Ask a Local: Top Things To Do in Northumberland

All you need to know about what to do in Northumberland…

You’ll love waking up to the sound of the waves on the rocks, you’ll love the smell of the sea, in fact, the air just feels different on the Northumberland coast and then it gets under your skin!

High Tide House in the pretty fishing village of Craster is just one of the Sykes top-notch self-catering portfolio and gives you the chance to experience it all in bucket loads! We’ve always loved the Northumberland coast, but to stay there with a group of old friends in a fabulously equipped place just seals it at the top of our holiday destination list!

Whatever the season, the beaches in Northumberland cannot fail to wow! Even in summer, there are acres of space for active beach games, picnics or simply ambling along the white fine sands – they are never crowded!  Good old-fashioned bucket and spades are a must whatever your age! And it seems that around every beach corner is yet another beach just as inviting and usually some ancient castle to add to the majesty of it all.

Bamburgh Castle & Beach, Northumberland

Bamburgh is perhaps the best known of the villages dotted along this heritage coastline. Bamburgh Castle dominates both the village to one side and the far-stretching beach to the east and is well worth a visit – even the children will willingly forgive the history lesson in order to ‘sense the fear’ of the dungeons and hear tales of less gentle times gone by. Interesting shops, eateries and museum of local sea rescue heroine – Grace Darling- complete the picture here.

Just minutes south, Seahouses is the commercial hub of the area, centring around the harbour where you can watch the fishing boats come and go for hours – fabulous fresh fish and chips in hand of course. For those of a robust constitution, the boat trip to the Farne Islands wildlife reserve, famous for its Puffins, is an unmissable experience and there are numerous boats offering lucrative fishing trips around the islands so you can catch your supper, return to your cottage after a long day at sea and light the barbecue – beautifully equipped kitchens are, of course, standard in Coastal Retreats cottages should your preferred cooking method not involve the use of charcoal!

We make the most of the outdoors and light the coals – enjoying the waft of fresh fish cooking whilst the children happily run between the games room and garden swings. If you don’t fancy catching your own fish, the Swallow Fish shop in the Seahouses village’s ‘Old Quarter’.

Beadnell Bay beach, Beadnell, Alnwick, Northumberland
Beadnell Bay Beach

A couple of miles south of Seahouses lies the beautiful crescent-shaped Beadnell beach which provides the perfect location for the kitesurfing lessons by a local expert, or some easy sailing or windsurfing,  children can play happily in the safe and shallow waters in between sandcastle competitions.

Rainy days can be spent with a touch of history, the museums and amazing castles will delight or for a surge of physical activity or pampering, the exclusive Ocean Leisure Club in Seahouses won’t disappoint.

And despite the superbly equipped kitchens, if cooking a meal for your group just isn’t your thing one night, then Sykes Cottages has a little black book of numbers to save the day. A personal chef doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Wilkins Fine Dining is one, who can come and prepare a menu of your choice in the cottage (normally for parties of 6+), serve it all, take the dishes away and leave the kitchen as if the fairies have been in – all for about the price per head of a decent meal out!

Between clean white sandy beaches and its ancient castles, Northumberland’s coastline seems to put you back in touch with the good old things in life and has the remarkable ability to put a lot of modern-day life back into perspective.  If you’ve been to the Northumberland coast before, you’ll no doubt recognise exactly what I’m banging on about.  If you haven’t, and you’re tempted to give it a try, you’ve got a real treat in store….