lord Crewe Arms Blanchland (@lord_crewe_arms) You’ll find dog-friendly accommodation all over Northumberland, and these are just a few of our favourites.    There’s no better place to enjoy Northumbrian hospitality than by the roaring fire in one of our traditional inns. The Holly Bush Inn in Greenhaugh is the perfect place to relax with man's best friend after a day exploring the trails in one of Europe's most extensive forests.     Why not try the Lindisfarne Inn, part of the Inn Collections group, an old coaching inn handily located at the gateway to Lindisfarne Island. Ideal for enjoying a sunset walk on Pilgrim’s Way with local hero Patrick Norris.    If you fancy a romantic countryside break, the Cherry Tree & Almond apartments are beautiful one-bedroomed dog-friendly apartments in the beautiful coastal village of Beadnell. But for the ultimate luxury pet-friendly accommodation in Northumberland, head for a weekend escape at the Lord Crewe Arms, where dog beds and biscuits are provided.  Luxury accommodation in Northumberland             View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa (@doxford_hall) Travellers in pursuit of opulence are spoilt for choice with luxury accommodation in Northumberland.     Just 40 minutes from Newcastle, the Langley Castle Hotel is a 14th-century castle with four-poster beds, fabulous food and accessible accommodation. For the ultimate in wellness, the spa facilities and luxurious accommodation at the Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa deliver impeccable attention to detail in every area. Or, for classic country house elegance, try the sophisticated Eshott Hall.   Camping and glamping in Northumberland   There are fabulous family-friendly holiday parks across Northumberland, from seaside fun to getaways in the heart of nature. Or why not try glamping, and enjoy the outdoors with added luxury? We love the unique The Bell Tent at the Old Rectory for the perfect glamping experience.   South Meadows Caravan Park is a family and dog-friendly caravan park with excellent facilities, accessible accommodation and is in a fantastic location near the coast. Or book into Laverock Law Cottages & Glamping to relax, rewind and reconnect in the heart of nature near Holy Island. Try the Harvest Hut for a truly romantic getaway.     For a full-on, ‘get away from it all’ experience, The Boe Rigg and Bistro offers fabulous Northumberland holiday accommodation. Book one of 30 camping pitches at the heart of the Dark Skies Park, where nature's most incredible light show is completely free.  Accessible accommodation in Northumberland            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Battlesteads Hotel (@battlesteads)   There’s an array of accessible accommodation across Northumberland, from luxury hotels to caravan parks and self-catering cottages.     We’ve singled out the multi-award-winning Battlesteads Hotel, close to Hadrian’s Wall and Kielder Water. This stunning 18th-century inn offers some of the best accessible and dog-friendly accommodation Northumberland has to offer, plus a superb restaurant with multiple vegetarian options.  Family-friendly accommodation on the Northumberland Coast   Family holidays mean beach time, so you’ll want to book quickly at fabulous Beach & Quiet. Their stunning selection of properties is just a stone's throw from sensational beaches and the beautiful village of Craster. There’s something for everyone, from family-friendly houses with accessible accommodation to cosy cottages.     Want to get away from the hustle and bustle? Enjoy beautiful beaches a short distance away from Alnwick Castle with Village Farm, a dog-friendly haven sleeping 4-10 people with facilities including a heated swimming pool, riding school, spa and adventure playground. Northumberland Coast accommodation doesn't come much better than this.  Activity holiday accommodation in Northumberland   Did we mention that Northumberland has some of the best world-class fishing and golf alongside the breathtaking beaches and spectacular scenic landscapes? So why not combine a luxury break with incredible salmon and sea trout fishing at Berwick-upon-Tweed's stylish Till Fishing Cottages?     Or head for the majestic Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate to relax in your magnificent suite before playing a round on the 27-hole championship golf course.    Find Northumberland holiday accommodation with Visit Northumberland  From self-catered stays on the Northumberland coast to luxury hotels and pet-friendly accommodation, the North East has it all. So what are you waiting for? Visit Northumberland today and book your perfect getaway.
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04 August 2023

Northumberland Days Out By Budget

If watching Robson Green's Weekend Escapes has inspired you to discover Northumberland for yourself, why not try these great days out included in our Northumberland guide? No matter if you're looking for free days out, weekends making memories with the kids or dog-friendly attractions to visit in Northumberland, there's something to suit every budget in our region, from spring adventures, winter walks and autumnal days out.   Best free days out in Northumberland  We love a free day out, and we are sure that you will too.  There are so many days out to enjoy in Northumberland, where you don't need to spend anything to enjoy our beautiful region.  Coast and Countryside Walks From picture perfect beaches to rolling green hills and magical forests, Northumberland has so many amazing places to go walking or hiking. All you need is a pair of walking shoes to go on a fantastic and free adventure. From short walks along some of the most iconic beaches in the North East, including Bamburgh and Beadnell, to longer walking routes through the beautiful Northumberland countryside, there are so many walking routes to choose from, like the spectacular woodland trails of Plessey and Thrunton Woods.  