Northumberland is a superb destination for a fishing holiday. There are miles of coast and river bank in gorgeous locations throughout the county, each offering fishers and anglers of any proficiency a haven in which to enjoy this wonderful sport.
Whether you're looking to engage your competitive side, enjoy some solitude or spend some quality time bonding with your family, Northumberland has plenty of opportunity for fishing, and we've put together a guide about everything you need to know ahead of a Northumberland fishing holiday.
We have ideal cottages for fishing holidays, whether just for yourself, or a whole gang, and encourage you to try other outdoor activities too including cycling, horse riding, and surfing whilst enjoying your break in a Northumberland holiday cottage. Read on to discover more, or browse our fishing holiday cottages in Northumberland by clicking on the button below.
Fly fishing is angling with a rod, reel, weighted line, and a lightweight lure (an artificial fly). Fly fishing can be done in still water or the sea. Techniques vary depending on where your fishing spot is.
In the UK, coarse fishing refers to angling for fish that is considered inedible as fish or game. The main techniques are float, legering, and lure fishing.
Angling is fishing in freshwater such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and fisheries. Fishing is associated with open water, like the sea, the ocean, and deep water bays.
The fishing season in the north-east of England runs between February and November but it can vary at private fishing lakes so check ahead before arranging your visit.
How to arrange fishing in Northumberland
To fish in public in England and Wales, you must acquire a rod fishing license. Fishing without a permit can cost you dearly so if you are planning a trip and are hoping to reel in salmon, trout, smelt, or any freshwater fish (also eels). Lochs and weirs need additional licenses. The only exemption from this is the Northumberland’s River Tweed, which flows out to sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. To fish on private land, you need the permission of the owner. Unlike coarse, game, and other inland angling, no license or permits are required if you wish to fish for recreational purposes at sea or offshore.
You can buy licenses from GOV.UK. Fees vary depending on how long you wish to use them. You can purchase licenses for up to two rods from around £7.00 per day up to 12 months at around £90 if you are sea fishing for salmon. Children under 13 years of age can fish without a license. To purchase a license, visit the GOV.UK website. Please visit the website for different types of licenses, limits, and more specialist information.
There are angling companies all across Northumberland you can approach to arrange your fishing break. In most cases, you can hire equipment and a guide. This is a superb choice for those of you that are new to the sport. A good place to begin besides the internet is at local angling shops that will have information on local fishing spots.
Northumberland’s angling and fishing tackle shops
The best river fishing in Northumberland
During river fishing season, Northumberland is very popular with anglers and those that love fly fishing, trout fishing, salmon fishing, and coarse fishing.
The best times of year to fish for:
- Migratory trout – Feb to Nov
- Salmon – Feb to Nov
- Brown Trout – Mar to Oct
- Grayling – All year round
*Please note, fishing seasons on the rivers differ to allow for natural replenishment
Fishing on the River Tyne
For salmon and sea trout fishing in England, the River Tyne is considered the number one choice by seasoned fishing enthusiasts from all around the world. April and May are the best months to sink your line with the North and South Tyne, recommended over the main section of river.
Both sides of the river for a 2-mile run between Bywell and Wylam (near Newcastle-upon-Tyne) have been singled out by the Northumbrian Anglers Federation. Coarse fishing for dace, chub, gudgeon, roach, and pike are caught throughout the fishing season between August to November. For more information on more places to meet the fish along the River Tyne, visit this website.
Good to know
- Nearest parking – Tyne Riverside County Park, Wylam, NE15 8NL
- Do I need a license – Yes | Level of experience – all levels
- Is there a fee? – No
Fishing on the River Tweed
Fishing season on the River Tweed begins on the 1st of February and winds up on the 30th of November. The river’s source is in Scotland and for this reason, there is no rod license needed as they aren’t needed in Scotland. It has one of the longest salmon fishing seasons in the British Isles too. The River Tweed is the domain of the fly fisher and has an abundance of long pools and gorgeous lowland terrain. The river meets the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed but we’d recommend an upriver spot called The Lees near Coldstream.
The Lees is a 2-mile-long horseshoe with 12 pools where you can fish from small launches with experienced guides. Daily lets are available to fish this part of the river. For current info, visit the Tweedbeats website for handy weekly updates on fishing on the River Tweed in Northumberland and upriver in Scotland.
Good to know
- Address – The Lees, Coldstream, TD12 4LF | Phone: 01890 882706
- Do I need a license? – No | Level of experience – Proficient to advanced
- Is there a fee? – Yes (at The Lees). Please visit the website for details.
