Your Guide to Holidays in Northumberland
Northumberland is a county packed with potential; from fine dining to mountaineering; coastal walks to ancient castles; quaint villages to busy towns; there's something for all the family when you come to visit this friendly Northern region. In our ultimate guide to holidays in Northumberland, we'll be exploring all the county has to offer, so that you have the holiday of a lifetime when you come to visit.
13 Things Couples Can Do in Northumberland
With the warm days of summer 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?
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 for a romatic 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.
9 Reasons to Plan a Family Holiday in Northumberland
As we say goodbye to the colder months and hello to all things spring, there’s no better time to look forward to some well-deserved relaxation and recreation the whole family can enjoy - especially as the Easter holidays creep closer and closer. Northumberland is a holiday destination suited to visitors of all ages, and indeed a popular location for families across the globe looking to indulge in a long weekend or week-long break of pure escapism.
Ideal for last-minute Easter breaks, as a holiday hotspot, Northumberland is as exciting as it is diverse - so whatever kind of experience you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it in this fantastic picturesque region.
Parents planning an action-packed family break may be interested to know that Northumberland was recently voted the best UK holiday destination by Mumsnet
- and today, we’re taking a look at just some of the many reasons that families can’t get enough of our county. Get ready to grab your wellies and bring your little ones on an adventure they won’t forget!
1. Educational value
A trip to Northumberland gives you a chance to combine the appeal of traditional holiday breaks with some enriching and educational new experiences. Thanks to the broad selection of museums and exhibitions available to visit across the county, Northumberland is home to a wealth of knowledge waiting to be shared and enjoyed by curious kids and their parents. Offering a winning combination of facts and fun, Northumberland gives families the opportunity to learn together.
Whether you take a trip to Ferryman’s Hut in Alnmouth, fly away to Bamburgh Castle’s Armstrong and Aviation Museum or walk through Alnwick’s infamous Poison Garden, there are so many interesting and imaginative ways for you to learn together when you embark on a family holiday in Northumberland. What’s more, many of the facilities are completely free!
2. Natural beauty
The rich and diverse landscape of Northumberland is perfect for a family of keen explorers. Whether you plan to explore the award-winning Northumberland Coast or the rugged countryside, or experience the best of both worlds, over Easter, family breaks can be spent basking in the overwhelming beauty of the region as spring brings Northumberland into full bloom.
Getting in touch with nature is a great way for families to make memories and learn about the natural world as they escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. The abundance of breathtaking views and the sheer scale of Northumberland’s natural backdrops will make for a truly refreshing family holiday.
3. Heritage and history
Spread across Northumberland in glorious abundance are historic sites ideal for families looking to take a step back in time. Boasting over 70 castles, as well as Roman forts and monastic houses, Northumberland is a county with more than a few stories to tell - and during a family holiday here, you can get up close and personal with some of the UK’s most iconic landmarks.
From Lindisfarne Priory to the Temple of Mithras, there are all kinds of awe-inspiring sites to be explored during a short break in Northumberland. Take your family to the coastal fortress of Bamburgh Castle or take on the 73-mile frontier of Hadrian’s Wall to learn more about the fascinating history of this rural region.
4. Rural routes
Walking, cycling and horse riding are just some of the many leisure activities on offer for families holidaying in this Great British county. While feasting your eyes on the region’s vibrant and rugged natural landscape, activities like these are a great way to get fit - as well as giving younger ones an opportunity to learn and improve their skills.
It won’t all be hard work, as your family will enjoy a healthy dose of fitness combined with a truly memorable experience - passing by quaint villages, dramatic castles and a panorama of stunning coastal scenery. For older visitors, trike tours are available across the region - giving family members of all ages a chance to see the best of Northumberland first-hand.
5. Weird and wonderful wildlife
Described by the Daily Telegraph as “a birder’s paradise”, Northumberland is home to a diverse range of natural habitats and unique species. Whether you’re visiting Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens or Andy Howeys Birds of Prey Centre, embarking on a boat trip from Seahouses or setting off on foot in search of some characterful local creatures, family breaks in the region are always packed with wildlife-spotting opportunities.
No matter how old you are, you’re sure to fall in love with Northumberland’s grey seal colony as they bask on the rocks of the Farne Islands.
