Magnificent stately homes and historic houses in Northumberland holiday cottages

Magnificent stately homes and historic houses in Northumberland

Kate W 17 November 2023

Northumberland has long drawn people to live and explore its spectacular landscape, with rippling hillsides, sweeping valleys and a golden coast to tempt visitors. And with so much natural beauty on offer, you won’t be surprised to find a host of stately homes have been built over the ages as wealthy lords and ladies have claimed parts of this vast county.

Many stately homes line the impressive coast, others are more hidden, scattered in secluded spots throughout the national park. No matter where you holiday, you'll be within reach of one of Northumberland’s historic houses and stately homes. This county is famed for its many castles and manicured gardens, so much so that we thought Northumberland’s best castles and top gardens each deserved their own guides. 

Read on to find a historic house or stately home in Northumberland to visit during your break or click the button below to begin browsing our cottages.

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Forest - photo with robin on bench and child with grampa

Best for an awe-inspiring day out

This pioneering stately home in Northumberland is sure to take your breath away. Venture out into the impressive, landscaped gardens with stunning views, and find out all about the magnificent Victorian-era hydroelectric system that runs throughout. It was an engineering marvel of its time and the vast gardens showcase the system with man-made lakes and tumbling waterfalls. There’s a labyrinth and play area for families here too.

Opening times: House open 11am-4pm daily and garden and grounds 10am-5pm throughout the summer. House and gardens open 11am-3pm throughout the winter.  

Price: Adult £11, child £5.50.

Accessibility: Accessible parking is available in the main car park, visitor centre and Formal Garden, and there are accessible WCs at the visitor centre. Wheelchairs are available to borrow from the shop.

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are welcome in all outdoor spaces and in the shop and tea room. Please keep dogs on a lead at all times to protect the wildlife.

Wallington Hall

A dragon head sculpture in the garden at Wallington Hall​

Best for Christmas cheer

A huge 20' Christmas tree greets you as you enter the main hall and you’ll see 'Magnificence' the reindeer pulling the Wallington sleigh – the staff at Wallington Hall really go ‘all out’ for Christmas. Everyone’s catered for with Christmas Afternoon Tea, a Santa Claus Experience, Christmas craft workshops, shopping, storytelling and live music. This house is an impressive attraction all year round, but if you’re planning a Christmas break in Northumberland, choose a trip to the festive Wallington Hall.

Opening times: House is open 11.30am-3.30pm Mon, Thu and Fri, 11am-2pm Tue, and 11.30am-4pm weekends. Café, shop, estate and woodland are open 10am-4pm every day.

Price: Adult £16, child £8.

Accessibility: Accessible parking in the main car park and Walled Garden, next to the Walled Garden, an accessible WC in the courtyard, and mobility scooter hire is available. There are steep slopes and uneven paths and steps throughout the grounds and woodland.

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas except for the play areas. The Clocktower Café and shops are dog friendly, but pets are not allowed upstairs in the café.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

Belsay grounds lake and courtyard with alliums and bench

Best for young families

With The Wild Man Play Area (new for 2023) offering a fantastic, dedicated space for youngsters to release their inner ‘wild thing’, Belsay Hall is just the place to visit if you have children to explore with you. There’s an area especially for toddlers, and you can keep a close eye on your children from the café nearby. The rest of the impressive estate encompasses 30 acres of enchanting gardens, a medieval castle and the stunning Grecian and Italianate architecture of the Belsay Hall itself.

Opening times: Open Wed -Sun, 10am-4pm during the summer. Open weekends, 10am-4pm throughout the winter months.

Price: Adult £11.30, child £6.80. 

Accessibility: Accessible WCs, wheelchair loan, and Blue Badge parking bays in main car park. A 700-metre, gravelled path runs through the gardens and to the house, which can be accessed via a ramp. 

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are welcome in the grounds on a short lead. 

Seaton Delaval Hall

Seaton Delaval Hall

Best for art and drama  

Seaton Delaval Hall was home of the mischievous and eccentric Delaval family during the Georgian era – and they were also known as the ‘Gay Delavals’ due to their flamboyant lifestyle, and the theatrical productions, parties and pranks they would play on for their guests. There are plenty of stories of the family to uncover. The hall itself was designed by the famed architect of the era, Sir John Vanbrugh, and there’s an impressive collection of artwork, including paintings and Grecian-style statues, throughout the estate to discover.

