Northumberland is a wild a part of England with large landscapes, hidden seashores, rugged coastal paths and the remnants of historical past. Uncover our favorite issues to do in Northumberland.
Because the border between England and Scotland, Northumberland has walked on the wild aspect for hundreds of years. As soon as the most important Kingdom within the British Isles, large landscapes and rugged coastlines comprise the battle-scarred stays of generations of historical past.
Imposing castles – greater than another county in England – trace on the strategic significance Northumberland as soon as had in shaping trendy Britain. Lindisfarne Island, often called the cradle of Christianity in Europe, performed a pivotal position in spiritual pilgrimage. Even the Romans staked their declare with Hadrian’s Wall, the sinuous defensive barrier between Scotland and Roman England.
Because the least-populated county in England, laze on golden sandy seashores that stay a secret from the remainder of the nation, stroll quiet fishing villages and roam Northumberland’s rugged coastal paths. On the finish of a protracted day, dine on seafood from the morning’s catch.
As among the best locations for outside actions, that is wild England with a quiet aspect.
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IN THIS GUIDE
THINGS TO DO IN NORTHUMBERLAND
1 – PHOTOGRAPH PUFFINS ON THE FARNE ISLANDS
Situated simply off the coast between Seahouses and Bamburgh, the Farne Islands are an necessary sea fowl sanctuary the place a complete of round 290 species have been discovered. At peak instances all year long, it’s house to upwards of 100,000 pairs of breeding birds, making the Farne Islands among the best wildlife experiences within the UK, and an exquisite factor to do in Northumberland for nature lovers.
At the moment, boats are permitted to land on two of the islands, Inside Farne and Staple, between the top of March and the beginning of November. Because the birds are remarkably tolerant to guests, it’s attainable to stand up near lots of Arctic terns, shags, razorbills, eider geese and guillemots.
Essentially the most well-known inhabitant, nonetheless, is the puffin. Catch them making their common journey out to sea and again once more searching for meals, and their clumsy stroll to their nests with a invoice stuffed with fish.
On a ship tour to the Farne Islands, take a brief loop amongst nesting birds, spot gray seals on the shores and duck out of the best way of shags circling overhead. Peak season is between April and August, see the Nationwide Belief web site for extra data.
2 – STROLL TO CRUMBLING DUNSTANBURGH CASTLE
As an embattled buffer between England and Scotland, the tranquil landscapes of Northumberland are dotted with the remnants of the area’s turbulent previous. Essentially the most evocative of which is the crumbling ruins of Dunstanburgh Citadel.
Set on a distant headland between the villages of Craster and Embleton, Dunstanburgh Citadel was the main focus of intense combating through the Battle of the Roses. Searching for refuge in his fortress, The Earl of Lancaster was captured on route and later executed by King Edward II.
Luckily, the journey to Dunstanburgh Citadel as we speak is a much more nice affair. From the quick stroll from Craster, see its magnificent scale come into focus because it lay in damage beside the dramatic shoreline. The three-story Nice Gatehouse is essentially the most outstanding part as we speak which makes a commanding point of interest beside the working farmland that surrounds it.
The very best views are from the skin, nonetheless, it’s attainable to go to the fortress and take a poke round inside.
Dunstanburgh Citadel / 10am – 5pm | Value: £6.50, free for Go to England members | Tickets: on-line upfront.
3 – TAKE A HOLY PILGRIMAGE TO LINDISFARNE
In 635 AD Saint Aidan made the journey from Iona and based a brand new monastery on the island of Lindisfarne. Over the centuries it could grow to be a celebrated place of Christian studying. Right this moment, the remnants of this historical life, along with some advantageous trendy additions, make Lindisfarne an intriguing place to go to in Northumberland.
Tucked into this four-square-mile island are the ruins of Lindisfarne priory; a small fortress perched on a rock and the Gertrude Jekyll Backyard (Nation File 2019 Backyard of the yr). It additionally affords two reasonably wonderful tipples. Lindisfarne Mead, a fortified wine that may be sampled at St. Aidan’s Vineyard, and Pilgrims Espresso, roasted on the café within the village.
