Rewilding in Northumberland

Wildlife Northumberland | Coastal Walks | Things to do Northumberland

Exploring Rewilding in Northumberland

You may have heard the phrase ‘Rewilding’. We’re hearing a lot in Northumberland at the moment. It’s the buzzword du jour as we all seek as much time in nature as possible like never before, to reap all the health benefits.

The term officially centres around conservation. Focusing on letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land, sea and repair damaged ecosystems – essentially letting wildlife’s natural rhythms create more biodiverse, wild habitats.

Post-pandemic however, it’s no surprise that ‘rewilding’, has been given a modern update with a wellness spin. We know that spending time outdoors is beneficial for our health, but during lockdown we were all given the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the great outdoors like never before; collectively realising just how beneficial it was to both our physical and mental wellbeing. 

So, What Exactly is Rewilding?

Life Coach, Tony Riddle explains to Country and Town House magazine, ‘Rewilding means looking to our natural world to reconnect to ways of living that are more in sync with our human biology. It’s looking at the conditions under which our ancestors lived and instead of viewing them as outdated, seeing them as the cornerstone of health and wellbeing, therefore looking for ways to integrate them into our modern lives.’

‘Natural surroundings rewire our brains by creating new neurological pathways,’ Riddle explains. ‘The further we go into nature and the wild, the deeper the effects on our emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing.’ He goes on to discuss the many proven and backed-by-science physical benefits associated with spending time in nature, include lower risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, premature death, stress and improved immune function. The mental benefits are plentiful too.

Rewilding In Real Life

So we know the benefits. But how can we truly ‘rewild’? Well, we’re talking about cold water swimming, foraging, barefoot woodland walks, forest bathing, earthing, meditation, watching the stars. All of which you can do here in glorious Northumberland.

Forest Bathing

This may sound very woo-woo but in simple terms, you don’t even need to be in a forest like Thrunton Wood (our favourite). It just means spending time fully surrounded by greenery, walking aimlessly without your mobile or any other electronic device and using your senses as you take your time to consciously connect to all your surroundings. The Japanese call it ‘shinrin-yoku’ and have made this scientifically-proven nature therapy part of their national health programme. You can truly hear the sounds of the birds, smell the crisp fresh air, see the stars at night and touch the trees.

Rewilding Northumberland Little Hideaways Self Catering Cottages

Wild Swimming

Many a beach goer has been swimming in the seas of Northumberland for centuries now as it’s known to help with depression, anxiety, mood, mental focus as well as pain management. As you may know, Northumberland is best known for its award-winning, incredible beaches {internal site link to beach blog}, and many of these make the perfect base for a spot of wild swimming. Riddle explains, ‘Cold water is like a micro-hit of adversity that helps us access a macro state of inner calm, build resilience and mental fortitude.’ It can also increase your metabolism, reduce stress, enhance mood and help better sleep quality. The following beaches, most of which right by our Little Hideaways properties, will welcome you into the water all year round:

  • Seahouses Beach
  • Bamburgh Beach 
  • Druridge Bay South
  • Beadnell Bay
  • Warkworth Beach
  • Alnmouth Beach

Just be sure to get your core temperature up as soon as you leave the sea. That’s really important. Lots of wild swimmers swear by DryRobe. It’s important you always notify someone if you’re swimming and better yet, go with someone too so they can keep an eye on you. Never swim for too long and if there are any official weather warnings for wind or rain – do not swim at all – and pay careful attention to any warnings from lifeguards, local councils, the RNLI and Coastguard.


Earthing means walking outdoors on grass or sand bare foot. Something we’ve all been doing for a long time I’m sure! It’s about connecting to the energy of the planet as it gives us unlimited access to an abundant supply of free electrons in the ground that can help neutralise free radicals. That’s right. Who knew?! Click on this link if you want to learn more. Earthing is free, easy and if it’s great for your health too. Why not give it a go and see how you feel next time you’re here!

Rewilding Northumberland Little Hideaways Self Catering Cottages


With its focus on wild food, foraging is very naturally part of rewilding. There are some very talented foragers in Northumberland. Including Northern Wilds, based in the heart of the Northumberland National Park. Their foraging courses begin in the springtime when the new growth of plants produces an abundance of choice. From the versatile wild garlic, to the unique flavour of hogweed, spring is a busy time of year. As the seasons progress they move through many different plants and mushrooms and intimately know their foraging sites so you’re in the right place at the right time to appreciate what nature can offer you on any of their courses throughout the year. We would only ever advise of course that you go foraging with experts that know the area very well. There can be poisonous berries and mushrooms that you should never go near!

Rewilding Northumberland Little Hideaways Self Catering Cottages

Your little ones can forage here too on the beach with Ranger Jane! Check her out here on our activities page.

Your Daily Routine

Rewilding isn’t of course just for when you’re up in Northumberland – although we think it helps! It can be very easily incorporated into your everyday. Riddle suggests beginning your day with a dose of nature to stimulate the release of serotonin: ‘open the curtains, doors, windows, step outside, go for a walk, look up at the sky, sit in the garden.’ Another great tip is bringing the outdoors in by filling our homes with houseplants, all of which help create a calm, productive atmosphere whilst purifying the air.

Even on the best days, stress can prevent us from being fully focused and too much of it can of course lead to all sorts of things none of us want, so it’s always worth remembering the ways in which we can disconnect from our 9-5, take a proper break, reconnect with nature and enjoy the multitude of health benefits that come with it. 

To discover and book your perfect Little Hideaway and have a go at Rewilding during your stay with us, click here.