Step Foot into Fairytale Villages Discover the magic of Northumberland by exploring the beautiful villages and towns scattered across the region, from the historic town of Alnwick to the quaint and coastal villages and towns of Craster, Amble and Warkworth. Feel like you are stepping foot onto a film set as you explore the cosy cottages, cobbled streets and historic buildings that make up some of Northumberland’s most iconic destinations.  See the Stars Continue your free day out into the evening, and take in the breathtaking dark skies above Northumberland. The region is one of the best places to stargaze, recognised as an International Dark Sky Park. Whether you’re camping with the kids looking up at the night sky trying to spot the Milky Way from the Northumberland National Park, or you are getting away from it all with a romantic break enjoying a relaxing evening under thousands of stars, Northumberland is the perfect spot for anyone to stargaze.  Best budget days out with the kids in Northumberland   Finding exciting and adventurous kids' days out in Northumberland is easy. Here's our pick of the best days out with kids that won't break the bank.  Hire a bike   There's no better way to get to know the stunning Northumberland countryside than by bike. From the Coast and Castles Route and cycling along Hadrian’s Wall, there are so many cycling adventures for the whole family to enjoy in Northumberland.  Pedal Power has road, mountain bikes, child bikes and more for hire starting from only £8.00 for a child’s half-day hire. They'll match your hire bike to your ability and even deliver to your holiday cottage.  Explore amazing castles  Northumberland is home to some incredible castles. And even if you’ve never been to the North East, you’ll recognise Alnwick and Bamburgh Castles from movies including Harry Potter, Transformers and Indiana Jones. Why not invest in a family ticket for one of the best days out in Northumberland?  Alnwick Castle is brimming with drama, history and intrigue, and the kids will have fun spotting their favourite film locations, brushing up on their flying skills or battling the castle dragon. A day at Alnwick is among the best Northumberland kids' days out.  Magnificent Bamburgh Castle is the country's finest coastal fortress and is instantly recognisable from TV and film. The nine acres of castle grounds are dog-friendly and wheelchair accessible, and their Last Kingdom experience is not to be missed.  Enjoy some Wild Intrigue  There are many great days out with the kids in Northumberland, but Wild Intrigue is one of the best.  This small-scale social enterprise offers a fantastic range of intriguing wildlife events, from bat safaris and osprey cruises to playing Nature Rangers for the day or enjoying mythical beasts and gourmet wild dining. Book today and enjoy Wild Intrigue's incredible days out in Northumberland's wide open spaces.  Experience Hadrian’s Wall at Vindolanda  Vindolanda was occupied for 300 years and is now a world-class archaeological museum telling the story of the Romans in Britain. Explore hidden gems, experience a live dig or enrol in Roman Soldier school and learn about life in the Roman Army first-hand.  With year-round events and family tickets available to explore the entire site, this Northumberland kids’ day out won’t disappoint.  Waterfalls, sculptures and elves at The Alnwick Garden  Brimming with magic, mystery and mischief, the Alnwick Garden is an extraordinary contemporary garden full of imagination and fun — and one of the most enjoyable days out with kids in Northumberland.   Book a family ticket and explore the spell-binding water sculptures of the Serpents Garden and the intrigue of the infamous Poison Garden. Dine in the biggest treehouse in the world, and visit the fantasy world of Lilidorei, a magical elvish village and the biggest play structure ever made.  Push the boat out with the best days out in Northumberland   Northumberland isn't just for families. Are you a National Trust or English Heritage member? If so, you can enjoy some of the most interesting and educational days out in the UK with visits to the holy island of Lindisfarne, the Baroque masterpiece Seaton Delaval Hall and the idyllic Farne Islands. Follow in the footsteps of film stars or try one of Robson Green’s wellness weekends for yourself.  Ford & Etal Estates  If unearthing hidden gems and historical heritage is more your style, try one of our favourite Northumberland days out at Ford and Etal Estates near the Scottish border. Enjoy a ride on England’s most northerly steam train at Heatherslaw Steam Light Railway, a leisurely hack on horseback or canoeing with otters on the River Till.  History buffs can walk the battlefield at Flodden Field, then head for Northumberland's only thatched pub, the Black Bull, for great food and local beer.    Ad Gefrin   Celebrate the Golden Age of Northumbria with kings, queens, whisky and Anglo-Saxon hospitality at Ad Gefrin. You can enjoy one of the most immersive days out in Northumberland, including exploring the great hall, the museum, distillery, and finally dine in the bistro, where the chef puts the spotlight on incredible local produce.  This unique site also showcases the old Northumbrian craft of whisky distilling. So while you step back into the 7th-century royal court, why not book an unforgettable single-malt whisky tasting as part of a weekend break?    Fifth Point Diving  Want to get a different perspective on the amazing species that make up Northumberland’s wildlife? Then let the Fifth Point Diving Centre take you on a snorkel safari to explore our beautiful coast. With marine conservation at the heart of everything they do, this is a dive centre with a difference.   Explore unexpected reefs, snorkel with seals or join the army of eco-warriors for an underwater litter pick. This family-friendly diving experience will be an unforgettable memory of your Northumberland adventure.   Enjoy the best days out with Visit Northumberland   No matter whether you’re looking for unique adventures or days out with the kids in Northumberland, we have endless experiences, places to stay and dining to suit every budget. So what are you waiting for? Visit Northumberland today.
