A Guide to Northumberland

Monday 13th April, 2020 by Host & Stay

Voted as ‘The Best Place to Visit’ by the British Travel Awards in 2018, Northumberland is full of surprises. Located in the North East of England, this magical county has an independent spirit. If you’d like to take time out, a relaxing coastal escape in Northumberland is just what you need. 

Brimming with ancient castles, stunning beaches, magnificent gardens and rolling hills, you’ll find unrivalled, scenic views around every corner. After reading our guide to Northumberland, we’re sure you’ll want to visit!

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is different to the other National Parks in the UK. Firstly, it is the least populated and least visited of all National Parks in England and Wales. It is also the most northerly and the most remote from large urban areas. 

Because of this, the landscape is filled with nature and wildlife. During your visit, you may see native red squirrels, roe deer and a whole host of reptiles amongst many others! The great work of the park is to ensure the habitats are closely protected so the wildlife can continue to thrive. 

Another amazing benefit of being the least populated National Park is that the air is much cleaner and the skies are darker. This is incredibly important as Northumberland National Park forms part of Europe’s largest area of protected night sky known as the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. This is 572 square miles of protected sky where on a clear night, you can see millions of stars. You can even see the Milky Way with the naked eye! From meteor showers to the Northern Lights, you’ll always see something different so we’d definitely recommend a spot of stargazing during your visit. 

Whether you want to take it easy or be super active, there is something for everyone at Northumberland National Park. Covering more than 400 miles, there is plenty to explore. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along one of the long distance moorland trails or cycle through the quiet wilderness. Horse ride through one of the many bridleways or get ready to sweat on a mountain bike blaze. Climb one of the challenging crags or paddle through a pristine river in a canoe. You won’t get bored of things to do!

The Beautiful Northumberland Coast

With more than 30 miles of sandy shores, Northumberland’s coastline is a real beauty. Whether you’re looking for traditional seaside charm, picturesque fishing villages or revamped coastal towns, Northumberland has it all.

If you’re looking for retro-chic seaside charisma, Seahouses is your best match. This large village boasts a bustling harbour and a seaside holiday resort feel. Treat the family to a game of crazy golf or go rock pooling. You even horse ride on the golden sands of Seahouses’ beach! 

Hop on one of the boat trips from Seahouses and take a journey to the Farne Islands. Just a couple of miles off the coast, this cluster of islands are one of the UK’s top wildlife experiences. It even has Sir David Attenborough’s stamp of approval as he declared it as his favourite place in the UK to see nature at its best. The Farne Islands are known for its birds with 23 different breeds spotted here, including colourful puffins and razorbills. If you’re lucky enough, you may even see a seal bobbing in the sea whilst you’re on the boat. 

Another of our favourite coastal locations in Northumberland is Alnmouth. Falling within the Northumberland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this gorgeous village has a curved beach to the north of the estuary which is perfect for families. You can enjoy sand castle building and beach games. Head to the south of the river for the unspoiled, deserted beach between Alnmouth and Warkworth. The access is tricky but the reward is worth it! Pop into The Ferryman’s Hut, which is thought to be the smallest museum in the country, or plan a walk such as the North Sea Trail.

Historical Sites and Attractions in Northumberland

If you’re interested in the history of Northumberland, there are a number of sites and attractions which would be perfect for you. 

One of our personal favourites is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This magnificent island is just a few miles off the Northumberland coast and is reached via the sands and causeway. It is cut off from the world twice per day by fast-moving tides so there is certainly a magical feel to the place. You can’t miss the incredible Lindisfarne Castle which rises from the rock face. Originally built in 1550 to defend the harbour, the castle has years of history within its walls. It is worth a visit for the remarkable views and brilliant architecture.

We’d recommend visiting the delightful market town of Alnwick which boasts a huge castle and spectacular gardens. Alnwick Castle is a Grade I listed building which dates back to the 1090s and has been home to the same family for over 700 years. Today it is an fascinating attraction for the whole family with exhibitions, a museum and tons of activities. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’ll be thrilled to know that Alnwick Castle was the location for Hogwarts in the hugely popular film franchise!

Where to stay in Northumberland?

With so many amazing places to visit in Northumberland, you’ll need somewhere to stay! 

Stay at Pottery Cottage and you’ll have the Northumberland National Park on your doorstep. Perfect for those wanting a picturesque setting, this quaint bolthole has everything you’ll need for a tranquil stay in the countryside.

Stay at Lavender Cottage for a touch of luxury in the heart of Northumberland

So there you have it – our guide to Northumberland! Where are you planning on visiting first?


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