6. Adventure activities
No family break in Northumberland is complete without experiencing some of the region’s action-packed adventure activities. From becoming a part of the coasteering craze to ziplining across the treetops and trying your hand at bouldering, there’s something for everyone in Northumberland both on and above ground.
Take on some of Northumberland’s more challenging activities to have fun, bond and test your limits together. Whether you’re interested in trying some local watersports or experiencing mountain biking in the Northumberland countryside, you’re sure to find an option that suits you.
7. Family feasts
Short Easter breaks for families still give you plenty of time to create some fantastic memories when you choose to stay in Northumberland - and after a day spent exploring the county, you can rest and refuel by sampling the local cuisine.
If you enjoy a quaint village pub, Northumberland is home to some of the best in the UK - and from a meal in Alnwick’s Treetop Restaurant to fish and chips by the seaside, dishes range from gourmet meals to honest, hearty comfort food. Put simply, parents of fussy eaters will find no shortage of great places to eat in Northumberland.
8. Magical moments
Europe’s largest area of protected night sky
can be found in the heart of Northumberland, giving visitors an unobscured view of the Milky Way in all its glory. This astronomical attraction is guaranteed to take the whole family’s breath away and make for an unforgettable moment.
There are other magical moments to be had in Northumberland, especially when you take a trip to Alnwick Castle (perhaps better known as Hogwarts). Why not spend a day of your Easter weekend break on the grounds of the castle? With wizarding lessons, falconry displays and ghost walks on offer, kids will love seeing this world-renowned castle for themselves.
9. Friendly locals
The sparsely populated county of Northumberland shares the famous hospitality of nearby city Newcastle - recently voted among the friendliest cities in the UK. The North East as a whole is filled with towns, villages and, of course, Newcastle upon Tyne itself - giving families access to some great days out when they choose Northumberland for their Easter weekend break.
Lovers of rural living can explore villages and seaside towns across Northumberland to find a range of unique and traditional shops and art galleries. Don’t miss out on a trip to Alnwick’s Barter Books, one of the largest secondhand antiquarian book shops in Britain.
Choosing your cottage
- Clashope Cottage, Bamburgh: Sleeping up to 8 guests, Clashope Cottage is tucked away between Bamburgh and Seahouses. From the Farne Islands to Bamburgh Castle, this is the ideal location for an accommodation option with great access to fantastic days out
- Salty Kisses, Seahouses: Recently renovated, Salty Kisses benefits from French windows which overlook the beach and is packed with modern facilities for families who can’t live without their gadgets!
- Blue Barn, Bamburgh: A barn conversion near Bamburgh, Blue Barn is a cottage that oozes character. With Bamburgh Castle just a short drive away, up to 6 guests can enjoy a culture-filled break by the sea
- Bridge End Cottage, Rothbury: Located in the Coquet Valley, Bridge End Cottage is a beautiful country accommodation option that’s just 20 minutes from the village of Rothbury – ideal for families seeking a trip filled with adventures
- Poppy Cottage, Druridge Bay: Stone-built and oozing luxury, Poppy Cottage is perfect for families looking to enjoy a self-catering holiday in Northumberland. With a farm and beach on your doorstep, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring
Offering something for everyone, Northumberland is the ultimate destination for families looking for the trip of a lifetime without having to break the bank on a trip abroad. Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life with your family and enjoy an Easter family break
fit to burst with fun activities, famous attractions and family-friendly options galore.
17 Dog-Friendly Hotspots in Northumberland
For dog owners, holidaying can often have some expensive and emotional pitfalls if the four-legged member of their family isn’t able to come along. In Northumberland, though, dogs are more than welcome - and there’s a vast range of activities and establishments that are perfect for visitors and their dogs.
Northumberland is well-known for catering to both locals and visitors who are looking for days out with their dogs - so, let’s take a look at what Northumberland has waiting for your next dog-friendly holiday!
Food & drink
In Northumberland, there’s no need for your dog to wait outside while you and your family wine and dine. Across the pet-friendly Northumberland region, there’s a vast range of establishments that embrace canine customers.
With its location beside a stunning riverbank, The General Havelock Inn
at Haydon Bridge offers beauty both inside and out. Welcome on both the riverside patio and bar - where a full menu is available - dogs can congregate in the calm and cosy atmosphere of this village pub. Take a trip back through time as you relax in this village-style pub and enjoy the very best of British cuisine.