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11 July 2023

Plan your weekend break in Northumberland

Do you need to relax and unwind? Enjoy an outdoor adventure or a romantic getaway? Then you need a weekend break in Northumberland. From breathtaking landscapes to romantic ruins, there's no better place to immerse yourself in natural beauty. There are so many adventures in store you'll need more than one weekend to explore them all. So start planning your short breaks in Northumberland today. Why choose Northumberland for your weekend break? Northumberland is a county filled with natural wonders. You'll be thrilled by dazzling dark skies, vast open spaces and incredible beaches. It's a place to embrace your love of the great outdoors or simply feel the love with romantic Northumberland breaks for two. Whatever your vibe, when you visit Northumberland, you'll never want to leave. When you visit Northumberland, there’s an adventure for everyone. Try a short break on the Northumberland coast for kayaking with seals and puffin watching. Or take a weekend break with someone special and visit breathtaking castles and unspoiled fairytale villages. The incredible coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Perfect for wildlife watching or romantic walks on the sand. You can sleep out under the stars in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park or enjoy a luxury boutique hotel getaway. And with our guide to the best places to stay in Northumberland, you can camp, glamp or pamper yourself for a long relaxing weekend.   A romantic weekend for two: where to stay and what to do            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Harry & Lydia | UK Travel Creators (@thenomadsyouknow) With so much unspoiled beauty, you're bound to feel the love in Northumberland. Imagine exploring the pristine dunes near breathtaking Bamburgh Castle. Or hiking Hadrian's Wall hand in hand. Make a wish on a dolphin on a spectacular beach, or escape from it all on a total digital detox in the wilds of Coquet Island. We love the glamorous boutique hotel vibe of the Falstone Barns and PoshHuts for the ultimate romantic break in the Dark Sky Park. Whatever you and your partner love to do, you’ll find it all in Northumberland. Enjoy the ultimate countryside escape at the Lord Crewe Arms at Blanchland. Or enjoy a magnificent luxury getaway at the 14th-century Langley Castle Hotel, just 30 minutes from Newcastle. We love the Breamish Valley Cottages near picturesque Alnwick if you’re looking for a romantic getaway in comfort and elegance with a spa and heated pool. Alnwick is the perfect base for weekend breaks in Northumberland, with the spectacular castle on the doorstep and award-winning dining at the Hogs Head Inn. We recommend the luxurious Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa for the ultimate Northumberland break for two. It’s a perfect setting for relaxation and romance. Family weekend breaks in Northumberland            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) If you’re looking for the best Northumberland short breaks for the family, you’ll want to head straight for Alnwick Castle. Your Harry Potter fans will love the chance to brush up on their broomstick skills and spot all their favourite filming locations from blockbusters like Transformers: The Last Knight, and Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves. If action-adventure is more your style, check out the spellbinding Bamburgh Castle, where the latest Indiana Jones film was shot. Head to Vindolanda for a Roman reenactment and your chance to join the Legion. Or pit your wits against Alnwick Castle's resident dragon. Outdoors adventurers will jump at the opportunity to kayak with seals at Coquet Island or stake out the elusive wild goats in the Cheviots. And for those beach days, there are miles of unspoilt sandy beaches perfect for sandcastle building. West Ord Holiday Cottages offer family and dog-friendly accommodation just six miles from the nearest beach. If you're visiting with extended family, Carraw Farm near Hexham provides spacious and luxurious accommodation with great hiking and cycling on the doorstep. If you want to explore Hadrian's Wall country, Wydon Farm is a working farm with plenty for young visitors to see and do. Solo adventures           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) Who said Northumberland breaks had to be with friends or family? Northumberland is the ultimate destination for the solo traveller, with plenty of wide open spaces to lose yourself in wild natural beauty.  If you want to escape it all, camping under the stars surrounded by staggering scenery is the ultimate natural detox. Enjoy a walk on the wild side with unforgettable outdoor adventures. Or let yourself travel back in time to the many castles and historical sites dotted across the county. Fancy improving your golfing prowess? Treat yourself to a luxury retreat at the Matfen Hall Country Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate, where you can swim, workout or attack the 27-hole championship course. Or invest in your own private getaway home at the Clear Sky Lodge Park near picturesque Kelder Water - the perfect location for getting away from it all with your faithful hound. Keen fishermen will love to enjoy their passion in style at the Till Fishing Cottages near the River Till. Some of our favourite places to stay in Northumberland            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Till Fishing (@tillfishing) You're spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay in Northumberland. But here are a few of our favourite places to stay on your next short break. The Walls B&B is a gorgeous Georgian townhouse overlooking the River Tweed. It’s a delightful base for exploring Berwick-on-Tweed and beyond. Or try Belford’s Market Cross Guesthouse for a similarly relaxed luxury vibe.  Laverock Law Cottages & Glamping is a fantastic destination for nature lovers looking to explore Holy Island and the coast. Book the Harvest Hut for an unforgettable romantic weekend in a four-poster bed. Northumberland abounds in beautiful old inns, just for breaks for two. We recommend the lovely Pheasant Inn near Kielder Water and the picturesque Holly Bush Inn in the heart of the Dark Sky Park. And for solo adventurers and couples, we recommend the dog-friendly Cherry Tree & Almond apartments in the gorgeous seaside village of Beadnell - the perfect location for short breaks on the Northumberland coast. Plan your weekend break in Northumberland At Visit Northumberland, we’re passionate about everything our county has to offer. So whether you’re looking for a solo adventure, family fun or a romantic break for two, let us help you plan your next weekend break in Northumberland.
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10 July 2023

Step in the footsteps of film stars

