Recently voted top UK family holiday destination in a mumsnet poll, Northumberland has much to offer visitors. We went to have a look around and we were not disappointed. The friendly locals, beautiful landscape, pristine beaches and the variety of activities make this county a winner in our book too. There was so much to do that we're already planning our next trip!
Campers and tourers should take a look at Hadrian's Wall Camping and Caravan Site. It's a relatively small site, with great facilities and a warm welcome. The site is tiered over four levels giving great views of the area, including spectacular sunsets.
The site has a tranquil feel to it and can accommodate tents, motorhomes or caravans on either hard standings or grass pitches. There is even a dedicated area for back-packers, who are always welcome. It really is a perfect base for exploring the area, enjoying Hadrian's Wall, or as a stop off for those walking the 84-mile Hadrian's Wall Path.
Northumberland has much to offer all cyclists. Roadies will be delighted with the quiet country roads and testing gradients, whilst mountain bikers can lose themselves on the abundance of cross-country routes and excellent offering of trails at Kielder Forest and beyond. We are really looking forward to riding the new Sandstone Way, a 120-mile mountain bike trail connecting Hexham and Berwick. Epic!
The costal paths and unspoilt beaches go on for miles, offering great walks and excellent sandcastle building.
The North East coast owes much of its good looks to the powerful North Sea which generates some great surf spots along the coast from Tynemouth up to Berwick. Jump in and have a go with North Side Surf School in Amble.
After all that activity and sea air, you'll be ready for some of the finest local cuisine, fish and chips! There are numerous fine chippies in Northumberland and nothing beats eating your fish and chips in a seaside village! Seahouses is a combination of a colourful fishing village and popular seaside resort. There are many activities ranging from horse riding on the beach to taking a boat trip to the Farne Islands, and if you get a chance, pop in to the Friendly Inn for a pint of the local Farne Island Ale.
Northumberland International Dark Sky Park covers 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres). It is also Europe’s largest area of protected night sky and due to its clarity it was awarded gold tier designation by the International Dark Sky Association, making it officially the best place in England for people to enjoy the sky at night.
From jesters to a Downton Abbey exhibition, Alnwick Castle has plenty to keep the family entertained all day. Why not join the resident wizarding professors and take part in one of the Broomstick Training sessions, on the very spot where Harry had his first flying lesson in the film production of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone! If you'd like to dine in the famous Alnwick Gardens treehouse, booking is recommended.
For a comprehensive look at what to do and where to stay in Northumberland, take a look at the Visit Northumberland website.