You can’t get much more pet-friendly than the The Blackcock Country Inn & Restaurant
. Not only does this charming 17th century inn offer dog toys and treats, but there’s even a Doggy Dinner menu. When it comes to feeding the full family, this pub really does have something for everyone.
, awarded best pub in South West Northumberland, welcomes pets to its bar area - where 12 different speciality real ales and plenty of food options are available. The quaintness of Wylam can also be enjoyed during your visit, and the pub’s location opposite Wylam Train Station means that it's accessible from far and wide.
A regular winner of Northumberland’s Pub of the Year competition, a visit to the Tap & Spile
makes for a true taste of local living. This cosy pub welcomes dogs with both arms, and visitors from all walks of life can enjoy the rustic cosiness of this lively pub.
Northumberland’s diverse landscape and breathtaking beauty is certain to be a real treat for your furry family member. The sheer range and vastness of the rolling hills, wondrous woodland and castle-crowned coasts make Northumberland the ideal destination for walking boots. Both you and your dog will be spoilt for choice.
St. Cuthbert’s Way
links two of Northumberland’s most religious pilgrimages. Between Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders and Lindisfarne Priory across the causeway at Holy Island, this trail offers the best of both coast and country. Dogs can run free across the Cheviot hills and paddle in the waters of Northumberland’s coast, stopping at a range of pet-friendly pubs and villages along the way.
Stretching from coast-to-coast, Hadrian’s Wall Path
is an 84-mile trail that can be broken down into smaller sections for a great day out.
Covering some of the most beautiful views of England and passing through a range of environments from cities to moorland, this trail is brilliant for dogs who like to run free in a remote landscape while their owners take in the views and explore the medieval ruins. Though occasionally farm animals can make an appearance, this trail is brilliant for dogs who love to stretch their legs.
If you’re looking for the perfect picnic spot, look no further than Bolam Lake
. With both on and off lead areas, this stunning lake is surrounded with woodland and vast grassy areas that are great for exploring as a family. Surrounded by historic landscapes and dramatic views, a trip to the lake has something for everyone.
For dog owners hoping to head to the beach instead, The Northumberland Coast Path
offers a variety of coastal views and trail options. If you’re looking to stay by the coast, there are a number of sea view dog-friendly cottages in Northumberland - perfect for the whole family.
After a tiring day of walking, you can relax in the luxury of the dog-friendly cottages Northumberland
has to offer. Perfect for parents, children and pets, the cottages are dotted across the county and offer an alternative accommodation experience.
In Northumberland, there’s a wealth of pet-friendly attractions ready to be enjoyed by the whole family. With sites, sounds and smells aplenty, visitors can breathe in the region’s rich history and vibrant landscape with the company of their pet.
Warkworth Castle and Hermitage
is a ruined medieval castle that offers picturesque views and a cultural experience. With a walk around the grounds, you and your pet can get lost in the atmospheric nostalgia of the environment and families can learn together about the history of the castle and its previous tenants.
Fascinating as well as dog-friendly, Berwick-upon-Tweed Barracks and Main Guard
is among the first in England to be purpose-built during the 18th century. Dogs on leads can explore this attraction, as well as the idyllic surrounding Georgian market town. Art and history collide in this attraction, and exciting exhibitions run throughout the year.
From Dunstanburgh Castle
to Prudhoe, Northumberland is home to a glorious abundance of dog-friendly castles that are well-worth a visit. There’s a wealth of learning to be enjoyed and both you and your dog are guaranteed to enjoy exploring the history-rich grounds.
Believe it or not, with a trip to Barter Books
, you can explore one of the UK’s largest second-hand antiquarian bookstores with your four-legged friend. Located in a renovated railway, a trip to Barter Books is an experience in itself and with calm seating areas, open fires and a dog-friendly cafe all can be enjoyed by the full family.
Dogs can also be taken for a late night walk to witness the beauty of Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park
. Billions of stars and planets are visible and on the clearest of nights, a glimpse of the Milky Way can be seen. While the beauty of the skies above will be sure to impress you, the amazing grounds will certainly please your pooch.
Choosing your cottage
- Cherry Tree Cottage, Nr Amble and Warkworth: For guaranteed rest and relaxation, Cherry Tree Cottage is situated in the village of Acklington. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the cottage is ideally located for visitors wanting to explore all that Northumberland has to offer – and pets are welcome too!