What do Indiana Jones, a boy wizard and a much-loved female detective all have in common? They’ve all been filmed in Northumberland. Our breathtaking beaches, impressive castles and wide-open spaces mean there are famous filming locations everywhere you look. Northumberland is also famous for its wildlife, from comical puffins to elusive wild goats. So there's no surprise that documentary makers flock to this beautiful northeast county. So if you want to follow in the footsteps of film and TV stars, start planning your next break in Northumberland today.  What makes Northumberland so popular for filming? Could it be the endless unspoilt beaches? The sweeping landscapes? The sense of history and magic in our ruined castles and beautiful villages? Northumberland’s multiple filming locations leave a lasting imprint on the imagination.  And it's easy to see why Northumberland is such a perfect backdrop for anything from Harry Potter to Downton Abbey. This stunning part of the world is a chameleon, as showcased by  Robson Greene's Weekend Escapes series. The show visited Sycamore Gap, familiar from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and now one of the most photographed trees in the UK. And this must-watch series included plenty of other unique locations, highlighting the healing power of natural beauty. So why do filmmakers flock to Northumberland? The incredible light, vast open skies and sense of timelessness make perfect filming locations. Especially when you're looking to transform a castle into a wizard school or a beach into an alien planet in Alien 3. But it's not only fantasy and adventure movies that film in Northumberland. The county is also an incredible destination for native wildlife, featuring in Wild Isles on the BBC and other nature documentaries. Nature lovers will want to follow in the footsteps of David Attenborough and Kate Humble, spotting cute puffins, wild goats and magical dolphins. On sea or land, there are endless experiences to enjoy, from kayaking with seals to spotting rare red squirrels. Is it any wonder that film and TV crews come back time and again to enjoy the delights of this inspiring county? Northumberland on TV and the big screen: iconic filming locations Chances are, if you've recently watched a big-budget blockbuster or a top-rated TV detective show, you've already seen Northumberland on the big screen. Filming locations across the county have stood in for everything from fantasy landscapes to medieval castles without missing a beat. If you want to experience the magic of filming locations in Northumberland for yourself, here’s where to start. Alnwick Castle — from Downton to Hogwarts           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alnwick Castle (@alnwickcastleofficial) The Percy family has lived at Alnwick Castle for over 900 years. And the combination of epic history, intriguing drama and authenticity makes this iconic castle such a compelling location. Best of all, you can visit and enjoy the magic for yourself. Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise the Outer Bailey as the place where Harry and his friends first learn to fly. Alnwick Castle only doubled for Hogwarts in the first two movies. Yet, the filming locations for Harry Potter have left an indelible imprint on our imaginations.  But the boy wizard isn't the only unforgettable character who made Alnwick Castle home. It also stood in for the magnificent Brancaster Castle in the final episode of Downton Abbey, which made spectacular use of the opulent Italianate staterooms. And film crews have also transformed the Outer Bailey into the fantasy realm of Neverwinter in the latest Dungeons and Dragons movie. Key scenes were also shot at the imposing Lion’s Bridge on the river Aln. Transformers vs Indiana Jones at Alnwick Castle and Bamburgh Castle           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Bamburgh Castle (@bamburgh_castle) Film crews looking to make action-adventure locations come alive are spoiled for choice in Northumberland. In 2021 movie fans were spoilt for choice when rival film crews set up at Alnwick and Bamburgh Castles to shoot two blockbusters – Transformers, The Last Knight and the latest Indiana Jones sequel.  Onlookers were amazed to see the spectacular Bamburgh Castle apparently going up in flames. But it was just a stunt, and Harrison Ford took time out from filming for Dial of Destiny for bike rides around the spectacular countryside. Meanwhile, iconic vehicles like Hot Rod and Bumblebee were parked at Alnwick Castle as the crew planted hundreds of plastic daffodils to replicate the spring festival. Stars like Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins filmed in locations including the magnificent library, Inner Bailey and the Lion Bridge. There’s no need for a green screen when you can use such incredible and authentic locations! Wild Isles — the rugged Northumberland coast           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alpha Bravo Photography (@alphajphoto) The staggering beauty of the Northumberland coast, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the perfect place to relax and unwind for a long weekend. But it’s also a haven for native wildlife. So when the BBC’s Wild Isles, narrated by David Attenborough, was scouting for locations, Northumberland was top of the list. Filming on the ruggedly beautiful Northumberland coast, the series captured the incredible antics of the puffins of the Farne Islands. It’s one of the best places in the UK to watch these adorable birds when they arrive to nest and breed in late spring and early summer. And Wild Isles was there to capture the incredible strategies the puffins have developed to avoid marauding gulls. Vera visits Hexham            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Visit Hexham (@visithexham) Vera is one of the most popular detectives on TV. Brilliantly played by Brenda Blethyn with her trademark hat and soft-spoken manner, she’s become an iconic character. Fans flock to visit locations across the northeast, including the fairytale village of Blanchland, with its timeless architecture and beautiful Alnmouth on the coast.  A tour of Vera filming locations makes an ideal getaway to recharge your batteries. So why not book a B&B at Amble and solve the clues for a great weekend? What else has been filmed in Northumberland?  So many films and TV shows have used Northumberland for filming locations it’s hard to keep count. But if you love TV shows like Blackadder and Beowulf or blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, a trip to filming locations across Northumberland will be top of your to-do list. Explore Northumberland for yourself  Want to walk in the footsteps of film stars and find out the behind-the-scenes gossip? Or simply immerse yourself in outstanding natural landscapes? We make planning your next experience easy, so come and Visit Northumberland with us.
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22 June 2023

Why visit Alnwick?

Breathtaking beaches. Stunning castles. Outdoor adventures. Northumberland is a paradise if you love wide open spaces and magical destinations. And Alnwick is the perfect base to experience everything this incredible region offers. From romantic Alnwick Castle, home of Harry Potter, to the unique Alnwick Treehouse restaurant, visiting this beautiful area is the ideal way to relax and recharge.  Where is Alnwick?  Find yourself in another world in spellbinding Northumberland. Alnwick is a magical destination just a few miles from the coast, with some of the best beaches in Britain. The wide open spaces of the Northeast are made for a relaxing break, and Alnwick itself is a fantastic starting point for an exploration of this historic part of the world. With its castle, winding cobbled streets and world-class gardens, Alnwick has plenty to charm and delight visitors — it’s ideal for a romantic weekend break or a family holiday.  