If you’re a lover of wildlife and nature, Northumberland is somewhere that you should put on top of your travel list. You’ll always receive a warm welcome from the locals and there are tons of great places to eat and drink while you’re there. Northumberland sits on the border between England and Scotland so it’s well known for its long standing history in forging the UK as it is today.
The area is full of adventure and there are lots of things to see and do. Take a look at this comprehensive list of must do activities while you’re visiting Northumberland.
Visit Farne Islands
If you like seeing animals in the wild, Farne Islands is a must see. One of the most famous inhabitants of the Islands is the puffin bird. However, it is home to over 290 species and up to 100,000 pairs of breeding birds.
The inhabitants of the Islands are very tolerant of visitors so you don’t have to worry about scaring away wildlife while you’re there. The best way to visit is on a boat and you’ll find several trips take place from different points but we recommend Billy Shiel’s Boat Trips. Because of the amount of wildlife present on Farne Islands, it’s considered one of the best wildlife experiences in the UK.
Both the castle and the view surrounding it are stunning. Dunstanburgh Castle is steeped in long history as the castle acted as a buffer on the border of England and Scotland. Many people visit the castle just to view its magnificence on the outside and appreciate the views from its standing point.
However, you can also visit inside the castle. The castle has opening hours that can differ throughout the year but it usually opens from 10am to 5pm and costs £6.50. You can pre book your entrance online.
The name of the wall is famous and there aren’t many people who haven’t heard of it. But, that doesn’t always mean they know the true story. Visiting Hadrian’s Wall will give you a fuller picture of the history behind it.
Nearing two thousand years old, the wall is 73 miles long and would take on average five days to walk the length of it. Along the wall there are 17 forts that were used to house the Roman legionaries. The history is fascinating to learn about and Northumberland is home to the most scenic part of the wall.
Coastal Path Walk
If you enjoy being outdoors, taking a coastal path walk in Northumberland should be a top priority. Along the path you’ll get to experience exquisite sights, wildlife, and plenty of fresh air. You’ll see a few of the beaches belonging to Northumberland that boast clear sands and plenty of water sports.
If you like to take your dog with you as you explore the UK, Northumberland is a great place for your furry friend. These coastal walks were made for man and his best friend.
This is a great opportunity to visit one of the many stately homes in Northumberland. Belsay Hall boasts a castle and gardens in picturesque condition. As you walk into the grand hall, you’ll notice the Greek inspired pillars standing tall.
The architecture present on this land is a beautiful blend of medieval and Greek. There are many interesting things to see while you’re there and it can feel like walking through a fairytale.
This is a great one for any Harry Potter fans. The castle reached fame in 2001 when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. The movie was filmed in the courtyards, archways, and bailey of the castle. As you walk through the castle grounds, you’ll be able to imagine Harry going to school and Hagrid walking back to his hut.
In addition to the stunning castle are the 12-acre gardens that have been landscaped to perfection. The tiered water feature called The Grand Cascade is something you shouldn’t miss. They’ve even taken advantage of the Harry Potter theme in the gardens. Visiting times vary but you can check booking information online.
If you’re looking for somewhere exceptional to stop and eat, the Fish Shack is an excellent choice. Being so close to the coast, Northumberland is full of great places serving delicious, fresh fish but the Fish Shack is top level. The restaurant is only 10 metres away from the boats that bring the fish in so when they say fresh, they really mean it.
You’ll have a selection of fish to choose from, including sea bream, cod, and mussels. There’s no funny business- all the fish is cooked simply but the result is mouth watering.
When To Visit Northumberland
The best time to visit Northumberland is in the summer months, between May and September. This is the best way to make the most of the coastal paths and beaches without bad weather getting in the way. However, Northumberland is enjoyable at any time of year.
You can still get out and do most activities even when it’s raining. However, it’s best to avoid really cold weather, ice, and snow. This can make some of the paths dangerous and they should be avoided when potentially slippery.
There are many options for staying in Northumberland, including hotels, B&Bs, and AirBnB accommodation. However, staying in smaller B&Bs can have its charm. Not only are you giving money back to locally owned small businesses but it’s also a great way to find out local information you may not read in a guide.
Ask the locals for their recommendations on where to visit and where to eat. You may be lucky enough to find some hidden gems along your travels.
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