- Beachcombers Retreat, Nr Amble and Warkworth: This beach front cottage boasts breathtaking sea views and is ideally equipped for families and their dogs. If you’ve been looking for luxury self-catering accommodation in Northumberland, look no further!
- Oar Cottage, Beadnell: For accommodation close to the wonders of Bamburgh Castle and its surrounding village, look no further than Oar Cottage. Its ideal location means visitors can enjoy days out at Beadnell Bay or trips to Seahouses at a moment’s notice
- Newton Halt South, Newton by the Sea: A stone’s throw from walking routes and stretches of unspoilt coastline, Newton Halt South is the perfect place for pitching up with your family – and the dog-friendly garden means your dog can enjoy a holiday here too!
- Dunes View, Beadnell: Behind the dunes of Beadnell Bay sits Dunes View – a spacious cottage that sleeps up to six people. With a beautiful outdoor space and large balcony, this is the perfect accommodation option for a stay by the sea
As you can see, Northumberland is the perfect family UK holiday destination, where there is no need to leave your furry family member behind. From exploring history and village life to an impressive food and drink scene, dogs are welcome to enjoy Northumberland’s boastful attributes. So, why not head to Northumberland with your four-legged friend today?
26 Places Over 60s Love in Northumberland
With a tourist haven like Northumberland tucked away in the North of our country, the chaos and cost of travelling abroad has never been so unnecessary. Northumberland is home to an abundance of places and activities for visitors of all ages to rejoice in, and the more mature visitors are guaranteed to fall in love with this beautiful county.
Northumberland gardens are the perfect place to see the county in bloom. From the famous Alnwick Garden - a wonderland created by the Duchess of Northumberland - to the equally esteemed Howick Gardens & Arboretum and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, there’s a wealth of flora and fauna to be found around the region.
The gardens have tea rooms, exhibitions and cafés on site, which make for a perfect refreshment break. Alnwick Castle also offers a free mobility scooter and wheelchair hire service, which is best to be arranged in advance.
You can never be too old to learn something new. So, if the history or biodiversity of the county is something you’d like to learn about, there are multiple museums and other educational facilities - like exhibitions - dotted around the region. For those with grandchildren, the opportunity to learn with, as well as teach, the younger ones is a great way to stay young at heart.
Morpeth Chantry’s Bagpipe Museum and Bamburgh Castle’s Armstrong and Aviation Museum are just some of the amazing, wheelchair-friendly places well worth exploring.
Tremendous tea rooms
Northumberland’s heritage as the home of Earl Grey makes indulging in a traditional cream tea a must. Tea rooms in Northumberland can be found and enjoyed in every corner of the county, and the majority of attractions have at least a tea room or two!
One of the most well-known places for afternoon tea in Northumberland is the former home of Earl Grey himself, Howick Hall. The tea room at Bellingham Heritage Centre is located in a 1950s train carriage, making for a unique and nostalgic cream tea.
Brilliant boat trips
If an off land adventure sounds appealing, a variety of boat trips set sail around the region each day. Seahouses is the perfect place to start your journey, as an abundance of boat trip companies are on hand by the harbour to take visitors around the Farne Islands.
From the lighthouse previously inhabited by Grace Darling to colonies of seals and puffins, you’re guaranteed a historical and cultural education while out at sea. Suitable for wheelchair access at certain tide times, the boat trips make for a memorable day with access to the wonders only seen off the shore of Northumberland.
Whether you want to paddle in the waves, feel your feet on the sand or treat yourself to tasty fish and chips, the coastline that shapes the region offers breathtaking views and brilliant days out. Northumberland is internationally famed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and with the views from the region’s beaches, it’s easy to see why.
With over 30 miles of beaches waiting to be explored, the possibilities for a coastal trip are endless. From Creswell beach to the harbour at Amble and natural causeway of Holy Island, each area is unique and delightful in its own right.
Wondrous Northumbrian walkways
The astounding beauty of Northumberland can be enjoyed through an abundance of easily accessible walkways around the region. Haltwhistle Burn is a mostly flat trail through the beautiful woodland, with specially designed gates and bridges making it accessible to all.
