This post is a combination of my own views and experiences combined with resources or articles I have pulled together from other sources. The guide is a work in progress and Content may be added or changed regularly. The Sources can be found at the bottom of the post.
1.1 – Introduction
1.2 – Northumberland in a Nutshell
1.3 – The Northumberland Coast
Northumberland is a beautiful county and although I was born and bred there, I can honestly say I am not being biased as I write this. I can appreciate beauty, nature and history when I see it and Northumberland has all of these in abundance.
I was born in Ashington and then I lived in Blyth, Northumberland for 30 years of my life. The Northumberland coastline is my home.
I’d often get asked on nights out or when bumping into old friends, “Where have you been on holiday, your pictures are amazing?”, “It looks beautiful, where is it?”, or “Please take me on adventures with you, where do you find these places?”. I would always reply, they are in Northumberland, maybe a one hour drive here or there down the road, right on your doorstep. You don’t realise how lucky we are.
There are so many hidden gems in Northumberland. After 30 years, I am still discovering new places.
1.2 Northumberland in a Nutshell
Travellers collect experiences. And a visit to Northumberland rewards with a diverse and intriguing selection, fit to fill many a treasure chest.
Whether you’ve got one day to spare – or a week or two’s worth, prepare to discover just how much Northumberland has to offer.
Stretching from the Scottish Borders to Hadrian’s Wall, with not just one, but two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a National Park, come to Northumberland and you could be walking along vast expanses of dune-fringed beaches, climbing our dramatic hills and taking in glorious sweeps of valleys or just revelling in our wide-open spaces.
You could be discovering the resilient and independent spirit of Northumberland, with its turbulent, historic past. Exploring our many dramatic castles; catapulted back 2,000 years along Hadrian’s Wall or marvelling at the birthplace of the 8th-Century Lindisfarne Gospels on Holy Island. You’ll meet our characters too, and experience Northumberland hospitality which is famous the world-over.
You could entertain the children with ghostly tales at our historic houses, follow in the foot steps of boy wizard Harry Potter with broom stick training or sword fights, set sail on an island adventure or board a steam train.
Or you could just take time to relax. Star gaze under the darkest skies in England, breathe in the fragrance of some of Britain’s greatest gardens or indulge in a spot of retail therapy at our traditional market towns and villages before lingering over memorable meals with a fusion of local fare.
Northumberland has so much to offer. We’re here to inspire you and to whet your appetite for Northumberland with a snapshot of amazing places to visit and discover.
1.3 The Northumberland Coast
Feel the sand beneath your feet and the refreshing sea breeze in your hair with a visit to Northumberland’s magnificent coastline.
With more than 30 miles of beaches the Northumberland Coast is simply spectacular. Promenade along piers, play at penny arcades and tuck into fish and chips whilst enjoying the sea view at retro-chic seaside towns such as Seahouses. Visit Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, a seaside village making artistic waves with The Couples, Britain’s first permanent coastal sculpture. Discover picturesque fishing communities, clustered around sandy coves, like Newton-by-the-Sea.
Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England. Many of these castles, including Warkworth, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Lindisfarne, stand guard along our dramatic coast.
Drive across the causeway to the unique Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the birthplace of the magnificent Lindisfarne Gospels. At the Lindisfane Centre you can turn virtual pages of a facsimile version of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Northumberland’s coast is a giant adventure park where you can enjoy adrenaline-pumping sports like coasteering, kite and wind surfing. Or just relax with a deckchair while the children build sandcastles and go rock pooling.
Channel your inner David Attenborough with a visit to one of Northumberland’s amazing coastal nature reserves like the Farne Islands, Coquet Island and Druridge Bay.
Inland, head to the medieval market town of Alnwick, with its castle, celebrated garden and vintage shops. A visit to Howick Hall and Garden, the home of Earl Grey tea, is highly recommended for garden and tea lovers alike.
Northumberland’s most northern area offers some thrilling history, with the Berwick Walls and ancient battlegrounds. Berwick-upon-Tweed has a rich culture, and inland you’ll find rolling hills and beautiful villages.
Tap into a rich seam of history and celebrate Northumberland’s mining heritage at the award-winning Woodhorn Museum.