Wooler in Northumberland is a pretty and idyllic town set amidst the rolling countryside, nestled quietly on the edge of the Northumberland National Park.
The stone-built market town is made up of a network of quiet streets, and along the high street you will find small shops, boutiques and pubs – perfect for lazy days browsing and eating!
This town is perfect for those who want a mix of town culture and wilderness in one, as the surrounding hills of the Cheviots are right on your doorstep. Keen walkers come from miles around to get out and explore the many walking routes and hikes that start here, and history buffs will love the ancient buildings that have stood through time for hundreds of years. It is also great for keen cyclists, with a host of exhilarating routes to take on, as well as those who like golf – the golfing greens are second to none! Wildlife and nature are abundant here, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and twitchers.
Read on to discover all the hidden gems and top tips to make the most of your visit to Wooler.
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Things to do and see in Wooler
Here you will find the world’s only purebred Chillingham wild cattle herd! Just a short drive away lies this fantastic cattle park where you can come and visit cows, deer, squirrels, and other wild friends. You can roam the grounds and watch the roe and fallow deer that like to make an appearance, and if you are lucky, you might spot a fox or badger too! Being home to over 50 bird species, there is plenty to spot through your binoculars. Take a picnic and find a quiet hidden spot amongst the trees to enjoy some downtime.
- Opening times: 29th September – 3rd October. Monday – Friday, 10.00 – 16.00
- Location: Chillingham, Alnwick, NE66 5NP
This historic attraction lies right next to the cattle park (above), so you could make a day of it and fit both attractions into one! Here you will find lakes and parklands, stately rooms, and spooky dungeons. The castle, said to be one of the most haunted in Britain, is open to the public to come and explore, and it can be a lovely day out for couples, friends, and families alike. Keep your eye out for one of the many ghosts, and if you fancy a guided tour, you can take a ghost tour here in the evening, which covers many of the rooms inside as well as out!
- Opening times: 1st April – 4th November. Sunday – Friday, 12.00 – 17.00
- Location: Chillingham, Alnwick, NE66 5NJ
Northumberland boasts some of the darkest skies in the world, and thousands flock here to get a good look at the night sky and all the stars that sparkle above. Wooler is a great location for this due to its quiet position within the county. Kirknewton Town Hall sits on the edge of the town and is a dedicated Dark Sky Discovery Site. You can park up here easily and spend hours spotting constellations and exploring the depths of the sky above. Remember your deck chair and hot flask – you could be there for ages! Read more about stargazing in our guide to Dark Sky Discovery Sites in Northumberland.
This is an event which takes place every year and has been a Wooler tradition for the last 130 years. Landing on the August bank holiday weekend, it's a great agricultural show that makes a wonderful day out for friends and families alike. You can expect everything from donkey classes and chainsaw carving to a friendly fairground. The show celebrates all farm animals and there are prizes for the best cattle, sheep, goats, and alpacas in the show! Food stalls mixed with beer tents and live music make for a welcoming and buzzing atmosphere which will only enhance your day out. This event is also known as the Wooler Agricultural Show.
If you are the type who likes to go on holiday to peaceful places and enjoy a game of golf, then Wooler golf course should definitely be on the list. It is a 9-hole, 18-tee course which consists of lovely well-kept greens surrounded by trees. Lots of wildlife surrounds you as you play, and being set on the edge of the National Park, the views and surroundings are beautiful.
- Location: Dod Law, Wooler, NE71 6AN
Whether plants are your passion, or you just want somewhere pretty to visit, then this garden centre is the place to be. With a large selection of garden plants, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees, there is lots to pick from here if you are looking for something nice to take home, as well as all sorts of gardening gear.
- Opening times: Monday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm
- Location: 7-9 South Rd, NE71 6QE
Walks in and around Wooler
As mentioned before, one of the many reasons people come here is for walking. There are lots of routes to enjoy during your stay, ranging from easy strolls to longer and more challenging trails. You will come across many circular walks from Wooler, as well as woodland adventures along single track trails. Here are some of our favourites.
