13 Things Couples Love About Holidays in Northumberland

Posted 27 Jan 17, written by Amanda Lambert

 With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there’s no better time to be thinking about planning your next romantic break - and if you’re in search of the ultimate escape, Northumberland is a diverse and culture-rich region with an abundance of things to do and places to visit.

Holidaying as a couple often means compromise - but with something for everyone, Northumberland is perfect for a romantic weekend away, sharing new experiences and making unforgettable memories.

1. Lovely landscapes

The Northumberland landscape is made up of both rugged countryside and breathtaking coastal views - but wherever you choose to stay, you’ll be guaranteed exceptional natural beauty. The region is sparsely populated but houses charming villages, towns and castles galore - offering visitors the chance to cosy up in a paradise of tranquillity. You’ll find more to see and do than you could possibly pack into a short break, but a long weekend should give you ample opportunity to explore some of the area’s most unmissable attractions.

From a walk along Hadrian’s Wall to a trip across the causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland is fit to burst with sights that capture the county’s rich heritage and unspoilt natural landscape.

2. Fine dining

A romantic meal in one of the region’s fine dining venues offers the perfect end to a day spent exploring Northumberland. The region is home to a broad range of restaurants, inns and cafés offering delicious menus that breathe new life into the expression ‘food is love’.

Head to Alnwick to sample the one-of-a-kind menu found at the Treehouse Restaurant - located in the exquisite Alnwick Garden, with a magical backdrop of roaring log fires, twinkling lights and wooden walkways. Or, if you’re looking to try some local favourites, why not venture to Holy Island for a taste of Lindisfarne Oysters accompanied by the famous Lindisfarne Mead?

3. Stargazing

For couples hoping to make memories that are out of this world, Northumberland is home to Europe’s largest area of protected night sky. Visitors can witness the beauty of the billions of stars, planets and meteor showers visible from the park for themselves, from the comfort of a blanket for two in Kielder Water and Forest Park.

The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park’s gold tier designation makes it the best place in England to enjoy all that the heavens have to offer, making this breathtaking evening of stargazing a highlight of any romantic Valentine’s break.

4. Getting in tune with nature, and each other

As well as boasting an overwhelming array of stunning plant life, Northumberland is also home to a magnificent multitude of wildlife. The diversity of the region’s landscape is echoed in its diverse collection of animal inhabitants - with the county housing many rare species, weird and wonderful habitats and breeding colonies.

The coastal, countryside and parkland areas of the region each have different wildlife to offer visitors in search of some fascinating creatures - but all are sure to bring couples closer to nature as they explore the landscape together. Visit the fishing village of Seahouses to take a boat trip around the Farne Islands and catch a glimpse of grey seals sunbathing on the rocks, or venture inland for some prime birdwatching.

5. Northern nosh

Though you’ll find plenty of fine dining options in and around Northumberland, your long Valentine’s weekend away can also be filled with hearty regional dishes.

Trips to the coastal areas of Northumberland call for a traditional fish and chips, while a spot of afternoon tea is essential during a visit to the magnificent Doxford Hall. The region is renowned for offering an atmosphere of comfort and quaintness - and throughout your break, there are regional traditions that can add to your experience without you ever having to break the bank.

Farm shops, farmers’ markets and award-winning ice-cream all make Northumberland’s dining scene an essential item on any couple’s holiday itinerary.

6. Shopping sprees

A cottage holiday in Northumberland means leaving the high street behind - and lovers of alternative and independent shopping options will find their paradise here. Don’t miss out on a trip to Alnwick’s antiquarian and second-hand bookshop Barter Books, complete with armchairs, open fires and even an on-site café. The original home of ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ is located in a converted railway station and will have you either struggling to leave or struggling to fit your unique purchases into your suitcase!

Other historic market towns of the region, such as Berwick-upon-Tweed and Hexham, are also home to a range of quirky craft shops, galleries and outlandish stores offering a delightful mixture of creativity and nostalgia.

7. Adventure activities

Couples with a thirst for adventure will love spending a Valentine’s weekend away in Northumberland - with all sorts of exciting activities available across the region. From ziplining through the treetops to testing your limits with some white-knuckle coasteering, there’s a world of fun on offer for couples who love nothing more than a physical challenge.

From beginners’ surf lessons at Bamburgh Beach to kayaking in the River Coquet, you and your partner will find plenty of ways to push yourselves - with the award-winning Northumberland Coast as a beautiful backdrop for your adventures.