A lot of the sights are tucked into the southern finish of the island, however if you wish to see the northern seashores and dunes, there is a wonderful 3-hour stroll which we cowl in our information to the perfect walks within the space.
Entry is just attainable at low tide, so plan your go to in an effort to cross the causeway and see all of the sights earlier than excessive tide when the highway will probably be underwater. Verify crossing instances right here.
Lindisfarne Priory / £8.60 (free for English Heritage members) | Hours: change every day because of tide tides, test their web site | Tickets: have to be booked upfront.
Lindisfarne Citadel / £9 (free for Nationwide Belief members) | Hours: change every day, test their web site. Closed Friday | Tickets: have to be booked upfront.
4 – EXPLORE ROMAN HISTORY AT HADRIAN’S WALL
Virtually two thousand years previous, Hadrian’s Wall runs for 73 miles from coast to coast throughout England. Essentially the most scenic part is in Northumberland the place it gallops over dramatic crags and rolling hills.
Alongside the wall, there are 17 forts that had been constructed to station the native Roman legionaries, 80 guarded posts to manage the circulation of human visitors, and 158 turrets used to maintain look ahead to invading forces.
Though it could take 4 to 7 days to stroll your entire wall you possibly can see the highlights in simply someday. All the small print are in our information to visiting Hadrian’s Wall.
5 – HIT THE NORTHUMBERLAND BEACHES
The Northumberland Coast has an enviable stash of gorgeous seashores, the proper vacation spot to base your self for a weekend getaway within the UK. Listed here are a few of our favorite seashores to discover.
EMBLETON BAY BEACH
For an enormous sweep of golden sand, Embleton Bay is a lovely seashore missed by the crumbling ruins of Dunstanburgh Citadel, it’s an exquisite place to take pleasure in a lazy day with an awesome view. The medieval village of Embleton is simply over the low dunes.
Beadnell is a family-friendly vacation spot excellent for water sports activities on a naturally sandy horseshoe-shaped bay. KA Adventures hires out gear and gives classes on browsing, kite browsing, stand-up paddleboarding and extra. The Bait, a small hut within the automotive park, does one-meal evenings. Attempt to stick round for Lobster night time on Thursdays.
Sugar Sands is a secluded cove surrounded by rocky outcrops and dazzling views. Being a 30-minute stroll from both Boulmer or Howick, you’ll most certainly have this pristine spot all to your self.
6 – SAMPLE THE SEAFOOD AT CHARMING CRASTER
Craster is a beautiful fishing village stuffed with curiosity.
Close to the tiny harbour, L Robson & Sons is a conventional fish smoker that has been producing the well-known Craster Kippers for nearly 100 years. Sadly, the restaurant is closed for the remainder of the yr (2021) because of Covid, however you possibly can nonetheless decide up their fish to prepare dinner your self.
The Jolly Fisherman is a good pub with a seaside terrace, well-known for delivering the freshest Lindisfarne Oysters. It’s the proper place to complete a stroll within the space because the Northumberland Coastal Path passes proper via the terrace.
7 – EXPLORE THE GREATEST SANDCASTLE OF THEM ALL AT BAMBURGH
Whereas Dunstanburgh Citadel lies in ruins, Bamburgh Citadel remains to be in advantageous fettle. At its core it’s a Norman fortress, however its quite a few restorations within the 18th and 19th centuries have maintained its menacing presence. Right this moment, it stands proud above windswept grassy dunes and a beautiful sandy seashore.
The inside is now extra like a contemporary stately house with grand work, tapestries, and a snooker desk. Nevertheless, it’s the views of the fortress from outdoors that held our consideration essentially the most.
Simply past the partitions lies the small village of Bamburgh. The excessive avenue has a grassy part full of picnickers on a summer time’s day. There are any variety of pubs, delis the place you will get all the things from the normal Kippers-in-a-bun to fancy lobster dishes.
Should you time your go to on a Sunday, chances are you’ll be rewarded with the native cricket group taking part in immediately beneath the partitions of the fortress. Is there any extra quintessential English scene?