St Cuthbert's Way
Wooler lies on the edge of the National Park. Part of St Cuthbert’s Way, a famous walk celebrating the story of a 7th-century saint, runs through the town. It's a long-distance route that leads from Melrose in the Scottish Borders to Lindisfarne on the coast. You can enjoy sections of this walk during your visit to Wooler, taking in the many hillforts and ancients ruins dating back to the Iron Age.
Take a walk to Yeavering Bell, a hill on the edge of the Cheviots which is home to the largest Iron Age hillfort in Northumberland. It is a fascinating historic artefact to come across and it will impress at any time of day, with evidence of over 100 house platforms and an inner fort discovered out of the rocks. As well as this, you can enjoy the occasional sighting of wild goats which still graze the area here. These are not native to Britain, but were brought here in Neolithic times, making them even more interesting! There is a lovely 6.8-mile loop walk which also takes in Hethpool Linn, a beautiful gorge with a waterfall.
A few miles north of Wooler you can explore the mystical area of College Valley – a peaceful place to roam free and enjoy the wilderness. You can wander through native woodland, watch salmon leap upstream in the burn, spot roe deer and wild goats, and bask in the unspoilt views of your surroundings. The earliest settlers here were late Stone Age farmers, and you can still see remains of a stone circle constructed here over 7,000 years ago!
Wooler Common and woodland park has seen a lot of history, not all of it happy, with many raids by Scots during the 14th and 16th centuries. Today the land is a lot more peaceful, and there are lots of paths and trails to follow taking you through the land that has seen many stories. Perfect for relaxed walks, energetic runs, and bike rides, this is a lovely place to come and wind down and get a good dose of fresh air. There are bike rental shops close by, and horseriding stables will often take their visitors here, so you may see a friendly horse or two on your travels. Pack a picnic and a sense of adventure and enjoy a day out with some of these Wooler common walks.
The Northumberland National Park spans 405 square miles, which makes it one large outdoor adventure playground. Read all about it and how to enjoy it in our ultimate guide to the Northumberland National Park.
Places to eat and drink in Wooler
For a small Northumberland town, there is a surprising number of lovely places to eat, so if you are here for a week or so, you won’t find it hard to experience somewhere different every night – making it even more of a holiday. When staying in self-catering accommodation, it is a lovely treat to be able to wander out and find somewhere close to enjoy a good meal before retreating back to your cosy nest for the rest of the night. Read on to discover the great variety of eateries that Wooler has to offer.
The best pubs in Wooler
- The Black Bull Inn is known for being the only thatched pub in Northumberland, and also for its unusual interior which shows off a range of witch-like dolls! There is a great sun terrace for outdoor dining which compliments the delicious grub nicely. Location: TD12 4TL
- The Red Lion is the place to go if you are looking for a relaxed drink or good pub grub. It is a picture-perfect country pub which is family-friendly too. Location: NE71 6LD
The best Wooler restaurants
- The Tankerville Arms is a 17th-century coaching Inn which is a family-run restaurant. It is elegant and stylish, reflected in both its appearance and menu. Location: NE71 6AD
- Milan Restaurant is tucked back from Wooler’s welcoming high street and is one of the best Italians in the area. Here you can expect delicious pasta dishes, scrumptious pizzas and a great kids' menu too! Location: NE71 6BY
The best Wooler takeaways
- Fry Fry - fish and chips and other fast-food options. Location: NE71 6LF
- Cindy and Millie's - pizza, burgers, kebabs and fish and chips. Location: NE71 6LE
- Doddington Dairy Milk Bar & Café – breakfast, light lunches, and snacks. Location: NE71 6QE
- Grinder Coffee Shop - tea, coffee and baked goods to go. Location: NE71 6BH
Whether you are looking to take the family out or you are planning a romantic meal, there are plenty of options for meals out in Wooler.
Stay in a self-catering cottage in Wooler
Pick from our amazing collection of Wooler holiday cottages and plan a trip to remember. We have a great selection of holiday homes ranging from cosy boltholes for couples to larger houses to accommodate the whole family or groups of friends.
Here are some options for you to browse through:
For more choices, browse all of our Wooler cottages.
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.