Things to do near Alnwick in Northumberland So, if you’re wondering what to do while you’re in Alnwick, these are the must-see destinations you won’t want to miss: Alnwick Castle           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alnwick Castle (@alnwickcastleofficial) Most visitors head straight for magical Alnwick Castle for a Harry Potter broomstick flying lesson. And it’s easy to see why. One of the UK's most frequently used film and TV locations, Alnwick Castle is steeped in over 900 years of history. So why not step back in time and feel the magic? The Alnwick Garden           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Alnwick Garden (@alnwickgarden) This 21st-century garden is filled with imagination, inspiration and wonder. Enjoy their extensive Japanese Taihaku cherry blossoms collection or explore the mysterious Poison Garden. From plant species from around the world to spell-binding water features, the Alnwick Garden has something to excite and captivate all of your senses. Lilidorei at The Alnwick Gardens           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden (@lilidoreialnwick) Northumberland’s newest attraction, Lilidorei is the world’s biggest play structure, and is the home of fun, magic and play. Full of adventure and story telling, there is something for the whole family to enjoy with every footstep taken through the mysterious and magical play village.  Howick Hall Gardens           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Howick Hall Gardens (@howickhallgardens) There's something to enjoy year-round at Howick Hall. The gardens and arboretum create a unique environment, from the Spring Snowdrop Festival to the summer wildflower meadows. Did you know that Earl Grey tea was created at Howick Hall? Stop for a pot in the tea rooms and enjoy the refreshing bergamot notes. You can even stay at the Old Rectory Howick and enjoy a luxury break just 400 yards from the breathtaking beach. The Alnwick market           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alnwick Market (@alnwick_markets) Alnwick’s beautiful cobbled market square is home to the twice-weekly farmer's markets. There's a mouthwatering selection of local produce, including artisan bread, delicious cakes, fresh fish straight from the sea and Northumberland specialities like Singing Hinnies and stottie cakes.  Places to eat: the best pubs and restaurants in Alnwick Chefs and foodies love the quality of produce in Northumberland. So it’s hardly surprising that there are plenty of restaurants in Alnwick where you can enjoy a meal or a pint of local ale.  The Treehouse Restaurant           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Alnwick Garden (@alnwickgarden) Part of the fabulous Alnwick Garden, the Treehouse - the largest in the world - looks like it’s grown organically out of the tree line. It’s a magical dining experience where you’ll feast on produce from the garden and locally sourced ingredients, including freshly caught fish. The cocktail menu is justly famous for its rum-based drinks, or enjoy a pint of their own Treehouse IPA. Accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, it’s an experience not to be missed. The Hogs Head Inn           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by The Hogs Head Inn (@thehogsheadinn) The name will be familiar to any Harry Potter fans, and dining at the Hogs Head Inn is sure to rival a dinner at Hogwarts. This fully accessible restaurant is family, dog and cyclist friendly, and all are welcome to enjoy fabulous fresh food sourced locally. Plus, the three-star accommodation makes this an excellent base for exploring Alnwick and beyond.  Grannies Tea Room           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Grannies of Alnwick (@granniesofalnwick) This vibrant tea room, shop and deli lies right at the heart of historic Alnwick. With bags of rustic charm, gorgeous local produce and tasty fresh baked goods, Grannies is an Alnwick institution that will make your visit extra special. Accommodation in Alnwick: where to stay Already planning your visit? Then you’ll need to know where to stay. Here’s our quick pick of the best accommodation in Alnwick:  Little Hideaways           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Little Hideaways (@ourlittlehideaways) Located just outside Alnwick on the fabulous Seahouses coast, enjoy a rural idyll at one of these family-owned cottages. Little Hideaways offers cosy and comfortable seaside retreats, the ideal choice for a self-catering holiday in Alnwick. Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa (@doxford_hall) The ideal location for a pamper-me treat or short break to recharge and unwind, Doxford Hall is a picturesque venue. And their famous Sunday lunch is not to be missed! Host and Stay           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Host & Stay (@hostandstayuk) Offering a contemporary twist on holiday cottages in Alnwick, Host and Stay offers hand-picked locations across Northumberland, including Alnwick. Many properties are dog-friendly so the entire family can enjoy a fantastic holiday in Northumberland. Village Farm           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Village Farm Cottages (@villagefarmcottages) This family-run business has over thirty years of experience welcoming guests to Alnwick. Just three miles from Alnwick, visitors can enjoy the indoor heated pool, spa room and family-friendly vibe at Village Farm. Breamish Valley Cottages           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Luxury Holiday Cottages (@breamishvalley) Nestled in spectacular scenery near Alnwick, Breamish Valley Cottages deliver understated luxury with a natural vibe. Hike the hills, or relax in the indoor heated pool at this beautiful location.  Alnwick Lodge If self-catering isn’t your style, try the ultimate Alnwick B&B at Alnwick Lodge. Just one and a half miles from the centre of town, it’s a fantastic base for your next visit to Northumberland. Visit Alnwick for an unforgettable stay Have we inspired you to visit Alnwick? To find out more and book your accommodation, explore Visit Northumberland today.
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21 June 2023

Northumberland Summer What's On Guide

There’s no better place to be than Northumberland this summer. From getting your ‘vitamin sea’ at the coast to festivals, outdoor events and more, this vibrant county is filled with events, attractions, and activities for all the family.  Want to know what’s on in Northumberland in the coming weeks? Read on and find out. Events in Northumberland: what’s on this summer? Northumberland is one of the most exciting counties in the UK, brimming with historic castles, vibrant towns and breathtaking beaches. And there's so much going on that everyone's welcome to visit Northumberland events this summer. Here's our pick of what's going on this year. Northumberland events for families  Northumberland is one of the most family-friendly places in the UK, with wide open spaces, a beautiful coastline and plenty to see and do. So don’t miss these Northumberland events for families: Northumberland Miner’s Picnic        View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Woodhorn Museum (@woodhornmuseum) The Woodhorn Museum brings to life the proud mining tradition in the county. And what better way to celebrate Northumberland's heritage than the annual Miners' Picnic? The event is jam-packed with family activities rooted in the history of Northumberland, including traditional music and local food specialities. With a fantastic programme of family-friendly activities, including wildflower walks and hands-on craft activities, the Miners' Picnic celebrates the places, people and industry that shaped Northumberland. Mighty Dub Festival            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Mighty Dub Fest (@mighty_dub_fest) If you prefer camper vans to brass bands, head for Alnwick this summer and the annual Mighty Dub festival. A fantastic weekend of live music, DJ sets, circus activities, dog shows, and much more, this is the ultimate family-friendly summer event.  