Fishing on the River Coquet
The River Coquet originates in Northumberland National Park and meanders across the county to merge with the North Sea at Morpeth. Known for its salmon fishing, the season runs from February to the end of October. Fishers will also discover late runs of sea trout as well as brown trout.
Guided inshore fishing trips are available such as Chasing Fins. We recommend a trip with them to Upper Morwick, a short distance upriver from the tidal flows at Warkworth. Each of the aforementioned species can be found here in season.
Good to know
- Address – Upper Morwick, Warkworth, NE65 9AJ
- Do I need a license – Yes | Level of experience – All levels of proficiency
- Is there a fee? – With a guide, yes. Otherwise, no.
Fishing on the River Till
Fishing along the private 1-mile section of the River Till near Belford is a delight for fans of wild fishing. You can even book time with a guide who can take you to the best spots along the river according to the time of year.
The 1-mile stretch of the Till is located at Tiptoe Farm, and it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as being governed by the Tweed Commissioners which means you don’t need a rod license to fish here. You can catch trout, grayling, and salmon amongst others along the River Till, so have fun. As the River Till is a tributary of the River Tweed it is classed as a Scottish river, so no license is needed.
Good to know
- Address - Till Fishing, Tiptoe Farm, Cornhill-on-Tweed, TD12 4XD | Phone: 07974 416692
- Do I need a license? – No | Level of experience – proficient to advanced
- Is there a fee? – Yes (at Till Fishing) otherwise no. Please visit the website for details.
Still and fresh water fishing in Northumberland
Fly, wet fly, coarse fishing and angling can be enjoyed inland in more controlled conditions than in a fast-flowing river or at sea. There are fisheries, reservoirs, and lakes in Northumberland where you can sharpen your skills and enjoy some unadulterated fishing in tranquil countryside locales.
Brown trout are very often the most popular fish found in lakes and the best way to catch them is by wet fly from a boat. Fish love to break the surface for flies so head to parts of the lake with the most insects for the biggest specimens!
Kielder Water & Forest Park, Hexham
Head deep inside one of Northumberland’s finest forests, Kielder, where you can hire a motorboat to go fishing. Find Tower Knowe Visitor Centre near Hexham and head out onto Kielder Reservoir to go on a rewarding day of fly fishing. You can enjoy bait trout, and fly trout fishing for rainbow and brown trout at this 2,000-acre lake. Boat anglers are encouraged to head for Belling Inlet and Plashett’s Bay to see if the fish are biting. Pick up a leaflet at the visitor centre with the latest details on the hottest fishing spots, stock numbers and species.
Good to know
- Address – Kielder Water Park, Tower Knowe, Falstone, Hexham, NE48 1BX | ph 01434 240436
- Facilities – Instructors, equipment hire, WCs, café, disabled access, parking, dog-friendly
- Do I need a license? – Yes. You also need a Tyne Angling Passport.
- Is there a fee? – Yes, passports cost £8 per day. There is also a fee for boat hire. Check the website for details.
Thrunton Fishery, Alnwick
As Northumberland fisheries go, the one at Thrunton is one of the most popular. With easy access to Alnwick and the A697, its spring-filled lakes, and ponds are stocked with all types of trout. There is a full programme of competitions throughout the calendar from February to November. Thrunton is a barbless fly fishery, with a café and facilities for disabled anglers too.
Good to know
- Address – Thrunton Fishery, Whittingham, nr Alnwick, NE66 4SD | ph 01665 574400
- Facilities – Instructors, equipment hire, WCs, café, disabled access, parking
- Do I need a license? – Yes. Visit the website for more details.
- Is there a fee? – Yes. Prices are found to vary depending on the length of time (in hours) that you wish to stay. Visit the website for more details.
Chatton Trout Fishery, Lucker
Chatton Trout Fishery near Lucker is another great still-water Northumberland fishery. Specialising in trout fly fishing, a few hours waterside is a relaxing prospect indeed. There is also a lake where any method of fishing is permitted too. Rod hire is available and most importantly, you do not need a rod license to fish here.
Good to know
- Address – Chatton Fishery, Chatton, nr Lucker, NE66 5RA | ph 01668 215226
- Facilities – Rod hire, flies for sale, WCs, parking
- Do I need a license? No.
- Is there a fee? - Yes. Prices vary on whether you wish to purchase any fish you catch and the length of your stay. Visit the website for more details.
