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It seemed only yesterday we were immersed in the midst of summer and enjoying all that the season had to offer. But somehow, and without us noticing, autumn crept in through the night like a thief, stole the countryside’s greenery but replaced it with all the gold and rubies that nature has to offer. And whilst for some, bidding farewell to summer can be a sad affair, we believe that welcoming the wonders of autumn is an equally magical time.
And where better to do it than England’s most northerly county: the beautiful and unspoilt Northumberland where the colours of nature blend together like a watercolour: from burnt orange to vermilion, saffron, ochre and russet gold.
Autumn symbolises a time of change and reflection and being aware of your surroundings; drinking in the sights, sounds and smells can bring an enormous sense of wellbeing. Filled with rugged and rolling landscapes, historical castles, pristine beaches and a fascinating cultural heritage, it’s time to take stock.
Stop. Breathe in and live for the moment in one of our fantastic cottages in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Coasts and castles
The end of October heralds the official change of the season with the clocks going back and the nights drawing in. So why not make the most of the shorter days by getting up early and getting back to nature. On better weather days, take a walk along Northumberland’s Coast - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which has varied and spectacular scenery: from miles of golden beaches to high rocky cliffs punctuating the skyline.
Take the Northumberland Coast Path which was simply made for walking. Heading north, if you time it right you can take the Lindisfarne causeway or Pilgrim’s Way across the sands, treading in the footsteps of the saints and reach another world on The Holy Island. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of marauding Vikings by visiting Lindisfarne Priory and Lindisfarne Castle. For wildlife lovers, the mudflats, dunes and salt marshes form a natural nature reserve and autumn is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the wildfowl and wading birds which spend the winter at this location.
Further south and you’ll stumble upon Bamburgh Castle, dubbed ‘the finest castle in Britain.’ It is one of the highest inhabited castles and with the colours of autumn in full force, visiting this landmark and taking in its dramatic views is something you won’t want to miss.
In fact, if castles really are your thing, you couldn’t have picked a better destination than Northumberland - with more castles than any other county in England, you can play king or queen for days! For those fantasy film buffs a visit to Alnwick Castle is also a must. Not only does it have a fascinating history and imposing architecture, it has provided the backdrop to many television shows and films, most notably some of the Harry Potter films.
Dark skies and roaring fires
When the clocks go back, for some of us this is the ultimate excuse for getting into our pyjamas and breaking out the hot chocolate and movies. Many of our Northumberland cottages boast wood burners or open fires which only adds to the ambient cosiness of this scene, but don’t forget that the great outdoors can be just as amazing once dusk has fallen.
If you’re lucky enough to have booked one of our properties within reach of Northumberland National Park, also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, prepare to be stunned in the daytime by exquisite autumnal backdrops and a kaleidoscope of colour, but by night discover Kielder Water and Forest Park. Awarded Europe’s distinguished ‘International Dark Sky’ accolade as it boasts the least light pollution in England, this is truly a sight to behold and in autumn with the cooler and darker nights, the skies are even brighter.
Take time to discover Kielder Observatory which hosts a range of evening events and lectures. By day it is closed, but you may still wish to take a scenic cycle through the park and then climb 50 metres and absorb the beautiful panoramic views from this amazing building’s vantage point. On a clear night, take a blanket and flask and prepare to be blown away by the beauty of our British skies.
Walks and waggy tails
But it might not just be you that needs to blow away the cobwebs this autumn; your four-legged friend will also need a much-needed scamper in the countryside or along the coast and there’s no other pleasing sight than watching your pup chase after the falling leaves.
The Northumberland National park boasts over 600 miles of pathways and bridleways for you to explore in the crisp autumn sunshine, or trudge in your wellies if the weather isn’t quite so favourable. In fact walking in the rain actually has its benefits: you’ll enjoy peace and serenity as everyone else will have run for cover; the rain gives a different perspective, and believe it or not, you’ll actually burn more calories: the perfect excuse to tuck into a warming pud in a local cosy pub when the day is done.
Alternatively, take the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. Stretching coast to coast this trail spans 84 miles and threads its way through some of the most awe-inspiring parts of England. Your dog will revel in roaming free and if time is short, there are many circular walks in and around this most historic landmark.
At the end of the day take a well-earned rest and refuel in one of the cosy pubs along the way. With many of our cottages in Northumberland being dog-friendly, there’s no reason why Fido can’t join you on your autumnal escape.
Events not to miss
As well as all this, there are a great many events in Northumberland in the autumn that are well worth a visit. Take a look at our quick guide of October and November events below:
If this bewitching corner of our land has captured your imagination, why not take the time to peruse our fantastic collection of cottages in Northumberland and book your autumn adventure today. We have a great selection of cottages perfect for your needs, from large cottages big enough for all the family or romantic retreats ideal for a weekend away. Find your next cottage with Cottages in Northumberland!