Bamburgh Citadel / 10am to 5pm | Value: £12.50 | Tickets: pre-booked beneficial
8 – WALK THE NORTHUMBERLAND COASTAL PATH
Stretching from Cresswell within the South to Berwick-upon-Tweed within the north, the Northumberland Coastal Path passes via a number of the most gorgeous surroundings in Britain. The undulating path heads alongside golden sweeping seashores backed by windswept dunes and thru charming villages with pubs serving regionally brewed ales and fish straight off the boat.
At round 100 kilometres, it takes 3 to six days to stroll your entire path, however it’s completely attainable to select off a number of the best sections and full them on shorter day walks.
You’ll find all our favourites on our greatest quick walks on the Northumberland Coast information.
9 – POP INTO A GRAND STATELY HOME
Northumberland is blessed with spectacular stately houses, making it a well-liked vacation spot within the UK for exploring the area’s fascinating historical past.
The English Heritage run Belsay Corridor, Citadel and Gardens comprise a grand corridor constructed with pillars impressed by historical Greek temples. A medieval fortress hooked up to a Jacobean manor home with a Greek Revival villa rounds out the quirkiness. The quarry backyard has lots of unusual vegetation rising amongst channels within the rock.
CRAGSIDE HOUSE & GARDENS
The gardens at Cragside Home are a mixture of mazes, woodlands and trails, however the home is a paean to its proprietor and industrialist Lord Armstrong. The Victorian inventor packed his house with trendy devices all powered with hydroelectricity. Maintain a watch out for early fireplace alarms, passenger lifts and even a Turkish tub.
Howick Corridor is the ancestral house of Lord Gray. The second earl had tea particularly blended by a Chinese language mandarin to swimsuit the water within the properly at Howick. Right this moment you get a Twinning’s bag in a plastic cup with UHT milk. Nonetheless, the gardens are greatest seen from spring to mid-summer.
Learn Subsequent — The place to remain in Northumberland
10 – SIP A LOCAL ALE OVERLOOKING THE SEA
As pubs on the coast go increasingly upmarket it’s all the time nice to seek out one that’s sticking to its conventional methods. The Ship Inn in Low Newton is a no-frills pub, proper subsequent to the ocean on Embleton Bay.
On a chilly moist day its cosy inside may have you sorted, however when the solar is shining, seize one of many picnic tables on the inexperienced outdoors and watch the tide come and go.
They brew their very own ale together with a light-weight and refreshing Indian Summer time; a medium Newton Gold; and the very darkish Squid Ink.
11 – STROLL THE QUAINT STREETS OF ALNMOUTH
Alnmouth is charming slightly village. Caught out into the River Aln estuary it’s a mixture of grand previous homes peeking over dunes, colored facades shimmering within the solar and fishing boats lolling within the pure harbour.
The excessive avenue is a blast of previous England with a beautiful church, an previous publish workplace and a few pubs. Scott’s of Alnmouth gives all of the tasty native produce you would wish for a picnic and serves Lindisfarne’s Pilgrim Espresso.
It doesn’t take greater than an hour to walk each avenue, however that’s all it takes to make Alnmouth among the best locations to go to in Northumberland.
Learn Subsequent — 15 great issues to do within the Lake District
12 – UNCOVER THE JOYS OF ALNWICK
In 2001, Harry Potter and the Thinker’s Stone propelled Alnwick to fame. Scenes for Hogwarts had been filmed within the courtyards, archways, and bailey of Alnwick Citadel. Potter the grounds the place video games of quidditch came about and Hagrid took his go away to his hut within the Forbidden Forest.
Simply subsequent door is The Alnwick Backyard, an ornate 12-acre landscaped gardens. A mixture of elegant gardens and showy grandeur, the spotlight is the Grand Cascade, a tiered water characteristic that wouldn’t look misplaced in Vegas. The gardens have jumped on the Harry Potter bandwagon with the Poison Backyard, however you’ll want to affix a tour to discover the 100 intoxicating and narcotic vegetation. Even in case you don’t pay to enter, go to the automotive park and take a look at the huge wood treehouse which capabilities as a restaurant.
Alnwick city itself is a good place to remain in Northumberland and properly value a fast discover. The backstreets behind the fortress are charming and engaging even when the central sq. is extra a haven for automobiles than individuals. Be sure to pop into Style of Northumberland to see all of the regionally made booze on show and to Barter Books for an enormous collection of second-hand books specified by an previous railway station. It’s a hidden spotlight and among the best locations to go to in Northumberland.