More Northumberland fisheries
Sea fishing in Northumberland
Recreational sea fishing in the UK is free which includes the Northumberland coast for everybody. So why not charter a fishing boat for a guided excursion? Companies run out of Seahouses, Craster, and Alnmouth. This is a superb method as all the kit is usually included, and health and safety come first.
You can reel in, amongst others, cod, whiting, plaice, mackerel, pollack, and sea bass, all off the coast. All of which taste amazing grilled or baked in a pie. Below is a small sample of companies who can take you out to do some deep-sea fishing off the Northumberland coast. Tickets for fishing trips up and down the coast can be arranged through the Amble Angling Centre; they also cater to all angler/fishers’ needs – regular customers are well-established local pros from the Northumberland Angling Federation, the Amble Sea Angling Club, and the Alnwick Sea Angling Club.
You don’t need to go out onto the ocean in a boat to sea fish; you can enjoy offshore fishing from one of Northumberland’s best beaches. Local guidelines exist at each of the popular beaches to indicate where the best spots are to set your kit up. Read our guide to get some inspiration.
Monarch Marine Sea Fishing, Amble
For summer sea fishing aboard a fishing boat, Monarch Marine Sea Fishing operates out of Amble. They offer 6-hour-long fishing excursions including trips for mackerel; you can also reel in cod, ling, and pollock too. Look out for dolphins and interesting seabirds on your trip. For prices and availability, visit their website.
Unity Fishing Trips, Seahouses
Unity Fishing Trips out of Seahouses are a great choice if you are with young members of the family, as this company welcomes all aboard. From novices up to seasoned pros, Unity offers 3-hour trips with some wreck fishing and hard ground angler fishing too. See Monarch Marine, above, for the species of fish that you can expect to pull out of the ocean. These guys also cater to group bookings, and hens and stags!
Cottages near fishing spots in Northumberland
We have some fishing lodges and cabins in Northumberland in our collection, as well family home from homes, and coastal cottages. Choose a holiday with friends or family at one of our properties. Sometimes, fishing excursions can be arranged with the property owners. Some of our favourites are listed below.
Rivers Edge Glamping View, Shotley Bridge | sleeps 2 | 5 miles from Derwent Reservoir
This fishing cabin, Rivers Edge, is a brilliant place to unwind after a long day of fishing. Even better there is a hot tub to warm up in and soothe your hardworking limbs. It’s well-positioned for exploring the North Pennines AONB and the River Derwent and Reservoir which are both 5 miles away.
The Hide, Rothbury | sleeps 2 + 2 dogs | 1 mile from the River Coquet
This mews house, The Hide, in pretty Rothbury, is a lovely getaway with a cosy wood burner to settle down in front of on chillier evenings. This very characterful and spacious cottage is within 1 mile of the fast-flowing River Coquet, a river with numerous fishing spots for you to discover.
The Fisherman’s Hut, Bamburgh | sleeps 2 + 1 dog | 1 mile from Chatton Fishery
The Fisherman’s Hut is one for the sea fisher, so head along to Bamburgh Beach to cast off. Located in Lucker, you are also less than a mile from Chatton Fishery, which we mentioned above. It’s a delightful hut perfect for romantic fishing weekends and gives you the best of coast and country.
Dipper Cottage, Redesmouth | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs | 0.5 miles from the North Tyne and the River Rede
Set close to the edge of the Northumberland National Park, Dipper Cottage offers charming holiday accommodation for four guests. Situated close to where the River Rede spills into the North Tyne River, this is perfect for some fly fishing along the banks of two pretty rivers.
Stableyard Cottage, Warkworth | sleeps 4 | less than 0.25 mile to the beach / 0.5 miles to River Coquet
Halfway between Warkworth and Alnwick, and 300 metres from the beach, Stableyard Cottage offers both sea and river fishing within easy walking and driving distance. The property is an impressive farmhouse cottage with sweeping views and a leafy garden, and it's close to local highlights like Alnwick Castle, and Craster which is famous for its kippers.
Map of fishing spots in Northumberland
Find out where the best fishing spots in Northumberland are located in our handy map below.
Book your fishing activities holiday today
A great way to enjoy a fishing holiday in Northumberland is by renting some holiday accommodation. We have a broad selection of holiday homes perfect for angling and fishing breaks. With locations close to the best fishing rivers, lakes, and the coast for solo travellers, couples, and families, we have the perfect place for you.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.