Set within the grounds of the fabulous Alnwick Castle, the kids can explore the magic of Harry Potter and practice their broomstick flying. Best of all, you don't need a VW camper to have a great time. Astronomy events at Kielder Observatory           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Observatory (@kielderobservatory) For space-obsessed kids (and adults), the Kielder Observatory is the place to be this summer. Don't miss the opportunity to handle real space rocks or build and launch your own rocket. Family events in Northumberland don't get more fascinating than the chance to get hands-on with Kielder's large-aperture robotic telescopes and look deep into space. If you're a family looking for discovery and wonder, head for the Kielder Observatory. Historical reenactments at Vindolanda            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Vindolanda (@officialvindolandatrust) If you're holidaying in Northumberland, Vindolanda is not to be missed. Built on the site of one of the most important Roman forts, it's a fantastic glimpse back into the past. And the regular programme of outdoor events and reenactments really brings history to life. See the Romans return to Hadrian's Wall, or have a go at archery on a Roman Army recruitment day! Get active with outdoor events in Northumberland Northumberland is made for outdoor activities, with its stunning scenery and wide open spaces. So if you’re the adventurous type, here are the outdoor events in Northumberland you won’t want to miss! Northumberland cycling events           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Marathon (@kielder_marathon) The spectacular roads of Northumberland are the perfect backdrop for cycling. And when it comes to top-class cycling events, this beautiful area doesn’t disappoint. Mountain bikers will head for the intense gravel riding on offer at Dirty Reiver. It's an event that takes you through some of the UK's most challenging forest access roads. Or, for an epic endurance challenge, the Kielder 24 is a serious test of mountain biking skill and stamina. Are you looking for a digital detox and some of the wildest riding in the UK? In that case, the Naughty Northumberland festival in the Coquet Valley is not to be missed. Northumberland running events            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Kielder Marathon (@kielder_marathon) If you prefer getting around on two feet rather than two wheels, Northumberland has some incredible running events. From fun runs and half marathons at Hadrian's Wall to the Pilgrim's Ultra Marathon, there are plenty of events to please everyone.  The Kielder Marathon weekend is Britain's most beautiful marathon, taking in the shores of Kielder Water, the biggest artificial lake in Northern Europe. Those searching for a real challenge can tackle Isaac's Tea Trail, an epic hike or run through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Britain. Tai Chi at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by HauxleyWDC (@hauxleywdc) Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre is an award-winning haven for native and migratory birds and a fantastic place to relax and unwind. So if you fancy getting active in a low-impact way, why not try a meditative Tai Chi session in a stunning natural setting? With its slow and controlled movements and emphasis on breathing, it’s a great way to meditate and be at one with nature.  Summer events in Northumberland: arts and culture  Of course, the Northumberland events calendar is also full of fantastic summer events embracing the best of art and culture. From alfresco theatre to live music, our summer events have something for every creative appetite. Here are a couple of events we’re particularly excited for. Open-air operas at Ford Castle           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ford & Etal (@fordandetal) Ford Castle is another of Northumberland’s impressive castles and a magical setting for top-class opera. Bring rugs and chairs for comfort, and order a picnic box when you book your tickets. Then let the power of classical music transport you to Belle Epoque Paris for some of the best-loved arias in opera. With torchlight twinkling as the sun sets, this is truly a breathtaking way to enjoy an unforgettable night.  Lindisfarne Festival           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Lindisfarne Festival (@lindisfarnefest) Set on the magical Northumberland coast, the Lindisfarne Festival is the ultimate end-of-summer party. With an eclectic line-up over eight unique stages, plenty of mayhem and magic can be found.  Head for the Viking Brew House for a pint of Lindisfarne Mead, or explore the musical, mystic vibe of the Temple. Officially the best value festival in the UK, it's the ideal place to kick back and recharge your batteries before returning to work.  Take a look at our Northumberland events calendar No matter what kind of activities you’re looking for, Northumberland has plenty to explore this summer.  From romantic ruined castles to pop-up gin bars and family-friendly festivals to some of the most demanding cycling in the country, it doesn't get any better than sunshine-filled events in our incredible county. Want to know more? Take a look at our Visit Northumberland Events Calendar today and start planning your getaway.
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20 June 2023

Five family days out in Northumberland

If you're anything like us, you are always looking ahead for things to do with the kids in the school holidays. Lucky for you, Northumberland is full of action-packed family days out. From brand new attraction Lilidorei, to boarding the steam train at Ford and Etal, there is so much to do as a family here in Northumberland. 1) A day of magic in Alnwick           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alexandra (@piccolipazzi) Visiting spellbinding Alnwick is guaranteed to make for a magical family day out. Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick’s newest family attraction, is a magical village where woodland creatures prepare for Christmas all year round. Home to the world’s largest play structure, is it an absolutely unmissable attraction for families in Northumberland. Don’t miss the staggering surroundings of The Alnwick Garden, and make sure to admire the Grand Cascade, mysterious Poison Garden and romantic Rose Garden. Then, enjoy lunch in the twinkling treetops of The Alnwick Treehouse (if you can make it across the wobbly bridge!) before heading to Alnwick Castle, known for its starring role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Spot Harry Potter and Ron Weasley wand-ering the corridors, and enjoy a broomstick lesson on the very spot where Harry, Ron and Hermione learned to fly. Don't miss Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery, which holds over 10,000 years of history in its charming stone walls, before heading to The Hogs Head Inn for a delicious homemade evening meal. Make it an overnighter: Stay at Village Farm Cottages, just a ten minute drive from the centre of Alnwick in the old village of Shilbottle. The superb self-catering holiday cottage accommodation ranges from Scandinavian-style chalets to traditional stone-built cottages and a 17th century farmhouse. Plus, they have a Health Club equipped with a swimming pool and spa, perfect for the kids to play and parents to relax. 