Tyne Riverside Country Park is similarly designed, with just a few changes in gradient as the walkway follows the River Tyne for four miles - through 200 acres of meadows, chalk grassland and woodland. For visitors hoping to see the full scope of Northumberland’s beauty, there are trike tours available across the region that offer you the experience of Northumberland walks without you having to don your walking boots!
Northumberland’s glorious castles are perfect for visitors wanting to step back in time. Boasting over 70 castle sites, whether they stand preserved or are iconic ruins, the region is home to some of the richest historical structures in the country.
From Alnwick Castle and Bamburgh Castle to Dunstanburgh and Berwick castle ruins, there are architectural structures aplenty waiting for visitors hoping to enjoy a taste of history. With information aplenty and maximum safety guaranteed, these tours are perfect for taking a time out and getting to know more about the characterful region of Northumberland.
The delicious dining scene
Whether it’s fish and chips at Pinnacle’s in Seahouses or the speciality oysters available from The Lindisfarne Oyster Farm, Northumberland is a hub of delicacies and delights.
A trip to one of the most famous restaurants in Northumberland, the Treehouse Restaurant at Alnwick, offers a magical dining experience in a treehouse with disabled access. Scattered around the region you’ll find traditional local pubs with some of the best homemade food in Northumberland – so, from fine dining to local grub, it’s never too late to try something new.
Location, location, location
As well as being diverse in history and wildlife, the region is similarly rich when it comes to local hotspots. From quaint villages including Northerly Norham and Warkworth to seaside towns such as Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and market towns like Alnwick, there are locations suited to all tastes.
The nostalgic atmospheres, bespoke market stalls and friendly locals are certain to help ensure a great day out for mature visitors, though be careful of the uneven cobbled streets. If you’re tired from a day of excitement and exploration, there are a number of luxury holiday cottages in Northumberland that you can retreat to for optimal comfort and relaxation.
As the pinnacle of England’s Christian heritage, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne - in particular its priory - remains a place of pilgrimage today. A wildlife haven and historic site, this peaceful and remote island makes for a culture-filled day out for both the religious and secular. The island is fully accessible, though visitors who find walking difficult are best to bring along a robust set of wheels.
From high street shops to art galleries and the world famous Barter Books, there’s a vibrant shopping scene in the region. Whether you want to buy or simply browse, the shops in Northumberland are famed for their unique personal service and home grown produce, making them an attraction in themselves.
Whether you hope to venture back in time or enjoy the splendour of Britain’s best, Northumberland is a holiday destination that welcomes visitors of all ages and families of all sizes. Whether you’re armed with walking sticks or walking boots, every visitor to Northumberland can expect to fall in love with this wondrous region.
13 Must-Try Activities for Group Trips to Northumberland
When travelling with family or friends, the key is to ensure that your destination offers something every member of your group can enjoy. This is often easier said than done, but catering to everyone’s tastes guarantees a rewarding and memorable experience for all involved.
The diversity of Northumberland’s landscape and the richness of the county’s history are just a couple of reasons the region is an exciting and vibrant tourist destination. When it comes to activities in Northumberland, your group is guaranteed to be spoilt for choice - and today, we’re taking a look at the broad range of entertainment, leisure and adventure options awaiting you on your group holiday.
A day spent exploring Northumberland on foot, journeying along the county’s magnificent walkways, is without doubt one of the most invigorating outdoor activities in Northumberland. Groups looking to take on this rural region will love being able to combine spectacular scenic views with a chance to stretch their legs in the fresh Northumberland air.
Whether you opt for a leisurely walk suited to all ages and abilities - such as a relaxing stroll along Northumberland’s Coast Path - or a more challenging route like the long-distance Hadrian’s Wall Path, you’re bound to find a route that works for your group
2. Hot air ballooning
Ballooning is perfect for groups hoping to share the experience of a lifetime during their trip to Northumberland. For a truly unforgettable day out in Northumberland, hot air ballooning offers an experience like no other.
If your group is heading to Northumberland hoping for a leisurely break away from the chaos of day-to-day life, the golfing facilities scattered across the region are excellent. Northumberland often hosts international golfing events like the Masters - and it’s not hard to see why. From Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course to Slaley Hall, as well as being exceptional in quality, Northumberland’s golf facilities also boast the extraordinary scenery for which the region is world-renowned.
