Northumberland has numerous attractions to explore, in fact there's far too many to mention here! Some of our favourites include: The Alnwick Garden, Whitehouse Farm Centre, Farne Island Boat Trips, Newcastle City Centre and the Quayside, The Metro Centre (the UK's largest shopping centre) including the north of England's only IMAX cinema, Kielder Water and Forest Park and Heighley Gate Garden Centre. More information about these places can be found on our Attractions page.
Beaches and the Coast
Northumberland has some of the most spectacular unspoiled coastline in the UK. It is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and for good reason! The Northumberland Coastal Route provides access to the many towns and villages along this magnificent stretch of coastline. Much of the area is unpopulated with mile after mile of clean and safe award-winning golden sandy beaches, quiet country lanes and an unequalled sense of freedom. For the lovers of wildlife there is the majestic Holy Island (pictured above), the Farne Islands and Coquet Island. The 64 mile (103km) long Northumberland Coastal Path forms part of the International North Sea Trail and can be walked in 6 manageable stages.
You will find beautiful beaches just about anywhere in the county, but a good place to start is a short drive north-east to Alnmouth. It's a picture postcard view over the estuary with miles of golden sandy beaches that will never get crowded. Situated on the mouth of the river Aln, the village was a significant trading port in Northumberland's past and was founded approximately 1,000 years ago by William de Vesci, Lord of Alnwick. It is a picturesque coastal village that offers a wide range of restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, gift shops and a golf club.
Seahouses is the closest thing you will get to a traditional 'seaside resort' in Northumberland and is gateway to the beautiful Farne Islands, home of the Puffin. There are amusements, gift shops, restaurants and pubs and unbeatable fish and chips.
Boat trips to the Farne Islands leave from the harbour. Whilst the Islands are now famous as a wildlife haven, they are also known for their association with the Northumbrian Saints, most notably Saint Cuthbert. During his lifetime Cuthbert was never far away from his beloved Farne Islands. Even after his death on the Inner Farne in 687AD, his spirit lives on today through a tremendous world-wide following.
Other personal coastal favourites include: Bamburgh Beach, Beadnell Bay, Embleton Bay, Warkworth Beach, Low Newton, Amble and Druridge Bay. There's definitely no shortage of stunning coastline to explore and all of these places are within easy reaching distance of the Cottage.
There are beautiful riverside walks right on your doorstep when you stay at Riverside Cottage. But for those who take walking a little more seriously, Northumberland has a huge amount to offer. The Northumberland Coastal Path (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) offers some of the finest coastal walking in Europe. It stretches for 64 miles (103km) from Cresswell in the south to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north. The walk is split into 6 manageable stages. It's not only the stunning coast Northumberland has to offer but also hillwalking in the National Park (the Cheviot hills).
It's a delight to get on the saddle in Northumberland with a number of dedicated cycleways to enjoy the stunning scenery. There are plenty of gentle routes for the whole family, but there are also more challenging routes including the northern stretch of the Pennine Cycleway and the Coast and Castles cycle route.
With its central location the Cottage is also an ideal base for a day trip a little further afield. Edinburgh is just over an hour away on the train from Alnmouth or Morpeth and a is a beautiful City to explore at any time of year. Driving up to the Scottish border via Otterburn and to Jedburgh and Kelso offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK. This route also lets you take in Carter Bar, the border point between Scotland and England. The views on offer here have to be seen to be believed. Newcastle City Centre and the Metro Centre are also less than 30 minutes drive away and well worth a visit for the museums, culture, dining and shopping.
With the River Coquet right on your doorstep the Cottage is ideally placed for the fishing enthusiast. The River Coquet is famous for its autumn run of salmon and sea trout, every year huge sea trout of up to 20lbs are caught. It is also famous year round for its Brown Trout. The upper reaches of the river offer classic fly-fishing within the splendour of the Cheviot hills. Just a mile from the Cottage is the Felton Fence Fishery that has four well stocked lakes. Another place of interest is the House of Hardy Fishing Tackle Museum located in Alnwick. The season for salmon runs from 1st February to 31st October and daily and weekly fishing licenses are available.
The county has a huge number of attractive golf courses. The nearest being Burgham Park Golf and Leisure Centre, a championship designed 18-hole golf course with excellent practise facilities set in 230 acres of attractive countryside. Others nearby include: Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat in Swarland, Linden Hall Golf Course, Alnwick Golf Club, Alnmouth Golf Club, Morpeth Golf Club, Rothbury Golf Club, Warkworth Golf Club, Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course, Seahouses Golf Club, Slaley Hall, Bamburgh Castle Golf Club, Wooler Golf Club and Newbiggin by the Sea Golf Course. More than enough choice to please even the most ardent golfers.
Northumberland offers excellent water sports year round. It is great canoeing and kayaking territory and its long stretches of sandy beaches make it a popular destination for kitesurfing and adventure sports enthusiasts. You can head out to the Farne Islands and dive in the company of grey seals or go inland to Kielder Water and Forest Park, which is Europe's largest man made lake.