Northumberland, the Best Place for your Holiday
Do you wish to spend your holidays in a beautiful place? Want to avoid the England crowds? Right! Northumberland is where to run to. Northumberland was awarded the Best UK Holiday Spot by the British Travel Awards. There’s absolutely a reason why Northumberland is the UK’s most amazing, stunning, striking and hence best county. So, the aim of this article is to highlight why you should spend your holiday in Northumberland.
Northumberland is England’s northernmost region which surrounds Newcastle, Tyne and Wear and Cumbria with Scotland to the north, and the Scandinavian countries. Despite a population of 320,000 with no large towns, Northumberland is England’s least heavily inhabited region. Generally, Northumberland is acknowledged as one of the great counties of England. The picturesque scenery, ancient castles, breathtaking coastlines, battlefields and all, come together to make the county one of the best in the country. There are more castles in Northumberland than any other county. While some castles are in ruins, others, including Alnwick and Bamburgh Castles, remain inhabited to this day. Alnwick Castle featured in two of the Harry Potter movies. There are many great places to explore in Northumberland; the rocky coasts and stunning moorlands, parks, beaches and charming market towns. Though Northumberland is famous for its great landscapes and architecture, it is also the birthplace of many notable British history figures like Charles Second Earl Grey, the British Prime Minister.
Cultural heritage of Northumberland
Northumberland is proud of its history and cultural heritage. This is because it is steeped in many traditions. The traditions range from the tartan to special drums, from the shield to sword and clog dance to the well-known accent and dialect. Their yellow and red flag goes back to the 7th century. The background and shape are believed to reflect the interlocking stones of Hadrian’s Wall. has been verified and its shape. The flag is permitted to fly within Northumberland County.
What are the top thrilling things to do in Northumberland?
There are so many historically interesting sites you can visit, if you are visiting Northumberland with friends and family, or just staying to explore further.
Explore Northumberland’s Captivating Castles and Gardens
Northumberland is scattered with the most stunning array of castles, ruins, historic houses and gardens.
Alnwick Castle and Garden
Alnwick Castle is located in Alnwick town, Northumberland. It is the second largest residential castle in the UK after Windsor. This Norman-style castle has been the home of the Percy family since 1309. The castle is operated by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, whose families have resided there since 1309. The earliest structures of the castle were as ancient as the 11th century. Within the castle you will see family photos and memorabilia in between the antique furniture and paintings. Several times, the castle has been remodelled to fit the modern time but it still has the medieval outlook. This castle has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, such as Robin Hood, Harry Potter, and Downton Abbey. If you’re a history enthusiast or a movie addict, you will like to behold this elegance of medieval times.
One thrilling contemporary garden built over the last century is Alnwick Garden. The Alnwick garden was born out of the dream of the Duchess of Northumberland, to create a magnificent lovely area for all. In the garden, there is a spectacular grand waterfall in the middle, landscaped hedges, a lovely rose garden with flower beds and a fenced off area packed that has toxic plants.
Howick hall garden
Howick hall garden has been rated by BBC Gardeners' World Magazine, as one of the top five coastal gardens in the United Kingdom. This garden was specifically targeted at garden lovers. The garden is renowned for the Earl Grey Tea Room, a 65-acre arboretum with some 11,000 shrubs and tree varieties planted in six geographical categories.
Bamburgh castle is located in the Bamburgh town. Bamburgh has dominated its volcanic outcrop and surrounding countryside for centuries, having its origins in the Anglo-Saxon period. This influential icon stands on a volcanic plateau and was the seat of the Norse kings in Northumbria, possessing feudal Norman architecture, though with a tale starting as far back as the 400's. Bamburgh attracts holidaymakers to its wonderful castle. The very magnificent Norman castle of the 11th century was built on a basalt ridge that towers above the sand dunes and beach. The late Victorian Restoration by Lord Armstrong rescued it from destruction and even today the Armstrong family still live there.
Dunstanburgh Castle is a mysterious and dramatic ruin, proudly standing on a remote windswept headland, only a half-hour easy walk from Craster's tiny and beautiful fishing village. This huge abandoned castle dates back to 1313 and occupies this secluded stretch of coastline. When the 14th century started, the Dunstanburgh castle was established. The castle endured barricades and heavy battles at the time of the ‘War of the Roses’. It was conquered more than once, but eventually destroyed and is still one of Northumberland’s most popular sights to enjoy. The most spectacular element left is the twin-towered keep, with breathtaking views across the coast to Bamburgh castle. When you enter Dunstanburgh along the coastal footpath, the best views come from afar. Behind the castle, there are soaring cliffs and a colony of seabirds, a perfect place for a picnic and endless sea views.