Opening times: Open Wed-Sun, central hall open 11am-3pm, café 10am-2.30pm, garden and stable 10am-3pm.

Price: Adult £10, child £5.

Accessibility: Mobility parking spaces next to the admissions hut, an accessible WC in the Brewhouse, an accessible path network through the gardens, and all-terrain mobility scooters are available for hire on a first-come, first-served basis.

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas Delaval Playdiumon. Dogs must be on a short lead.

Howick Hall

Howick Hall with daffodils in foreground

Best for a top-notch cup of tea

An immense estate, covering over 65 acres, Howick Hall has lovely gardens and a stunning arboretum to enjoy, but it’s most famous for being the ancestral home of Earl Grey's family – yes, that Earl Grey! Find out all about the 2nd Earl, for whom the tea was named, in the visitor centre, before heading to the Earl Grey Tea House to enjoy a warming cuppa for yourself. If you’ve got children joining you, then be sure to tackle one of Howick Hall’s Explorer Challenges.

Opening times: Open daily Feb-March 10.30am-4pm, Apr-Sep 10.30am-6pm, Oct-Nov 10.30am-4pm.

Price: Adult £9.90, child £3.30.

Accessibility: Accessible WCs and parking available, and one power-assisted wheelchair available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis. Most of the paths are gravel or grass – please ask for the physical disability map. Tea room is accessible via the flat entrance with a wide door.

Are dogs welcome? No. Dogs aren’t permitted at Howick Hall.

Whalton Manor

Pink flowers and cream tea

Best for the green-fingered gardeners

While it’s a smaller, quieter estate than many of the others on this list, Whalton Manor is a real hidden gem that focuses on maintaining and improving its enchanting 3-acre garden. Magnificent follies can be found throughout the ground with Lutyens-designed, Italianate summerhouse, game larder, and pergolas. They also sell plants that are grown from seed, cuttings, and division on site at Whalton.

Opening times: Wharlton Manor is only open one day a week, and entrance to the gardens is at 2pm Wed throughout Apr-Oct, so plan accordingly. Closed during winter months.

Price: £8 per person.

Accessibility: There are steps at different levels, however, get in touch and with advance notice they can assist.

Are dogs welcome? Please no dogs.

Bywell Hall

Bywell Hall old frames for paintings and fisherman fly fishing

Best for history buffs and keen fishermen 

All the historic houses and stately homes on this list are bursting with stories and artefacts from throughout history, but we reckon Bywell Hall is number one due to the personal way you get to experience it. Bywell Hall can only be discovered on a guided tour of the house where you get to ask questions and hear all about the many remarkable items in the estate’s collection. Make the most of this very special, personal, tailored approach to visiting a Northumberland stately home, and they even offer fishing on the grounds if you’re looking to slow down during your holiday.

Opening times: Get in touch or keep a close eye on their calendar to find out when a tour is offered.

Price: £10.

Accessibility: Accessible WCs are available but please get in touch for more detailed information.

Are dogs welcome? No. Dogs aren’t permitted at Bywell Hall.


Close up of wood carver tools

Best for couples and creatives

This magical little cottage is a world away from the grand stately homes we’ve listed so far, but it’s another excellent historic house that’s well worth shouting about. Whether you’re looking for a romantic day out with your partner or hoping to get inspired on your break, this is a delightful place to visit. Once the home of the famous wood engraver and naturalist, Thomas Bewick, Cherryburn is full of his work and there’s a pretty garden to discover.

Opening times: Closed for winter but will reopen on 14 March 2024.

Price: Adult £5.50, child £2.75.

Accessibility: Accessible parking in the main car park, 100 metres from the house, and there is a drop-off point in the courtyard. Accessible WCs outside the main building and fine-grade material, stone or grass on the paths – some paths are sloped.

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are welcome to join you in the farmyard and gardens.

Map of stately homes and historic houses in Northumberland

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Stay in a historic Northumberland cottage

If you’re a lover of history and heritage, you’ll be thrilled to discover the many old cottages and retreats throughout our collection of Northumberland holiday homes, with stone walls, old wells and stunning gardens you can enjoy all to yourself.

We have plenty of more contemporary holiday lets too if you’d prefer a 21st-century-styled place to stay, with modern luxuries including bi-folding doors, Smart TVs, and hot tubs.

Begin browsing our collection and find your perfect escape today.

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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