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How to enjoy Christmas in Northumberland holiday cottages

How to enjoy Christmas in Northumberland

Jemima Kirkwood 12 November 2021

It’s time to take out the woolly jumpers and knitted scarves as Christmas is just around the corner!

Christmas is a special time of year and one that brings loved ones together to enjoy happy festivities and quality time. Northumberland can be a lovely base for merry adventures, so read on to discover some of the fun things you can get up to during a Christmas break.

Stay in a christmas cottage in Northumberland

Christmas events in Northumberland

You just need to tour the market towns of Northumberland to get into the Christmas spirit, as you will find strung-up fairy lights, Christmas trees and village stores all decked out with seasonal trinkets. Find a cosy café to enjoy a scrumptious cinnamon hot chocolate, or a merry pub with an open fire to toast the toes. Throughout Northumberland, the towns host different kinds of winter events, and here are some of our favourites…

Try some ice skating in Northumberland this year

Visit a pop-up ice rink in Northumberland

Between the village of Morpeth and Newcastle upon Tyne there is a smaller town called Cramlington, and here you can enjoy some time skating on an open-air festive ice rink with your friends and family. It is the perfect Christmassy day out, and the German bratwurst stand and hot chocolate on site just add to the charm.

  • Dates: Open 2nd December – 2nd January (11am – 9pm)
  • Prices: Adult - £9.00, child - £6.00
  • Location: Cramlington, NE23 6UT

Make a Christmas wreath at Bamburgh Castle

Get involved in some crafts this Christmas and head to Bamburgh Castle for a unique wreath making class. This would be a lovely way to try something new, get involved with a local event, and take something home with you to remind you of your stay. Hosted by Sharon Wright from Wild With Love (a local florist), you can learn the proper techniques that are required to make a wreath. Dried fruits, ivy, pinecones, baubles, ribbons and berries are all things you can expect to include, and this will be an item that can last forever, hung on your door for every year to come! The event will last around 2 hours. 

  • Dates: A one-day event on Saturday 20th November
  • Prices: £45.00/person (all materials included)
  • Restaurant and café on site for light refreshments

A Christmas scene in a village store in Northumberland

Visit the Christmas Kingdom at Bamburgh Castle

Saints and Angels is a fantastic indoor festive event which transforms the castle’s stately rooms into a Christmas wonderland with angels taking flight overhead! Lighting and set design are a marvel to be seen, put together by the world-class theatre designer Charlotte Lloyd Webber. Families and friends will love coming here to get themselves into the true spirit of Christmas, and it is expected to be the most spectacular indoor Christmas event in the northeast, so don’t miss out! You will also be greeted by some reindeer who are gathering their strength at Bamburgh Castle before their world trip with Santa! 

  • Dates: 13th November – 3rd January
  • Price: £14.40 (includes entry into The Christmas Kingdom at Bamburgh Castle. Pre-booked tickets advisable but not essential)
  • Location: Bamburgh Castle, NE69 7DF

See a magical show in Alnwick

The Christmas season isn’t the same without a magical live show! Come and experience A Viking Christmas, a winter performance mixing live music, magic and action, telling a mythical story of a Nordic king. Expect warriors, wizards and Red Caps along the way and a strong reference to the kingdom of Northumbria. Theatre is exciting at the best of times, but a touch of winter makes it extra special. Suitable for all ages, this would be a wonderful excursion for the whole family. 

  • Dates: 18th December – 28th December
  • Price: Adult - £15.00, child - £16.50
  • Location: Alnwick Playhouse, NE66 1PQ

Enjoy winter wonderland scenes through Northumberland

Kielder Winter Wonderland

Come and visit a magical wonderland where you can help Mrs Christmas get ready for Christmas, assist the elves in the workshop and search for Father Christmas in the woods – do you think you can find him? Kielder Winter Wonderland is a full day experience filled with fun activities for you and the kids, where they can feed reindeer, enjoy some jingles with The Beavers, say hello to a snowy owl and try some snow tubing – it’s never ending!

  • Dates: 20th November – 23rd December
  • Price: From £29.50
  • Location: Kielder Forest Park, NE48 1BT

Follow a Christmas light trail at Alnwick Garden

If you like visiting local gardens you will love this adventure which is one of the most popular Christmas events in Northumberland and gives you the chance to experience beautiful elements come to life: nature and lighting design and music! This is an after-dark spectacular where you can explore Alnwick Gardens at night-time and admire lovely lights and mystical music, and if you are feeling adventurous, take on the extended Light Trail to Alnwick Market Square. If you are lucky, you might even get to meet Santa!

  • Dates: December
  • Price: £12.10 per person
  • Location: Alnwick, NE66 1YU


Enjoy Christmas lights around flowers and plants in Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Need more inspiration? We have a great blog on Christmas markets in Northumberland which lists some of the main ones to check out, as well as festive craft fairs in Northumberland, during your visit.

Where to enjoy a Christmas day lunch in Northumberland

As well as filling your Christmas holiday with fun events and festivities, food plays an important role in any winter break. There are some great establishments in Northumberland to enjoy some Christmas grub; here are some for the list…

Let someone else do the cooking at the Joiners Arms 

This is a five-star luxury inn that welcomes you in to spend an unforgettable Christmas meal with your loved ones. Pick from a wonderful array of starters, mains and desserts, covering a wide variety of meats and sides. Turkey, of course, is on the menu, but you may prefer pork shoulder! Located in the heart of Newton-by-the-Sea, it has stunning views and walks from the door, which can be enjoyed pre or post meal! You may want to burn off the calories! View the full menu and prices here.
Enjoy a Christmas meal in Northumberland

Tuck into a Christmas carvery at Willow Farm 

Pile your plate with the most delicious festive food and fill yourself to the brim with meat, potatoes and all the trimmings! In fact, you can come here throughout your holiday thanks to their array of menus on offer – festive fayre, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve… You will be eating for days. Food and family are what they do best, and quality is put above everything, which is reflected in their slow-roast meats, fresh veg and handmade Yorkshire puds! View the full menu here.

Enjoy a glamourous Christmas lunch in Northumberland

Go all out at Doxford Hall 

This is the perfect spot to indulge this Christmas, with lovely food and drink to make your festive break extra special. Reception rooms with log fires, an elegant dining room, a trendy bar, and a festive fizz on arrival – what more could you want for a merry lunch? It is more expensive, but it is a four-course meal, followed by coffee and festive treats, and Christmas Day only comes around once a year! View the full menu here

Need more inspiration on the foodie scene in Northumberland? Don’t worry, we cover everything in our food guides – check them out:

Where to find Santa in Northumberland

Find Santa in Northumberland

Santa is coming to Northumberland, but where can you find him? Father Christmas is a magical man, and it is hard to know exactly where he will be and when – it takes the magic out of it if we know all about him. But we have heard on the grapevine that he has been spotted at the following events. Take the kids to these Santa's Grottos in Northumberland for their chance to see Santa and his reindeer…

Stay in a Christmas cottage in Northumberland

We have some great holiday homes in Northumberland that are perfect for festive gatherings, whether you are planning a visit over Christmas, New Year, or just a festive break! Check out our full range of cottages for Christmas, or for more inspiration, read our guide about the best cottages for Christmas in Northumberland.


** All of this information was correct at the time of writing.

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.

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