Alnwick Citadel / 10am to five:30pm (5 Sep to 16 Jul); 9:30am to five:30pm (17 Jul to five Sep) Final entry: 2:30pm | Value: £18.50 | Bookings: upfront
13 – PADDLEBOARD TO WARKWORK CASTLE
The River Coquet is a lazy winding river because it heads to the coast. Wedged into considered one of its U-shaped loops excessive up on the hill is Warkworth Citadel. As soon as house to the Dukes of Northumberland, it’s now a ruined medieval fortress that retains watch over the small market city.
There’s not so much to see within the fortress however it’s value exploring the realm round it. You possibly can both take a brief stroll alongside the river (see our Northumberland stroll information) gathering views of the fortress and close by hermitage, or take a stand-up paddleboard tour.
Northside Surf affords 2-hour excursions the place you’ll get all of the gear and you probably have no concept, all of the coaching you want as properly. It’s a lovely a part of the river and an exquisite factor to do in Northumberland.
14 – READ THE ANCIENT VINDOLANDA TABLETS
Vindolanda is a Roman fort simply south of Hadrian’s Wall the place the archaeological finds have been outstanding.
The spotlight is the Vindolanda tablets. Written on fragments of skinny wooden-leaf tablets with carbon-based ink, they date again to 1st or 2nd century AD and embody official army issues in addition to an invite to a party. A lot of the tablets are actually on the British Museum however some nonetheless reside at Vindolanda.
You possibly can discover the stays of the fort and chat to the archaeological group digging on weekdays. There’s a small museum on-site that regularly provides new objects discovered on the positioning.
Vindolanda Museum / 10am to five:30pm | Worth: £8.30 | Bookings: on-line upfront
15 – EAT AT THE FISH SHACK IN AMBLE
Set in a barely forgotten finish of Amble’s fishing port, simply ten metres from the place the boats convey their catch ashore, is the Fish Shack. Resembling a corrugated ship container, it’s created a beautiful cool place for lunch the place the emphasis is simply the place it must be, on contemporary, merely cooked fish. You’ll get provided no matter they’ve on the day – our menu had roast sea bream full of lemon and thyme or smoked cod with muscle mass.
Wash it down with a glass of wine or an ale from Amble’s personal Brewis Beer Firm – one of many tastiest issues to do in Northumberland.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN NORTHUMBERLAND
There are a lot of nice issues to do in Northumberland, however we prefer to curate our lists with the perfect of the perfect. Nevertheless, you probably have some extra time to discover, listed here are a number of different recommendations value exploring.
Kielder Observatory is surrounded by the second largest space of protected night time sky in Europe. This lack of sunshine air pollution permits the observatory to run a variety of occasions which often embody instructional shows and an opportunity to stare into the sky utilizing their whopping telescopes. Simply don’t pre-book for a cloudy day.
BERWICK ON TWEED
This city has marked the border between England and Scotland for hundreds of years and has modified arms many instances. It’s a bit run down in locations, however the spotlight is the medieval partitions that encompass the city and overlook pretty Northumberland seashores.
ROCK POOLING AT RUMBLING KERN OR CRESSWELL
A cautious eye rock-pooling can spot crabs, anemones and different creatures lurking amongst swimming pools left behind by tidal waters. The very best locations to go to on the Northumberland Coast for rock-pooling are at Rumbling Kern and Cresswell. Simply be sure to test for low tide instances.
This charming market city simply south of Hadrian’s Wall is a pleasure for a number of hours stroll. It has the oldest jail in Britain, a beautiful abbey, impartial retailers and an Artwork Deco cinema.
NORTHUMBERLAND NATIONAL PARK
If you’re into the good open air, then there are many issues to do alongside the Northumberland Coast. However one other wilderness space is tucked simply inland. Its miles and miles of rolling hills, distant strolling paths and a number of the cleanest rivers in England.
MAP / PLACES TO VISIT IN NORTHUMBERLAND
Now we have included our record of the perfect issues to do in Northumberland on a map that can assist you discover all the principle points of interest dotted alongside this rugged a part of England.