2) A day of time travel in Ford and Etal           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Days out 4kids(&their adults) (@wherewegoingmummy) Stepping out of your car at Ford and Etal Estates is like stepping out of Marty Mcfly’s DeLorean Time Machine. Start your day by visiting Heatherslaw Cornmill, the traditional, 700 year old corn mill that is still a working mill today. Take a bag of freshly ground flour with you and head to Boes Café for coffee and cake, before boarding the steam train at Heatherslaw Light Railway to Etal. Visit beautiful Etal Castle, currently offering free entry. Then, grab a bite to eat at the only thatched pub in Northumberland, The Black Bull. Take the perfect post-lunch walk down to the banks of The River Till and watch canoeists glide by on the sparkling water. Head to Ford and pop into Lady Waterford Hall (a short walk or drive away). The old school house is now a gallery that is filled with Louise Waterford’s Pre-Raphaelite artwork. And finally, end your day by walking or driving to Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre to see the adorable horses, foals and piglets. Make it an overnighter: Till River Fishing Holidays cottage accommodation lies only 200 yards away from the River Till, offering a large lawn area, a path leading down to the river, an apple and plum tree, and even a tennis court closeby. Make use of your self-catering facilities at mealtimes, or treat yourself to a meal cooked for you by Kooked North, who use all local produce to create beautiful dishes for guests. 3) A day to roam like the Romans in Hexham           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Vindolanda (@officialvindolandatrust) Time your trip to Hexham with a Tuesday and start your morning with a mosey around Hexham Market. Freshly baked bread, organic fruit and veg, and locally sourced meats are just a few of the exquisite culinary offerings. Visit Hexham Old Gaol, the prison that dates back to the 1300s where you can descend into the dungeons and even try out the stocks. Head into Hexham Abbey to admire the striking architecture. The monastery-turned-abbey was built in 674 AD using ancient stones from Hadrian’s Wall, and the eerie crypt from the original building still remains today. Then go for a wander around the idyllic Tyne Green’s lush green spaces, passing trickling streams and views of Hexham Bridge. Make your way to Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum to see live excavations taking place by expert archaeologists (during summer only) and you might be lucky enough to witness some astounding ancient artifacts being revealed. Enter The Roman Army Museum to learn about the history of the site and see collections of incredible ancient finds that were dug up onsite.  Make it an overnighter: Just a ten minute drive from Vindolanda, Carraw Farm is a fantastic option for a family holiday in Northumberland. Their two luxury, self-catering holiday homes sit quite literally on Hadrian’s Wall and within easy reach of Hexham for nearby restaurants and shops. 4) A day to al-paca your wetsuits in Kielder           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Landal Kielder Waterside (@landalkielderwaterside) Fill your day with activities and adventures in Kielder. Start with much-needed coffees and hot chocolates to fuel up for the day ahead at The Forest Bar and Kitchen. Make the most of their staggering, waterside outdoor seating area and enjoy the peaceful reservoir views before you take to the water yourself with Kielder’s guided watersports activities. Northumbrian Water’s newest activity offering means you can admire Kielder reservoir from the water itself. Test dad’s balance on a stand up paddleboarding session, or discover the reservoir on a guided canoe tour. Having surely worked up an appetite, drive to The Pheasant Inn for a delicious lunch and beautiful countryside views. Then, continue the adventure with a visit to Ferny Rigg, who run Alpaca Walks through Northumberland National Park. Get active and enjoy the fresh country air with an adorable, fluffy alpaca by your side. They are guaranteed to make the kids smile with their loveable nature and quirky charm.  If the kids have enough energy after a day of exploring, take them to a fascinating dark skies event at Kielder Observatory. Offering a number of family events, even in the summer months, From their Light Year Academy to their session on rockets, their Space Kids programme is an excellent way to spend an educational, interactive and fun evening as a family. Make it an overnighter: Clear Sky Lodge Park in Kielder is set in 45 acres with views of the North Tyne in the peaceful Ravenshill Forest. Right in the heart of Kielder Village, it is just a stone's throw away from Kielder Water & Forest Park, within easy reach of Kielder Observatory and sits below Northumberland's dazzling Dark Sky Park. 5) A day out for the tens and over in Corbridge           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Go Ape Newcastle (@goapematfen) Have a day filled with history and hair-raising activities in the beautiful market town of Corbridge. We highly recommend starting your day by exploring the town, perhaps picking up a pastry from Corbridge Larder and checking out The Pele Tower in Corbridge Market Place. Then, it's time for the history portion of the day, as you visit Corbridge Roman Town. Just a short walk from Corbridge centre, the site was once a bustling town and supply base where Roman civilians would pick up food and provisions. Walk like a Roman through the ruins that once made up a vibrant community and head into the museum to find Roman armour and trinkets. Once you've had your fill of ancient Roman history, you might want a bite to eat before an action-packed afternoon. There are a number of lovely cafes and pubs in Corbridge, such as The Angel of Corbridge or The Black Bull, so you won't be short of options for a delicious, fresh, locally-sourced lunch. If you have teenage children (10 and over), make your way to Matfen Hall's Go Ape course and choose from Treetop Challenge, a Goliath of a high ropes course with super-fast and super-high zip wires. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, why not try Axe Throwing? Whatever you decide, you are guaranteed to have an amazing day out with the family and have the added bonus of incredible surroundings while you do it, as this course is set within the grounds of stunning country house hotel Matfen Hall, and is nestled within one of the UK's most unspoilt areas of natural beauty. *The minimum age for Tree Top Challenge is 10 as long as they are over 1.4 meters high and supervised by participating adults over 18. Axe-throwing has a minimum age of 16.   Make it an overnighter: Extend your time at Matfen Hall by booking your stay here. Rich in heritage, atmosphere and space, the Matfen Hall estate provides a 5 star unequalled paradise to stay, spa and golf in, nestled away in the heart of historic Northumberland. Set in over 300 acres of unique parkland, this is a place for couples to relax, families to explore and friends to enjoy. For more family activities and adventures, see our family friendly attractions page. Don't forget to tag us in your holidays snaps on social media via @visitnorthumberland or using our hashtag #endlessexperiences. Author: Jenni Meikle
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19 June 2023

Five family walks