Cragside House and Garden
Cragside house and garden is worth exploring during your stay. It was the innovative house of the Victorian architect and landscape master, Lord Armstrong. Cragside is a marvel of his era and filled with clever devices. It became the world's first electrically illuminated home. Cragside gardens are beautiful and provide shelter for the rare red squirrel.
Go for Pilgrimage in the holy island of Lindisfarne Lindisfarne Priory
Lindisfarne is filled with tradition. Lindisfarne priory is regarded as one of early Christian’s most significant centers. In 635 AD, Irish monks arrived at Lindisfarne. In the 670s they were joined by a monk named Cuthbert who became one of the most prominent Saints of the North, Saint Cuthbert. The sacred island of Lindisfarne is located just off the coast of Northumberland. This stunning, mystical and ancient island can be accessed on foot along an ancient path known as the Pilgrim's Path. While going, there is need to keep an eye on the tides before you head off. Lindisfarne has had attacks by Viking sailors, wars and turmoil in the years that followed. Visit the remains of the priory, like the rainbow arch that escaped the fall of the main tower, or find out about the island’s museum of the 1,400-year past.
Travel back to history by visiting these amazing historic sites Hadrian’s Wall
The Romans established themselves a vast empire throughout Europe a long time ago. Hadrian's Wall is a magnificent 80-mile-long defensive wall extending from one part of Britain to the other, defining the northern border of the Roman Empire in the UK. It was named after Hadrian, the Roman Emperor of the period, and it took less than six years to construct. This wall served for 300 years as an important shield, until the collapse of the Roman Empire. At that time, it was home to hundreds of thousands of men, liable for protecting the wall from threats, as well as all the people that draw such a number of citizens, from street merchants to soldiers, and more. It was also a genuinely multi-cultural place with soldiers and slaves from all over the country, even though it was not really common due to the environment. Most of the wall is gone today but there are pieces remaining. A famous walk traces the wall route from end to end, and there are various archeological sites along the way where you can see the remnants of Roman settlements.
The Farne Islands off the Northumberland Coast
The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland. It is the most visited from the town of Sea houses. While on a fishing ride, you can see up to 23 types of seabirds without settling on the islands - from razorbills to puffins and guillemots. The chain of islands is also home to Atlantic seals – hosting England's biggest breeding colony of about 1,000 pups raised here every fall. National Trust manages the islands, and there is a charge to land on them, but that is suspended for visits to Longstone Lighthouse.
Morpeth is a city not to be skipped during your visit to Northumberland. It is nestled on the banks of the Wansbeck river, you will admire the stunning parklands and the views around the city. Morpeth is a nice little place, it is large enough to hold you occupied for a few days but still tiny enough that you're not constantly overwhelmed by crowds, which makes it the ideal base for exploring Northumberland. A town cultivated in the southern part of the county, Morpeth has retained most of its historic buildings. Between them is the 1600s clock tower and Morpeth Chantry, a 13th based chapel housing the visitor information centre. There are already lots of bridges, so you should use the Steppe Stones to carry you over from one leg to the other. The William Turner Gardens and Millennium Gardens are also good locations to rest to admire the flowers and birds. A prominent citizen was suffragette Emily Davison, in St Mary’s church, you will find a monument to her and she is buried there. Another place to visit is the Chantry Bagpipe Museum. It offers a fascinating look into the bagpipes’ history. By October there is usually a food festival where you can experience a wide selection of local cuisine and entertainment.
Seahouses is an uncommonly pretty fishing village with a working port on the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Most of your tasks should center on the stunning harbour where you will travel offshore to the Farne Islands on board vessels for seal-spotting trips or adventures. After a day’s adventure and enjoying the fresh sea air, one of the inns in the village can be retired for a meal. There are sand dunes and wide sandy beaches all up and down the coast and if you have ever imagined sitting on horseback, you can mount up here by the river in the most romantic atmosphere you can picture.
Northumberland National Park
Northumberland national park, one of the most intact parts in Northumberland, has been an integral part of the North East scenery. The National Park has been a major draw, from discovering the past of the Roman Wall, to bringing in the hills and valleys. Northumberland National Park provides incredible stargazing opportunities. At night the skies are darker in the park than anywhere else in the country. It is a literally heavenly exciting place for stargazers and amateur astronomers. The park is still the biggest region of covered night sky in Britain, and is reportedly the finest spot to experience the skies in England.
