EXPLORING

Our Local Area

Northumberland Coast is a recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is steeped in cultural heritage. Northumberland has some of the best coastlines in the UK with beautiful, unspoilt beaches and magnificent castles including Bamburgh and the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh.  The magical serenity of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a 15-minute drive and accessible only by low tide, Causeway crossings timetable here Whether on a walking or cycling holiday, outdoor activity holiday or for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, there is something for everyone in our beautiful county.  The Cheviots, Northumberland National Park and Scottish Borders are within a hours’ drive. The Northumberland Coast and surrounding countryside is a photographers’, birdwatchers’ and walkers’ and cyclist heaven!

Houses, Castles and Gardens:  Howick Hall Arboretum; Paxton House; Dunstanburgh Castle; Warkworth Castle; Preston Tower; Norham Castle.  The National Open Gardens Scheme host a number of private gardens to visit in Northumberland and the Borders, throughout the summer months.

Farne Island Boat Trips: There are several boat trips to choose from and durations including puffin and sunset cruises. The Golden Gate (George Shiel) is the only licenced boat to land on Longstone Island. Trips can be booked online via their website. Longstone Lighthouse is the former home of the famous Victorian heroine, Grace Darling and is open to visitors. The RNLI Grace Darling Museum is located in Bamburgh and entry is free of charge.

Towns: Visit the lovely town of Alnwick; explore Alnwick Castle, Alnwick Gardens and the amazing Barter Books set in Alnwick’s former railway Victorian railway station. This wonderful second-hand bookshop is one of the largest in the UK and is home to the original Keep Calm and Carry On poster. On the subject of railways and trains, why not take a ride on a real steam train at Aln Valley Railway located just outside Alnwick.

Further north is England’s most northerly town, Berwick-upon-Tweed with its’ stunning river aspect and three bridges spanning across the River Tweed. Take a stroll around the historical Elizabethan Walls, Military Barracks, Art Galleries and a range of independent shops and cafes.  Berwick-upon-Tweed was a favourite place of the famous 20th Century painter, Lawrence Stephen Lowry, where he gained inspiration for his paintings.

Outdoor Activities: For those who love golf;  Goswick Golf Club is ranked in the top 50 courses in the UK and set in a beautiful coastal location. Horse Riding and Trekking (Swinhoe Riding School); Canoeing and Kayaking (Active4Seasons); Windsurfing and Sailing (Coquet Shorebase Trust); Surfing (N E Surf

For the more daring, see Northumberland from a different perspective – from the air! Eshott Airfield, based north of Morpeth offer a range of different flights including Coast and Castles, 30 min and 60 min flights available.

There is comprehensive and useful information on the area, places to visit and the coast, at Northumberland Coast AONB website 

  Photo © Copyright B.Stubbs 2021

Seals at Lindisfarne

  Photo © Copyright D. Dyer 2021

Plate of Food at a Local Restaurant

NORTHERN ENGLISH SLANG

‘Scran’

`Scran’ is Northern English slang for food. The expression has been widely used for centuries by the fishing/seafaring fraternity, as well as the Merchant and Royal Navy. We have an excellent, diverse range of local ‘scran’ establishments to appeal to all tastes, from the humble fish supper to fine dining. You will find delicious, locally-caught fish and seafood served in many of our pubs and restaurants.

We advise reserving tables for evening meals, especially in high season.  Opening times can vary at different establishments so please contact them directly, by telephone or some have their own on-line table reservation system.  If you wish to leave the car behind, Croft Taxis in Belford offers a prompt, reasonable and reliable service. Gordon can be contacted on 07803 496278. Taxi services are limited in our rural area and can be difficult to hail on the night, so we advise advance booking.

OUR SELECTION OF

Local Eateries

Belford

  • Sunnyhills of Belford (evening meals, Fri/Sat only)

  • Blue Bell Hotel (evening meals served each day, Sunday Lunches until 5 pm)

  • Black Swan Inn (evening meals Sat/Sun only)

Country Inns / Gastro Pubs

  • Apple Inn, Lucker

  • Black Bull, Etal

  • Black Bull, Lowick

  • Joiners Arms, Low Newton-by-the Sea

  • The Jolly Fisherman, Craster

  • Pack Horse, Ellingham

  • Percy Arms, Chatton

  • Ship Inn, Low-Newton-by-the-Sea

  • Ship Inn, Holy Island

  • White Swan, Warenford

Bistros & Restaurants

  • Audela Restaurant, Berwick-upon-Tweed

  • Barn at Beal (evening meals Fri/Sat)

  • Foxtons Wine Bar & Restaurant, Berwick-upon-Tweed

  • Insieme, Seahouses: (Italian)

  • The Lord Crewe, Bamburgh

  • Milan, Wooler: (Italian)

  • Potted Lobster, Bamburgh

  • St Aidan Bistro, Seahouses (Thurs, Fri and Sat evenings only)

  • Salt Water Cafe & Restaurant, Beadnell

  • The Cookie Jar, Alnwick

Fish and Chip Restaurants / Takeaways

  • The John Dory Fish and Chip Shop, Belford

  • Well House Coffee Shop, Belford (sandwiches, soup, cakes to take-away)

  • Sunnyhills of Belford

  • Creel & Reel Seafood Trailer, Links Car Park, Bamburgh; Open 12 pm to 4 pm every day except Tuesday

  • The Hut at Bamburgh

  • Lewis’s, Seahouses

  • Hook, Seahouses

  • Bait at Beadnell, Beach Car Park, Beadnell (Thurs to Sun)

CASTLES, HOUSES AND

Gardens

Alnwick Castle: The second largest inhabited castle in England and has been home of the Percy Family for 700 years. A must-see, along with the beautiful Alnwick Gardens, with it’s magnificent water cascade; the construction of which was personally overseen by the Duchess of Northumberland.

Bamburgh Castle: This beautiful, majestic castle has the real `wow’ factor travelling in from the west and dropping down into the village of Bamburgh. One of the largest inhabited castles in the country and was owned by the first Lord Armstrong, the famous Victorian engineer.

Cragside, Rothbury: Another icon of Northumberland is the stunning country residence of Victorian pioneer, Lord Armstrong. Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. Lord Armstrong designed and built all the hydro-electric power at Cragside and the house was totally `self-sufficient’ for electric.

Dunstanburgh: Erected in 1313 by Earl Thomas of Lancaster, the haunting, dramatic ruins are one of North Northumberland’s most iconic landmarks. The mile long walk from the delightful fishing village of Craster, famous for its’ kippers, is one of the most beautiful along this coastline.

Howick Hall Gardens: Home of the Grey Family, famous for Earl Grey Tea where it was founded. These beautiful gardens and arboretum are open mostly all year round – visit the Snowdrop display in February.

Lindisfarne and Holy Island: Holy Island is steeped in history and famous for its Christianity and medieval heritage. Lindisfarne Castle, is majestically perched on top of an outcrop and the interior was remodelled by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll in the early 20th Century. Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle are only accessible by the road causeway at LOW TIDE (See times here)

Warkworth Castle and The Hermitage: Another Percy family seat and its great Tower or cross-shaped keep was built over 600 years ago by the first Earl of Northumberland.  Experience first hand the Percy’s lavish lifestyle by visiting the Duke’s Rooms in the Keep which is almost complete. It is one of Northumberland’s most popular attractions along with the Hermitage and Warkworth village is well worth a visit.  Here you will find unique independent shops, tea rooms and pubs.

Alnwick Castle
Bamburgh Castle
Howick Hall and Gardens