8. Learning together

The region’s rich history and diverse landscape make it an area of huge historical and environmental significance. Northumberland is home to an extensive list of castles, museums and historical sites that provide educational experiences any pair of history lovers is sure to enjoy.

If you like to cram some educational adventures into your romantic weekend breaks, exploring the history of the county’s many castles and learning about the romantic narratives of the region is guaranteed to make for an unforgettable holiday together.

9. Leisure activities

If you’re looking for a romantic break that puts relaxation and recreation first, Northumberland offers an abundance of leisure activities. From clay pigeon shooting to horse riding, the options are endless when it comes to organised activities - while there are scenic cycle routes and tranquil fishing spots galore for couples keen to spend some time alone.

10. Pamper sessions

After a long romantic weekend spent exploring Northumberland’s great outdoors, a relaxing session in one of the region’s luxurious spas is sure to leave you revitalised and refreshed. Unwinding with your significant other in these indulgent facilities gives you an ideal opportunity to reflect on the memories you’ve made - and by requesting a couple’s facility, you can add a shared massage to the list.

The range of spas dotted around the region ooze elegance and luxury. Off with the walking boots, and on with the complimentary slippers!

11. Local culture

Wherever you’ve come from, Northumberland can offer a new cultural experience. Either side of Valentine’s Day, events are taking place in Northumberland that are sure to add a taste of local culture to your romantic getaway.

Hadrian’s Wall Farmers’ Market will take place on the 12th of February, while the Netherton Folk Club at the Cross Keys promises a night of fantastic local music. Whether you’re looking for something scrumptious to eat or nearby events to fill your evenings in the area, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities to embrace Northumberland’s local culture.

12. Nightlife options

While you’ll need to take a trip to nearby Newcastle to enjoy the authentic clubbing experience, the county of Northumberland is home to a traditional nightlife scene - boasting quaint pubs, classy wine bars and the odd Northern nightclub.

Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed are your best bet for a night on the cobblestone paths, but popular drinking establishments are scattered throughout the region.

13. Friendly locals

In a recent study by Bisto, Newcastle was recently voted one of the top 10 friendliest cities in the UK - and the same Northern charm and hospitality permeates through the entire region.

Though you may be after some quality time as a couple, the warmth of the local community creates an ideal environment for a cosy and romantic UK getaway. Put simply, when you take a break in Northumberland, you can really feel the love wherever you go.

Choosing your cottage

  • The Bothy, Craster: Situated in the village of Longhoughton near Craster, this quaint and cosy cottage is the perfect hideaway for a couple’s retreat. With Sugar Sands beach just a stone’s throw away, you can be by the coast in no time at all. Whether you’re looking for exciting watersports or just searching for a unique picnic spot, this beach is the perfect place for couples to pitch up and enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of city life
  • Hotspur Cottage, Rothbury: Just at the edge of the village of Rothbury, you’ll find Hotspur Cottage. With views of the River Coquet and the beautiful, surrounding valley, you’re guaranteed a room with a view in this picturesque part of Northumberland. The cottage would suit a couple looking for a quiet, romantic getaway, with a raft of local attractions to visit within easy reach - and there are plenty of local walking and cycling routes to explore. You’ll also find a great local golf course if you’re looking to enjoy a more active holiday!
  • Wamsas Studio, Seahouses: If you’ve got your heart set on panoramic sea views, look no further than Wamsas Studio. A stay in this one-bed, studio-style cottage offers the best in cosy, self-catering accommodation, coupled with breathtaking sunrises and romantic sunsets
  • 3 Bamburgh Gate, Bamburgh: This single-storey holiday cottage is the ultimate getaway for a romantic break - and if you don’t want to leave your dog behind, bring them along, too! Guaranteeing all the sophistication of a Scandinavian summerhouse, this open-plan property benefits from a cosy wood burning stove and enclosed patio garden - so you can enjoy a warm and relaxing stay, whatever the weather!
  • Quarry Cottage, Shotley Bridge: If luxury accommodation is on your agenda, Quarry Cottage won’t disappoint. Steeped in 18th century history, the cottage boasts a warming wood burning stove, a mezzanine-style master bedroom, rustic wooden interior and modern kitchen and bathroom appliances - and there are even alpacas on-site to keep you company!

As you can see, Northumberland is the perfect host for couples looking to spend an extended weekend against a naturally beautiful backdrop - with a wealth things to see and do on offer. Whether your long weekend is made up of rest or rigorous adventure, Northumberland is the ideal place for you and your partner to unwind and leave daily life behind.


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