Do you have commitment issues when it comes to long walking routes? Or maybe your family holiday is filled with little legs that just can't hack long hikes? Whatever the reason, we've got you covered, as we have picked five of the best short walking routes in Northumberland. Mostly circular, all beautiful, and none over 5 miles, take your pick from fairy trails, mysterious caves and bluebell-carpeted woodland. Here are our five short walks in Northumberland for you to enjoy this summer and beyond: 1) Wandering and wildlife watching            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by (@northeastfamilyfun) If you love to mix your wandering with wildlife watching, this is the walk for you. Hauxley Nature Reserve is a great place to watch birds, butterflies, red squirrels and otters. There are a number of circular trails around the reserve, so you can easily return to your original starting point once you’ve completed your chosen route. Leave time for a break in the Look Out Cafe, which has wonderful waterside views of the ponds to entertain you while you taste locally sourced refreshments. There is also a 1km accessible trail suitable for those who have the pushchair in tow or require wheelchair access, with two accessible bird hides en-route.  Dreamy Druridge Bay sits just next to Hauxley Nature Reserve, where the views are serene and the wildlife is spectacular. Infringed with rugged dunes, its unspoilt coastline stretches as far as the eye can see and families can play in the sand, explore on foot and wildlife watch.  Where to park: There is car parking on site (NE65 0JR). All day parking for cars is £2, or £25 for an Annual Parking Permit 1 April to 31 March (Annual passes can only be purchsed online). Make a day of it: Amble is an approximate 10 minute drive away from Hauxley, where you can find plenty of places to eat and drink. Hire a bike from Pedal Power and cycle along the coast, take a surfing or paddle boarding lesson with Northside Surf School, visit The Amble Inn for a bite to eat, and stay there too if you can't bear to leave just yet. 2) Stepping stones and secret gardens           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Just A Normal Mum (@justanormalmum_) Wallington House, Garden and Estate's River Walk promises a day of fascinating history, peaceful riverside views and exciting adventures over stepping stones and in secret gardens. At just over 2.5 miles, the whole family can enjoy this gentle route.  Explore the secret, walled garden with its lily pad-covered ponds, then cross the River Wansbeck via stepping stones. Once you reach the route’s woodland areas, find hints of magic in the forest, where tiny doorways fit for fairies hide in the tree trunks. The circular route ends at Wallington courtyard, where you can grab some refreshments and rest your legs at the tea room. Where to park: Wallington has a designated car park, and this circular route will take you back to Wallington Hall where you can get back to your car or continue exploring this beautiful building. Please note there is an entry charge when visiting Wallington House, Garden and Estate and there may be pre-booking requirements before you visit. Make a day of it - Visit Kirkharle Courtyard for a frothy hot chocolate, homemade lunch and a walk around the picturesque Serpentine lake. Visit Belsay Hall with its magnificent gardens and medieval castle. For a wildlife adventure, book ahead onto one of Wild Intrigue’s “Bats and Beers” evenings which start nearby in Elsdon. 3) Bluebells and bustling streets           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Ijay Ogah (@flourishingmum) Discover the 2.5 mile walk through the bustling, stylish streets of Morpeth to tranquil Bluebell Woods. Starting in the centre, head up Cottingwood Lane, then take the path through the woods and cut into the open fields where, if you’re lucky, you may spot some deer. Follow the path around the outskirts of the hospital and you will arrive at Bluebell Woods, where you can admire the carpet of bright blue in the springtime, and the idyllic woodland surroundings for the rest of the year. Once you’re out of the woods, you can return, full circle, to Morpeth centre. Stop for a coffee en-route to boost your energy before the walk, or save yourself for the way back and head into one of Morpeth’s many restaurants to fill your boots on return. Don’t miss Sanderson Arcade, which holds an array of shops and eateries. Or time your walk with a Wednesday morning and peruse Morpeth Markets, selling fresh, local produce. There is also a Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of each month.  Where to park: There is plenty of parking in Morpeth town centre, but a parking disc is required. These can be easily purchased from retailers, Tourist Information Centres and libraries. You can also use a disc from another council if you already have one. Make a day of it: Go for a splash about at Riverside Leisure Centre, visit the Morpeth Chantry tourist information centre where you can buy local arts and crafts, and see the snow leopards at nearby Northumberland College Zoo. Can't bear to leave just yet? Book a stay at Hillside Huts, the incredible glamping cabins just outside Morpeth. 4) Riverside roaming and Roman history           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Richard Harrison (@richy.harrison2011) Stroll along the banks of the River Tyne on the 5 mile trail between two historic, quaint, cobbled towns, Hexham and Corbridge. Begin in Hexham where beautiful Sele Park and the stunning grounds of Hexham House make for a peaceful start to your walk. From there, you will wander along woodland trails, past Dilston Castle, and along Devil’s Water where a series of waterfalls tumble into plunge pools. Then, you follow the rushing river until you reach the 17th century stone bridge which takes you into Corbridge. Corbridge is filled with cosy cafes and local pubs to fill up on refreshments once you have made it to this beautiful small town. Where to park: Park in Hexham and take the Go North East bus from Corbridge to Hexham once you have finished your walk. Make a day of it: Visit Corbridge Roman Town, home to the Corbridge Hoard, one of the most significant finds in Roman history. Then, enjoy a delicious meal at the Angel of Corbridge. 5) Caves and castles           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Northumberland 250 (@nland250) St Cuthbert’s Cave, nestled away in the remote countryside of Belford, oozes mystery due to its spiritual past. It is said that the ancient monks of Lindisfarne laid St Cuthbert’s body to rest here in AD875, the seventh century Anglo-Saxon monk, bishop and hermit, who possessed the power of spiritual healing. Starting in Holburn, this circular, 3 mile route takes you to the eerie cave on both surfaced and unsurfaced tracks, and offers sweeping views of the rugged Cheviot Hills. When you reach the cave, if you can, go up the hill above it to see the wonderful view over Holy Island. Where to park: The National Trust car park in Holburn Make a day of it: Visit astounding Bamburgh Castle to the east, with its surrounding sand dunes and white sand beach. Or visit Ford and Etal Estate to the west and board the steam train at Heatherslaw Light Railway, bake bread at the old corn mill, and visit Hayfarm Heavy Horse Centre. Extend you stay at Market Cross Guesthouse, the award-winning, luxury B&B based in Belford. Or how about a self-catering stay at Budle Bay Croft, which offers cosy cottages and rustic shepherd's huts. We hope your enjoy your family walk and feel free to tag us in your walks on social media using @visitnorthumberland or #visitnorthumberland.
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