Everyone knows Northumberland for its vast sprawling landscapes, enchanting and wildlife-rich coastline and long tumultuous history, so it's no surprise to find there is a host of fascinating National Trust destinations across the county.
Some National Trust properties in Northumberland boast dramatic, theatrical histories, while others offer up the chance to enjoy scenery and serenity during your break. Discover a plethora of exciting things to do and see in this guide or begin planning a holiday Iike no other by browsing our Northumberland cottages.
Skip to one of these National Trust sites (from north to south):
St Cuthbert's Cave National Trust Car Park – best for peace and solitude
In a wild and remote corner of Northumberland is this lesser-known hidey-hole – the mysterious and spiritual St Cuthbert’s Cave, one of the most peaceful National Trust places in Northumberland.
Also known locally as Cuddy’s Cave, this curious sandstone formation is said to be where monks took refuge while transporting St Cuthbert's body. In later years St Cuthbert’s Cave has been used as a lambing shed and a family burial place before it was given to the National Trust in 1981. St Cuthbert’s Cave has owned and cared for by the National Trust ever since.
The best way to experience St Cuthbert’s Cave is to follow the 3.2-mile circular walk to visit this enchanting spot in the Belford countryside.
You’ll find car parking here and dogs are welcome leads to ensure the safety of wildlife.
Lindisfarne Castle – best for wind-swept coastal walks
One of the most famous and iconic National Trust castles in Northumberland, Lindisfarne Castle is set on the tidal island of Holy Island, reached via a causeway which is an enchanting experience but means that if you intend to visit Lindisfarne Castle you’ll need to plan your visit around the tide times.
This magnificent 16th-century structure was originally built as a fort by Henry VIII and in the early 20th century, it was converted into a holiday home for Edward Hudson, founder of Country Life magazine. Beautifully designed gardens, grand industrial lime kilns, and unbeatable views back towards the coast make this a must-visit destination.
Lindisfarne Castle is open to guests from mid-March to the end of October, with the Jekyll Garden, lime kilns and headland remaining open all year round. A single adult ticket is typically £8.50 and you’ll find both car parking and toilets here. Dogs on leads are permitted in all areas except for inside Lindisfarne Castle itself.
Farne Islands – best for wildlife spotting
An archipelago of islands just off the Northumberland coast, the Farne Islands are home to a wealth of wildlife, including talkative puffins and playful seals. Set sail to see these wonderful animals in their natural habitat and look out for dolphins on the boat trip across too. For a souvenir to take home, make a stop at the National Trust gift shop for puffin-themed gifts that contribute to the care and maintenance of the wildlife here.
You can join a boat sightseeing tour from quaint Seahouses and, as Bamburgh Castle is just a couple of miles down the coast, why not visit this ancient sight during your holiday too?
There are currently no visitor landings on the Farne Islands due to avian flu. However, boat trips around the islands continue to operate. Due to the sensitivity of the birdlife on the islands, no dogs, including assistance dogs, are permitted. Toilet facilities can be found on Inner Farne.
Embleton and Newton Links – best for beach days
You don’t have to search far for a bit of peace and quiet in the vast and sparsely populated region, but this beautiful National Trust beach is one of our favourite places for a morning’s escape.
Embleton and Newton Links boasts an ethereal shoreline with silver sand, and has dunes, boulders, grassland and cliffs creating an atmospheric backdrop. Bluebells, burnet roses and bloody cranesbill all flower amongst the dunes.
Restrictions for dogs apply on this beach, and they must be kept on short leads in and around the Long Nanny shorebird site during breeding season.
Cragside – best for family days out
One of the most intriguing National Trust places in Northumberland, perfect for curious minds, Cragside is a pioneering home built during the Victorian era that uses both hydroelectricity and hydraulics – all brought to life by inventor and arms manufacturer Lord Armstrong and his wife Lady Margaret.
In the grounds of this captivating estate, you can wander amongst man-made lakes, magical waterfalls, and towering trees – some of the tallest of their kind in the country! Way-marked walks, an option to drive around the estate, and a family-friendly labyrinth and play area make Cragside a real Northumberland gem for families to explore.
One of our favourite things to do here is to pitch up a picnic on one of the benches in the formal garden to enjoy the Coquet valley views. Cragside is a great place to visit all year round, with the trees and shrubs offering a unique colour show with every season. If you enjoy your visit to Cragside, there are plenty more woodlands and forests to enjoy across Northumberland.
