52 Weekends Away
Northeast’s No1 region!
Northumberland is quiet and unspoilt, with so much to do.
NORTHUMBERLAND HAS it all… except the crowds. Step onto one of the area’s many vast sandy beaches and you’re unlikely to see more than one or two dog walkers. Facing the North Sea can be a bit ermm… bracing, but we’ll be positive and call it invigorating.
We love Alnmouth Beach best, it’s one of our favourites in Britain. Pop the kids in wetsuits and let them enjoy the surf, while you gather dry wood for a beach campfire. You may want to take a flask and picnic, too, as you’ll have to walk into the village to find a café. When the sea’s rough, head to the sheltered estuary beach, where the River Aln meets the sea.
Just inland from Alnmouth is Alnwick, home of the incredible castle featured in Harry Potter. It has amazing gardens, too, with a stunning cascade waterfall and a vast treehouse.
Head north from here, and pick up some world-famous kippers from Craster, before exploring the quaint seaside village of Seahouses. A little further on is picturesque Bamburgh Castle, then the iconic Holy Island, Lindisfarne. This dramatic location is accessed via a tidal causeway, so plan your trip using tidetimes.co.uk
If the sea’s stormy or there’s a misty fret, head inland to the Northumberland National Park, which includes the photogenic Cheviot Hills and Kielder Water with its Forest Park. Walking, cycling, birdwatching and photography are all well-suited to this area, or stay ‘til dark and enjoy the park’s Dark Skies status. A telescope helps, but is unnecessary, simply look up on a clear night, let your eyes adjust and take in the infinite wonder of our universe. Goose pimples guaranteed!
Why not check out some of our suggested English road trips on our Historic England page.
Make your stay better
Kielder Observatory Events
Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland NE48 1ER
T: 01912 655510
Price: Adult £15, Children/Conc £8 Tickets must be booked online in advance. Check out its calendar online.
Kielder’s observatory offers a wide range of astronomically brilliant events throughout the year. It has evenings for kids, families and adults, and special daytime events including the cool-sounding Space Kids workshops.
Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland NE48 1BT
T: 01434 251000
Price: £35 (for 1 hour, 12+)
Zoom around the grand reservoir at 12mph aboard a selfbalancing Segway. Lots of fun and pleasingly challenging! Segways are pretty quiet, so won’t spoil the peaceful atmosphere of the area.
L. Robson & Sons, Haven Hill, Craster NE66 3TR
T: 01665 576223
Price: £10.50 for a pair of oak-smoked kippers
The Robson family has spent almost 100 years smoking kippers, so expect a taste like you’ve never experienced before. Take them back to the ’van for breakfast, but consider grilling them outside on the barbecue! We love them on a bed of spinach with a poached egg on top.
Places of Interest
Housesteads Roman Fort
Haydon Bridge, B6318, Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 6NN
T 03703 331181
Price Price Adult £8.10, Child £5.40 (5-17)
Alnwick NE66 1NQ
T 01665 511100
Price Castle Adult £15.05, Child £7.95; Castle & Garden Adult £25.89, Child £11.23 (in advance)
Take the A1068 east off the A1, then the B1338 into Alnmouth