If you haven’t yet tried the delights of Northumberland, you have missed out on a fantastic UK holiday, and need to rectify it immediately! There really is something for everyone, and with plenty of castles, beaches and activities, it is a favourite for children. Read on to discover where we stayed, and for our essential family days to include in your holiday itinerary.
Our accommodation in Northumberland
We are lucky enough to have family who own a holiday let in this beautiful county, and who kindly gifted us a stay at Keith’s Kabin.
Summary: A lodge with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, based in a holiday park in Swarland.
Location: Five minutes off the A1, Keith’s Kabin is ideally located to explore the whole of Northumberland. (Alnwick 12 mins, Cragside 18 mins, Amble 18 mins, Bamburgh 30 mins).
The Lodge: The three bedrooms include a double, a twin and a single, making it a good choice for a family with up to three children. One bathroom includes a bath, and the second is a shower room with Juliet doors to the master bedroom and to the hallway.
The main room is an open plan kitchen, living room and diner, with double doors leading to the outdoor balcony at the front of the lodge. On arrival you’re greeted with a welcome pack with some real treats! The kitchen includes a fridge and separate freezer, gas oven, microwave and dishwasher.
The lodge is based in Percy Wood Golf & Country Park. Staying at the lodge gives you free access to use the golf course. There is a great playarea (although it unfortunately wasn’t open yet) and on a Saturday there is usually a visiting bar and food vans that come to the site. There are also plans to open a onsite restaurant and bar 🙌🙌. The duck pond is just over the road from the lodge, so it’s a great place for duck lovers!!
Some good to knows for parents;
✔ The lodge has plastic plates, cups and tumblers to use (as well as Tupperware for packing picnics).
✔ We comfortably fitted our travel cot in the single bedroom.
✔ The master bedroom wouldn’t probably have room for a travel cot, but should fit a moses basket in.
✔ No high chair at the lodge.
✔ The onsite playarea has toddler equipment.
✔ Tarmaced roads around the site, so great for little bikes and scooters.
If you like the sound of the lodge, you can check prices and availability here.
A week’s itinerary for families visiting Northumberland
1. A Day at the National Trust’s incredible Cragside
This is by a considerable margin my favourite National Trust property, and it earned that accolade before I even stepped foot into the house. You can easily spend a day at Cragside, with lovely walks, a great play area, lots to learn and the barefoot trail is so fun! Read about the reasons that I love Cragside here.
2. The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick town and Barter Books
Morning: Spend the morning exploring the beautiful Alnwick Garden, which has lots for children to see, especially the water fountains! Pack a picnic and enjoy an ice cream whilst you’re there! Read more about visiting Alnwick Garden here.
Afternoon: From the Alnwick Garden, take a leisurely stroll through the Medieval town’s cobbled streets and shops and head to Barter Books, an absolutely amazing second hand bookshop. It’s HUGE and you can get lost in there for hours. Saturdays are a market day- so if you like the hustle and bustle, this might be for you.
3. Holy Island/ Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island near Berwick-upon-Tweed, so the fun starts on your drive here! You must check the tide tables before you visit to make sure you know when to avoid.
There is lots to squeeze into a day’s visit here, but my favourite place has got to be the Priory ruins, particularly the ‘Rainbow Arch’, which is managed by the English Heritage. If history is your thing you might also want to visit the Castle (a National Trust property).
Spend time visiting the picturesque harbour, and enjoy mooching about the shops and cafes on the Island.
4. Amble Market and Druridge Bay
Morning: If you’re in Northumberland on a Sunday, make sure to visit Amble’s bustling market. On our post-covid visit the market stalls weren’t yet there, but the pods were all open to have a look around. We like the short walk to Amble through Coquet Yacht Club and past the Marina, just park in one of the lay-bys on the road between Warkworth and Amble and follow the path across the field.
Afternoon: Just down the coast from Amble is Druridge Bay Country Park. There’s another beautiful beach here (seriously, how amazing is Northumberland), and a lovely walk around the Lake. The visitor centre has a cafe, toilets and a play area.
5. A Boat tour to the Farne Isles and Bamburgh beach
Morning: This is still one for our bucket list, but you can take a seal spotting Boat trip to the Farne Isles how great does that sound? Here’s a post from one of my favourite North East bloggers, North East Family Fun, on her trip out. Be warned- you need to wrap up warm!
Afternoon: Ooooh you cant go wrong with the impressive backdrop of Bamburgh Castle! There’s a sandy beach at Bamburgh as well as rocks for rockpooling, so you can have lots of fun whatever the weather! If it’s really miserable you could escape and visit Bamburgh Castle itself.
6. A walk to Dunstanburgh Castle and beach time at Low Newton
Morning: From the beautiful village of Craster, walk along to coastline to the impressive Dunstanburgh Castle (free entry for both National Trust and English Heritage members). Finish with a well earned lunch at the Jolly Fisherman. Read about this walk here.
Afternoon: Head just up the coast to Low Newton (you will have seen it from Dunstanburgh Castle) and enjoy some time playing on the sandy beaches there!
7. So much many more options for your final day!
Honestly the possibilities in Northumberland are endless!! Here’s some more of my favourites.
- Whitehouse Farm and Northumberland Zoo are both great options for animal lovers, and good for rainy day options
- Enjoy an afternoon tea at The Running Fox (booking essential) or pop in for a takeaway cake, the perfect addition to a picnic.
- Warkworth Castle is a favourite of mine; head there in Spring to see their spectacular Daffodil Display!
- The lovely coastal village of Alnmouth is picture-perfect with YET ANOTHER awesome beach.
- Why not take the train to Scotland? From Alnmouth you could do a day trip to Edinburgh.
- Walk the castle walls at Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
If you’re staying around Morpeth, make sure you read this post for more ideas!