10 reasons to visit Northumberland

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10 reasons to visit Northumberland

More people than ever are discovering Northumberland, and for those of you who haven’t been yet, we’re giving you our top ten reasons to visit the glorious county with so much to see. 

1.Wide open spaces

Northumberland is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the country which makes it the perfect place to relax and unwind. Whether you visit the huge expanse of sandy beaches, forest floors of flora and fauna or moorland and hillsides. You really can explore and discover Northumberland and its wide-open spaces. 

2. Clean beaches 

There is nothing better than seeing a beautifully clean beach. Thankfully Northumberland has lots of those! So, pack your picnic and watch the wildlife, you won’t be short of clean spaces to sit, just remember to take your rubbish home with you! 

3. Dog Friendly 

We know your dog is part of the family and you can’t get a more dog friendly place than Northumberland. The majority of beaches are dog friendly all year round with only a couple of exceptions in the summer due to ground nesting birds. Make sure you take your furry friend with you. Seahouses even offers a well-equipped pet shop and Farne Gifts offer an abundance of dog friendly beach toys so they can really enjoy their holiday. 

4. Great Golf Options

Northumberland offers a wealth of golf opportunities and if links golf courses are your thing, you’re in luck! A great way to combine your Northumberland holiday with your golf playing. 

Alnmouth offers a beach side golf course whilst Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club offers magnificent views of Dunstanbugh Castle and follows the dunes of Embleton beach. For a more local option, try Seahouses Golf course.  

5. Castles 

Magnificent castles, with more castles than any other county in England, you won’t be far away from absorbing some English history and what a history Northumberland has to offer! From its turbulent border reivers, the raiders that operated along the Anglo – Scottish border between the 13th – 17th century to the ruined castles of Dunstanburgh and Warkworth. Or lose yourself at a castle that is fully operational, inside and out in all its glory, such as Bamburgh or Alnwick where you can visit state rooms and look in awe at the inspiring restored decor.  

6. Great walking 

If you enjoy walking, you can’t fail to enjoy the Northumberland coastal path offering some of the finest coastal walking in the UK and Europe.  Whether you plan to embark on the entire 62-mile coastal path challenge or just take in short walks along the coastal route during your holiday. There is an area of the coast for everyone. Stop and enjoy the wildlife en-route or a beer at one of the many pubs. 

Alternatively, head inland and challenge yourself by conquering Cheviot and the surrounding hills. At 815 meters, it’s the highest point in the Northumberland National Park.

For more information on the 62 mile coastal challenge visit www.northumberlandcoastpath.org it can take anywhere from 3 to 7 days and the website offers great information on stopping points and accommodation. 

For more information on climbing Cheviot and the surrounding hills visit https://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/places-to-visit/the-cheviots/the-cheviot/

7. Seals and Puffins 

Northumberland has one of the strongest seal colonies in the country and often one of the best ways to see them is with a boat trip to the Farne Islands where you’ll  see them lolling on the rocks relaxing. Boat trips can be taken from Seahouses with Billy Shiel or Serenity boat trips, ordinarily you can combine this with a landing on one of the Farne Islands to see the puffins. (However, this year’s Corona Virus means visitor landings on the island have been restricted). 

Each year between April and July the puffins return to the Farne Islands for their breeding season. It’s said they often take up residence in the same burrow year after year. 

Puffins then reside out on the water over winter. 

8. An ideal base for outdoor activities

We’ve mentioned a few of the ways to enjoy the outdoors in Northumberland already in this article but, trust us, there is more. 

Northumberland really is a paradise for all things outdoors. How about learning to surf, paddle boarding, horse riding or diving around the Farne Islands, with some of the clearest water in the country you might even meet some inquisitive grey seals along the way. 

9. A bird enthusiasts paradise

You might be mistaken to think that we have already mentioned Northumberland bird life, but puffins aren’t the only feathered friends in Northumberland.
From the Northumberland Coast to the Northumberland National Park, with moorland, woodland, cliffs and wild expanses of beach, the wealth of bird life in Northumberland is huge.

10. Glorious Gardens 

Whether you’re looking for formal or informal gardens Northumberland has a variety of options. Let the family run free at Howick Hall Gardens and Arboretum offering long woodland walks, with times to view snow drops, daffodils, rhododendrons and their arboretum. Alternatively for a more formal garden try Alnwick Garden, the brainchild of the Duchess of Northumberland, with water features, rose gardens and a spectacular walled garden. Why not try one of the smaller gardens at Kirkhale or Belsay Gardens.