Cragside is open to guests all year round, though winter opening times may vary. A single adult ticket is typically £22 and you’ll find both car parking and toilets here. Dogs are permitted in all outdoor areas and in the shop, while there is a dog seating area in the tea room.
Wallington – best for a cycling adventure
An impressive 13,500-acre estate, set about 12 miles west of beautiful Morpeth, Wallington was once owned by Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan whose socialist beliefs led him to leave this immense plot of land, house and gardens to the National Trust.
Informal gardens with woodland, lakes and farmland surround the country home, and there’s even the 3-mile Dragon Cycle Trail to follow – a scenic Northumberland cycling route that takes in far-reaching views. Wallington is one of our favourite Northumberland gardens, but there are plenty more to discover in our Northumberland gardens guide.
Wallington is open to guests all year round, though opening times for Wallington House vary in the winter. A single adult ticket is typically £16 and you’ll find both car parking and toilets here. Dogs are permitted in all outdoor areas and in the Clocktower café.
Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort – best for stepping back in time
Northumberland is known for being a time capsule with a real wealth of historical sites scattered throughout the region but Hadrian’s Wall is possibly the best known and most unique of them all.
Housesteads Fort reveals what Roman military life was like, and at the village located just south of the fort, you can follow the markings of old chambers, rooms and even discover ancient toilets.
Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Roman Fort is open to guests all year round, though opening times at the visitor centre may vary in the winter. You’ll find both car parking and toilets here and dogs are welcome on a short lead.
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge – best for woodland walks
To really capture the natural beauty of the region, head to beautiful Allen Banks and Staward Gorge in Allendale, and explore the largest area of semi-natural woodland in all of Northumberland. During the warmer months, be sure to listen out for birds chirping in the ancient trees that tower above while walking past carpets of bluebells and wild garlic. This wild landscape is also a sanctuary of the red squirrel – spot them darting amongst the branches over your head. Make sure to seek out the reconstructed Victorian summerhouse as well as a medieval pele tower and ornamental pond on your woodland walks.
You’ll find both car parking and toilets here and dogs on leads are welcome.
Seaton Delaval Hall – best for tales of mischief
This country house is certainly a marvellous space full of old paintings, elegant architecture and scenic gardens, as well as a community kitchen garden and Brewhouse Café, full of tasty snacks and light bites.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this building however, is the larger-than-life Delaval family who once lived here. Hear all about the eccentric parties and pranks which gained this Georgian family a reputation as the ‘Gay Delavals’. Children will enjoy a visit to the Delaval Playdium here, a space inspired by Baroque theatre and the candle-lit shows the family held.
Seaton Delaval Hall is open to guests all year round, though winter opening times may vary. A single adult ticket is typically £10 and you’ll find both car parking and toilets here. Dogs on leads are permitted in all outdoor areas but not in the buildings or Playdium.
Cherryburn – best for uncovering an artistic legacy
The renowned wood engraver and naturalist, Thomas Berwick, revolutionised the print industry with his methods, and this beautiful homestead is where he grew up and was first inspired by nature.
Step inside the quaint cottage where Thomas Berwick was born, Hexham and visit the neighbouring 19th-century farmhouse that later became the Berwick family home and is now a museum full of treasures. Ensure you book in advance to visit this unassuming yet historically important cottage and garden. You’ll find there are livestock grazing in the paddocks surrounding Cherryburn and as you might imagine given Bewick’s work, the area is a real haven for wildlife. It’s also an ideal place to visit for crafty guests, with wood engraving workshops available, and an art installation featuring some of Bewick’s own engravings will be returning to Cherryburn soon.
Cherryburn is open to guests all year round, though winter opening times may vary. A single adult ticket is typically £5.50 and you’ll find both car parking and toilets here. Dogs on short leads are only permitted in the gardens..
Map of National Trust places in Northumberland
Escape to Northumberland
Whether you’re planning to check out the pioneering home of Cragside or hike the sprawling forest at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, you are sure to have an inspiring holiday in the epic landscape of Northumberland.
We have holiday cottages with hot tubs, log cabins set deep in remote woodland, and characterful old houses with wonderful gardens to spend time in. Whatever you’re after, begin browsing our collection of Northumberland cottages to find your perfect getaway.
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.