Cathy's Holiday Ideas

Self catering Northumberland

Self catering Northumberland

For a short break self catering Northumberland has a lot to offer. Mile upon mile of glorious sandy beaches, world famous heritage sites and stunning countryside, there's so much to see and do. So here's my guide to the Top Ten Things To Do in Northumberland.

1. Walk the Pilgrims' Path across the sands to Holy Island
Holy Island was one of the principal centres of Christianity during the Dark Ages and is now a top tourist attraction. Today most people drive over at low tide but you can walk across the sands following the posts waymarking the Pilgrims' Path, just as visitors would have done in times past.

2. Cycle around Kielder Water
Kielder Water is northern Europe's largest man-made lake and while the countryside is remote, it is all the more beautiful for that. The Lakeside Way is trail that follows the 27-mile Kielder Water shoreline. In addition there is an extensive network of off-road tracks through Kielder Forest to suit all abilities.

3. See the Chillingham herd up close
The Chillingham cattle are unique - a truly wild herd, the sole survivors of animals that once roamed the forests of Britain. Now there are less than 100 of them and they can only be viewed when accompanied by a warden who will ensure your safety. Small groups of people are taken as close as possible to the herd and the warden will talk with great passion about these remarkable beasts and their history.

4. Visit Harry Potter's Hogwarts
Alnwick Castle dominates the town. It is one of the most stunning fortified buildings in Europe and one of the largest inhabited castles in England. Not surprisingly it is known as The Windsor of the North. The castle has stood over the town since medieval times and is recognisable as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series of films. Beyond the castle is the fabulous Alnwick Garden which is a joy not just for keen gardeners but also families and warrants a full day's visit itself. Cleverly designed with lots of opportunities for the kids to get wet and play, the gardens are of great interest horticulturally. Children can collect water in the mini tractors, paddle in the rills, see the many ways water can move in the Serpent Garden and dodge the Grand Cascade's jets.

5. Take a boat out to the Farne Islands
The Farne Islands are an experience not to be missed. In summer they are home to over 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds, including puffins, terns, guillemots, eider ducks, fulmar, cormorant and kittiwake. When the birds leave in late summer the Farne Isles become the pupping grounds for the second largest colony of grey seals in England.

6. Star gaze in the Kielder Forest
The remoteness of the area, and more particularly the absence of light pollution, makes Kielder ideal for star gazing. At nearby Kielder Castle the night sky can be viewed with powerful telescopes under the guidance of expert astronomers from Sunderland Astronomy Club.

7. Taste some oak-smoked Craster kippers
The small fishing port of Craster is home to the Craster Kipper, a famous delicacy of herring smoked in the traditional way over fires of oak sawdust. A hundred years ago the North Sea was teeming with herring and the tiny harbour was busy with boats supplying the smokehouses. Today just the one smokehouse remains. Kippers can be purchased from the smokehouse shop or enjoyed in the seafood restaurant.

8. Walk in the footsteps of the Romans on Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall stretches for over 70 miles from coast to coast across the natural beauty and splendour of the northern Pennines. This World Heritage Site is at its most spectacular at the western edge of Northumberland. Some of its most famous sites, including Housesteads (the most complete Roman fort in Britain), Vindolanda and Steel Rigg are within walking distance of one another. A regular bus service between these sites provides the opportunity to take a linear walk between them.

9. Learn to surf and catch a wave
Northumberland is Britain's best-kept secret when it comes to surfing. Take a surfing lesson and learn how to catch a wave in some of the best locations along the coastline including Bamburgh, Beadnell and Seahouses.

10. Curl up next to an open fire and browse in the country's largest second-hand bookshop
Barter Books is housed in Alnwick's old railway station. It has the most extensive collection of books to suit all ages, enormous and yet cosy - with open fires - it provides a convivial atmosphere to browse in a leisurely manner. Some have called it The British Library of second-hand bookshops.

When it comes to self catering Northumberland has a good choice of holiday cottages across the county. So why not browse our selection, and see what catches your eye?

For enquiries, availability or to book over the phone please call: 0844 561 8329
Opening Hours: Mon, Tues 9am-7pm, Wed-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm

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  • Kirklands

    Kirklands

    Property Reference Number:
    E5059

    Kirklands, Scremerston.  View on map>

    In a nutshell: Pet friendly, short drive to beach, wi-fi, two sitting rooms. Our featured Northumberland cottages include this property just a few...
    Sleeps: 6
    Weekly price range: £407 - £794
    Add to shortlist > View more information on this property
  • Rowan Cottage

    Rowan Cottage

    Property Reference Number:
    E3450

    Reception Department, Derwent Manor.  View on map>

    In a nutshell: Access to on-site leisure club with pool and sauna, restaurant on-site. From these Northumberland cottages you can easily discover ...
    Sleeps: 6
    Weekly price range: £462 - £772
    Add to shortlist > View more information on this property

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