Amble is a sweet old seaport where the Coquet will empty into the North Sea. Nature-lovers come to coquet island in summer for cruises, as 35,000 puffins jostle for space to create their nests. Warkworth's quaint waterside village has a boundless sandy shore, as well as a major landmark at Warkworth castle. It became a much-coveted fortress during the Anglo-Scottish Wars of the 14th century, and was twice under attack by the Scots. So, if you're able to travel the extra mile you might go on a journey to find Warkworth Hermitage, a Medieval chapel that can only be accessed by sailing, cut off from the cliffs on the Coquet.
Discover the Beaches and Fine art of Northumberland
Looking for a beach that is a little off the beaten road - the place to go is Northumberland. The county is popular for gorgeous beaches such as Bamburgh and Druridge, but some lesser known gems are also accessible. We also lined up some of the beaches you might want to go to.
Berwick upon tweed
England's northernmost city at the mouth of the Tweed is a few miles short of the Scottish border. This community has been wrested down the centuries from both English and Scottish grasp. After Richard I seized Berwick from the Scots in the 1300s, he designed the city walls, which were modified under the reign of Elizabeth I to withstand cannons in the 1500s. Some of such defenses are still here, which for English towns is quite unusual. There's a lot more to visit, from the three sandy beaches to the tweed estuary, reached by the majestic royal boundary railway bridge on Stevenson. The sandy beaches near the historic town of Berwick-upon-Tweed on the north Northumberland coast is where you can have fun with a bucket-and-spade, ice creams and photo opportunities.
Bamburgh has vast golden sands overlooking an iconic castle by the islands of Farne. It is a bit of an all-rounder because apart from the towering castle of the 18th century, its flat sands render it a perfect place to create sandcastles, play beach sports, dog walks and even horse riding. Its secret off-shore reefs and wind-battered beaches often make it a favorite of surfers, especially kite surfers, while Bamburgh lighthouse rocks provide rock-pooling opportunities.
The Alnmouth shore is cut in two by the River Aln. The sandy north bay is popular with children, and is a nice place for sandcastle building and beach sports, whilst the river's south bay is a little wild and perfect for wildlife. Alnmouth itself is a fairly small village worth a wander when you're still in the city.
Warkworth beach is convenient for tourists and golfers alike. It is a 15-minute stroll from Warkworth's ancient settlement on the shores of the River Coquet, to enter Warkworth beach's dune-backed beaches. There, the golf course provides stunning sea views. The beach is quiet and it is a great place to walk the dog and admire the views out to Coquet Island's nature reserve.
Lying south of Craster, this secluded beach's lovely name makes it interesting enough to learn about the white sand and the small rocky outcrops that offer this sandy cove an almost Mediterranean appearance. This gorgeous cove's secluded location was once a boon for whisky smugglers who, it has been said, used it as a drop-off point as they bootlegged their contraband up and down the coast.
Taste the famous Northumberland foods
8 Gorgeous food to enjoy in Northumberland
- Craster kippers
- Earl Grey tea
- Doddington Dairy ice cream
- Ham & Pease pudding stotties
- Scotts of Ponteland
- Lindisfarne mead
Comfy Places to stay in Northumberland
Northumberland provides an incredible variety of accommodation from luxury spa hotels and beautiful cottages to welcoming B&Bs, family owned restaurants, camp sites and bunkhouses. In Northumberland you will have a nice welcome, and a lovely atmosphere anywhere you want to visit. Either visiting the city for the first time or the hundredth, there are lodgings available to match your needs.
Extra Tips and things to know when visiting Northumberland
- Alnwick is pronounced “Ann-ick”
- Check out a UK travel guide that tells you what to bring for the season.
- Parking in summer can be incredibly difficult, particularly in common areas such as Bamburgh, so go early or expect to wait a while or walk a long way.
- When it is nesting season, be careful of the birds just not to get swooped or pooped on.
- Once you travel to Holy Island, check out the tides, move only when it is low.
Northumberland is a beautiful destination packed with historic castles, secret gardens, sandy beaches, gentle hills, rugged moorland, sweeping views, fun little market towns and a rich cultural heritage. The beauty of Northumberland is not just the profusion of historical places and attractions but also its magnificent coastline and farmland. The coast is declared a place of outstanding natural beauty with its combination of long sandy beaches, tiny coves and islands. It is a place worth visiting on your holiday.
The appropriate time to visit Northumberland, England is from June until September, when the temperature is soft or pleasant and the rainfall is limited. In Northumberland, the highest average temperature is 18°C in July, and the lowest is 5°C in January.