Coasteering is an activity certain to offer something for everyone. Combining swimming, rock pooling and cliff jumping, coasteering is an ideal way for groups to spend a break in Northumberland - presenting an exciting challenge for groups with a competitive streak.
If you’re travelling to the region with work colleagues, coasteering is also a great way to develop important team skills and build relationships. From communication and trust to excitement and adventure, coasteering offers a perfect balance of team bonding opportunities and white-knuckle thrills.
Cycling is one of many things to do in Northumberland which truly allow you to take in the diversity of the local landscape, while also reaping the benefits of a healthy day in the great outdoors. Whether you go coastal or inland, the rejuvenating beauty and weird and wonderful wildlife found throughout the county can be accessed through a range of cycling routes that vary in difficulty.
After a long day exploring the region’s sights on two wheels, the range of large holiday cottages in Northumberland offer an ideal place for your group to rest and refuel in the heart of the beautiful British countryside.
6. Quad biking
Quad biking is one of the many exciting and unforgettable activities and makes a great day out in Northumberland. From racing across the county’s rolling hills to splashing through muddy waters, quad biking is a great way for groups to feel the wind in their hair and get their hearts racing.
If you’re looking to turn your group holiday into an action-packed break, there are few better ways to do it than by spending a few hours quad biking across Northumberland’s boundless green landscape.
7. Clay pigeon shooting
Step into Northumberland’s rich history by spending a day of your cottage break trying your hand at some clay pigeon shooting. Not only is this activity harmless to the region's wildlife, it also offers a chance for your group to get involved in some healthy competition.
The county is home to a selection of clay pigeon shooting centres, meaning you can find a setting that suits you and combine action with panoramic views of rural Northumberland.
8. The Harry Potter experience
Perfect for large families or groups of adults looking to escape reality for the day, the Harry Potter experience at Alnwick Castle is one of the most internationally-famed Northumberland tourist attractions.
From wizarding lessons to falconry shows, there are activities galore at Alnwick - on top of the incredible experience of seeing Hogwarts Castle for yourselves. Better yet, nature lovers can wander across to the Alnwick Garden afterwards and enjoy the range of exhibitions on offer in one of the world’s most contemporary gardens.
9. Tree top adventures
Located at Matfen Hall Hotel, the Go Ape! Tree Top Adventure is one of many exciting outdoor activities in Northumberland - giving your group a chance to take on rope ladders, zip lines and Tarzan swings in this stunning natural setting.
Whether you’re looking to step out of your comfort zones as a team or encourage children to embrace the rough-and-tumble of countryside adventures, the course comes in different difficulty settings - with on-hand supervision to ensure safety and satisfaction for everyone involved.
If your group isn’t afraid of a little healthy rivalry, the paintballing experiences available in Northumberland are a great place to start. Paintballing is sure to get the adrenaline pumping and bring out your competitive sides - and with reputable centres scattered across the region, you’re sure to find a place where your group can indulge in some adrenaline-fuelled escapism in the heart of Northumberland.
11. Boat trips
For groups hoping to catch a glimpse of Northumberland’s native wildlife, boat trips from the port at Seahouses to the world-famous Farne Islands are a must.
From puffins and grey seals to the local tale of Victorian heroine Grace Darling, these boat trips combine wildlife-spotting opportunities with historical information to provide something for everyone. While you’re there, why not treat yourselves to some of the North’s finest fish and chips?
12. Rock climbing
Scaling Northumberland’s rock faces is an exhilarating activity, combining breath-taking sights with amazing exercise. Whether you opt for an indoor or outdoor adventure, rock climbing is guaranteed to give everyone a good day out. The range of difficulties and distances available also mean that every member of the group will have their opportunity to reach the top.
With a wide variety of watersports on offer in Northumberland, you’ll have your pick of an action-packed lineup. From kayaking to surfing, the Northumberland Coast is home to all kinds of white-knuckle, water-based activities - and the best part is that you can learn as a group. Book a tutorial, get your gear on and take your chances in the North Sea.
Rich landscapes, diverse entertainment options and an abundance of historical landmarks are just some of the many reasons friends, families and colleagues love visiting this vibrant county - and if you’re looking for things to do in Northumberland, these group-friendly activities are just the tip of the iceberg. With something for everyone to enjoy, Northumberland is the perfect UK destination for groups hoping to embrace the great outdoors and pack as much action as they can into their short break.