BEST TIME TO VISIT NORTHUMBERLAND
The very best time to go to Northumberland is from Could to early July when the times are lengthy and dry, the headlands are dotted with wildflowers, and the varsity holidays haven’t but begun. September and October are additionally good choices.
From mid-July to finish of August the climate ought to be higher and the seashores of their prime, nonetheless, that is additionally peak vacationer season. Though Northumberland is much less busy than many different vacationer areas within the UK, in case you plan to go to over this time, be sure that to ebook your journey upfront. All our journey instruments will be discovered on our BOOK web page.
Winter months will be chilly and moist, however in case you can ebook late and look forward to a window of excellent climate, then this might be a good time to do some climbing within the space in pretty winter mild.
WHERE TO STAY IN NORTHUMBERLAND
If you’re exploring the Northumberland with out a automotive, we advocate staying in Alnwick which has handy buses to the close by villages and which might cowl most of the points of interest listed on this information.
Learn our information to resorts in Northumberland with extra recommendations on the perfect places to base your self for the kind of expertise you might be searching for.
For luxurious lodges and cosy cabins with effervescent sizzling tubs in Northumberland, look no additional than Lodges With Scorching Tubs.
Good price range self-catering flats proper within the centre of Alnwick from the place buses go away to everywhere in the Northumberland Coast.
THE COOKIE JAR
A Grand previous resort with a fantastically designed inside that’s excessive on model and low on stuffiness. It’s a stone’s throw from Alnwick Citadel so that you’re properly situated to discover the realm.
Luxurious house within the centre of the stunning village of Alnmouth. Trendy and vibrant it’s well-appointed, has onsite parking and a beautiful backyard, making it an awesome self-catering possibility.
HOW TO GET AROUND NORTHUMBERLAND
The foremost points of interest in Northumberland are broadly unfold and plenty of are in distant areas or tiny villages, so the best approach to get round is in your personal automotive.
Automobile parks are unfold all through Northumberland in handy places for a lot of of those points of interest. Parking price can add up; nonetheless, most parking areas use Pay By Telephone so that you don’t have to have a load of cash with you.
If you’re seeking to rent a automotive in your Northumberland journey, we advocate rentalcars.com who evaluate costs from all the foremost automotive rental corporations.
Though getting round by automotive is simpler, public transport in Northumberland is fairly good and a quick practice service operates alongside the east coast, gathering many locations in Northumberland. The foremost practice stations are Newcastle & Berwick-upon-Tweed for the coast and Hexham & Haltwhistle for Hadrian’s Wall.
TRAIN STATIONS IN NORTHUMBERLAND
LONDON TO NEWCASTLE
2 hours, 45 minutes | 35 trains per day
LONDON TO BERWICK UPON TWEED
3 hours, 31 minutes | 15 trains per day
LONDON TO HEXHAM
3 hours, 36 minutes | 44 trains per day
LONDON TO HALTWHISTLE
3 hours, 52 minutes | 34 trains per day
There’s a very useful bus service that connects most of the coastal areas in Northumberland. The 418 runs each two hours (though not on Sunday) connecting Berwick on Tweed with Bamburgh, Seahouses, Beadnell, Excessive Newton, Embleton, Dunstan, Craster, Howick and Alnwick.
The X18 is hourly and connects Alnwick, Alnmouth and Warkworth with Newcastle within the south and Berwick-upon-Tweed within the north.
For Hadrian’s Wall, the AD122 bus runs hourly day by day from Easter to the top of October after which at weekends in November and December. Beginning at Hexham, it passes Chesters Fort, Housesteads Fort, As soon as Brewed (for Metal Rigg), Vindolanda, Milecastle Inn (for Cawfield Crags), Walltown and Greenhead earlier than ending at Haltwhistle Station.
MORE NORTHUMBERLAND READING
Northumberland is a scenic a part of Britain that’s preferrred for outside adventures, fortress looking and delightful under-visited seashores. Listed here are some extra guides that can assist you plan the proper Northumberland getaway.
Days walks on the Northumberland Coastal Path
Finest areas to remain in Northumberland
Most lovely Lake District views and images spots
Finest issues to do within the Lake District
See the highlights of Hadrian’s Wall
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