Discover Northumberland

The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate A on 25th May 2023

Discover Northumberland

In this instalment of our Great British Outdoors series, we’re exploring the beautiful county of Northumberland. A place for those with a sense of adventure, Northumberland is home to a breathtaking national park covering more than 400 square miles, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the form of its coastline, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe. Sprinkled throughout this incredible landscape is a mosaic of hidden valleys, tumbling waterfalls, vast sandy beaches, spectacular castles, enchanting gardens, and wildlife-rich islands.

From the magnificent Cheviot Hills in the west to the atmospheric Holy Island in the east, there is an abundance of beauty spots where you can settle for a relaxing picnic or enjoy some exhilarating outdoor activities. Whether you want to get close to nature, discover fascinating historic sites, take the dog on a pet-friendly holiday, plan a big holiday escape or getaway a romantic two-person break, there are plenty of opportunities to make special memories with a stay in one of our holiday cottages in Northumberland.

All Northumberland cottages

Discover Northumberland

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Activities in Northumberland

Let the adventures begin

With its varied landscape of open moorlands, heather-clad hills, ancient woodland and sweeping coast, there are so many exciting outdoor activities and things to do in Northumberland to try. Don your walking boots and set out through the towering valleys of the Northumberland National Park to discover hill ranges like the Cheviots, Simonside Hills and the Otterburn Ranges, lose yourself on the national park's best walks, enter magical Kielder Forest, or hop on your bike and make the most of the long-distance cycling routes on offer including the Hadrian’s and the Pennine Cycleways.

If you love being on the water then northern Europe’s largest manmade lake, Kielder Water, offers a host of thrilling water sports, from canoeing to water skiing. Or you could head to the coast where more than 30 miles of unspoilt beaches, including scenic dog-friendly beaches too, offer fun-filled days by the seaside and miles of coastal path to explore. Whilst you’re there, take a boat trip to one of Northumberland’s glorious islands including the Farne Islands, Holy Island and Coquet Island where there’s a chance of observing puffins, dolphins and seals.

Renowned as being home to the largest expanse of dark skies in England, Northumberland is a haven for stargazing. If you look to the skies in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park on a crisp, clear night, there’s a chance of spotting the Milky Way and even the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye! If you visit Kielder Observatory you can take part in special astronomy events and see if you can spot a shooting star through one of their powerful telescopes.

Once part of the historic kingdom of Northumbria, no holiday in Northumberland is complete without visiting the iconic remnants of Hadrian’s Wall or one of its 70 mighty fortresses; Dunstanburgh Castle, Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle are just a few of the extraordinary ruins peppered throughout the land where you can step back in time and discover the county’s fascinating history.

Top attractions in Northumberland

Activities in Northumberland

Food and drink in Northumberland

Bamburgh bangers, Craster kippers, and Doddington Dairy

After working up an appetite climbing about castles, hiking through the hills and swimming in the sea, you’ll find a multitude of places to eat in Northumberland. Tuck into homemade classics in country pubs with roaring open fires, sample freshly caught seafood in one of Northumberland’s restaurants or, for a real treat, visit the Earl Grey Tea House at Howick Hall for one of its famous afternoon teas.

Holidays in Northumberland are perfect for trying some of the county’s renowned delicacies. Head to Craster or Seahouses for smoked kippers served with hunks of buttered brown bread, or shell out on Lindisfarne oysters with a dash of lemon juice. For something a little heartier, you can’t beat some tasty Bamburgh bangers.

Then there are singin’ hinnies (a type of scone cooked on a hot griddle pan), ham and pease pudding stotties (round flatbreads filled with a smooth, spreadable paste made from split peas boiled with a joint of ham), and pan haggerty (a spin on the French classic dauphinoise potatoes). Wash it all down with some Alnwick Gin or Lindisfarne Mead, dubbed ‘the nectar of the gods’, and a good helping of Doddington Dairy ice cream.

Best places to dine

Food and drink in Northumberland

Where to stay in Northumberland

Beach retreats and country cottages

For a staycation filled with adventure, beautiful sights, and great food and drink, enjoy a well-deserved break in one of our holiday cottages in Northumberland. Including chic retreats along the Northumberland Coast and cosy hideaways in the Northumberland National Park, our self-catering accommodation is waiting in a range of charming towns and villages for you to call home for a while.

Do you dream of a romantic getaway just for two? Or perhaps you’d like to gather all your friends and family in one of our larger houses, bursting with added extras like games rooms, swimming pools, and bubbling hot tubs. We’ve also got a great selection of dog-friendly cottages in Northumberland, many with scenic walking trails leading straight from the front door.

Whether you choose one of our rural retreats alongside Hadrian’s Wall or a waterside pad in one of the popular seaside resorts such as Seahouses, Alnmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Bamburgh or Craster, you’re sure to find the perfect escape to enjoy with your loved ones in our collection of Northumberland cottages.

All Northumberland cottages

Holiday cottages in Northumberland

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.