No 2 Bamburgh castle

How to plan a weekend getaway in Northumberland

From the wild hills of the Cheviots and Simonside, along the sixty miles of Coastline, there is something for everyone here in Northumberland. Whether you are visiting for the first time, or you are a regular guest with us, we wanted to share with you how to plan a weekend getaway in Northumberland. Think of this as your “essential guide” before visiting. 

We have put together several helpful tips to help you plan a weekend getaway in Northumberland. There are various practical things you need to take into consideration before you make your journey to us, such as how you plan to get around the county and where to fill up with fuel.  

Northumberland is a historian’s dream; with over seventy castles to explore, the county is steeped in history as well as dramatic landscapes and night skies. Grey seals and porpoises patrol the coastline and if you are lucky enough you may catch sightings whilst exploring the beaches or enjoying your fish and chips sitting in Seahouses harbour. Families will enjoy exploring National Trust properties with play parks and Labyrinths, whilst couples can make the most of fine dining on locally sourced produce. 

We can tell you are itching to book. So, what is it you need to know to help you plan your weekend getaway in Northumberland? 

Here are five helpful pointers to get you started: 

Travelling to Northumberland. 

Despite being the most northern county in England, Northumberland is easily accessed. Rail, road or fly are all options for getting here. You WILL need a car however to explore as much as the county as possible during your stay. Car hire is available from the airport and central station in Newcastle.  

There are bus routes that run along the coast and into the valleys, usually on the hour and could be a great way to see quaint villages, Hadrian’s Wall and twisty narrow roads. However to give yourself a bit more freedom we recommend either hiring a car or bringing your own. 

Mainline trains stop at Newcastle, Cramlington, Morpeth, Alnmouth and Berwick-Upon-Tweed giving you plenty of options for arriving by train. 

Newcastle airport is located in Ponteland and from here you can hire a car and head north. In as little as fifteen minutes from the airport, you are already winding your way along the Northumberland roads with hills and rugged landscape approaching on both sides. 

A bit of forward planning can make travelling around Northumberland a breeze. There are plenty of garages around to refuel but try and stick to filling up in the towns such as Morpeth and Alnwick to keep costs down.  

Plan where to stay.

There are plenty of options here, with holiday cottages, hotels and inns dotted throughout the county. Perhaps you prefer a campsite or want a bit more comfort in a luxury holiday cottage. Whichever you opt for, make sure you are located as central as possible to explore as much as you can of the county. After all, Northumberland is a people pleaser and it would be a shame to not see as much of it as you can. 

Breamish Valley Cottages offer luxury self-catering accommodation with facilities such as a private, heated swimming pool, gym and games room. We are also perfectly located for exploring the rest of Northumberland with the Cheviots a short drive in one direction and the popular market towns of Alnwick and Wooler, in the other. You are also a stone’s throw from exploring Cragside National Trust and Rothbury. Or if shopping is more your thing, drive down to Morpeth to browse through Sanderson Arcade: a mix of independent businesses and popular high street names. 

Breamish Valley Cottages are half an hour away from the popular beaches of Alnmouth and Warkworth. From here you can also explore Amble if heading south, or Bamburgh and Lindisfarne in the north.  

Book your Northumberland getaway in the Breamish Valley. 

Explore the Northumberland Coast in a day.

If you are staying in Northumberland for the weekend, we recommend dedicating one full day to exploring the coast and the other for the country. 

There is a coastal bus route that runs all the way from Newcastle city centre up to Berwick, providing views of castle ruins and the Farne Islands. If you are staying in the Breamish Valley, head to Alnwick where you can park your car for free, and catch the coastal bus route from there. 

Make sure you leave time to visit Bamburgh and stop for fish and chips in Seahouses. Or take in the pretty village of Alnmouth and visit the independent shops and businesses located in the harbour village of Amble. 

Pack your walking boots.

We can almost guarantee that you will need your walking boots during your weekend getaway in Northumberland. Make sure they are packed, along with raincoats and layers to keep warm. The northerly wind can be chilling depending on which way it is blowing. 

But don’t let that put you off exploring the hills, valleys and forests that Northumberland boasts. If you head to Kielder Forest and Reservoir, you will be able to enjoy outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking and water sports. You may even be lucky enough to spot an Osprey catching its dinner off the lake. 

From the doorstep of Breamish Valley Cottages, you will also find a wealth of walking opportunities to breathe in the fresh air and stunning scenery. They have even designed a number of walks themselves for all abilities, take a look at them here.

Follow the unofficial Northumberland code of conduct. 

As with any destination you may be travelling to, it pays to learn a bit about the area you are visiting, ahead of your trip. For example, when planning your getaway to Northumberland, you need to be respectful of the locals. Wildlife and farming play an integral part of the Northumberian environment. For this reason, it is important to follow the countryside code and take your rubbish home, not light fires (disposable BBQs etc) in woodland or in the valleys. 

Find out which places are dog friendly for eating out and keep dogs on leads whenever advised. 

If you are planning a trip up to Holy Island, check the tide times before leaving so you are aware of the safe crossing times and stick to them. 

Some helpful sites:

Northumberland Coastal Car Parking

Tide times for Holy Island

Northumberland Tourism Board

Hopefully by now you have a pretty good idea of what your weekend getaway in Northumberland will look like. You now are fully prepared for your trip, so all that is left to do is to book your stay in the Breamish Valley and see what all the fuss is about. 

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