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Northumberland has many attractions from the tidal Holy Island of Lindisfarne, to castles featured in movies, to beaches and nature. We were so lucky with the weather for our Northumberland trip last week. Apart from the first day when we arrived which was very cold and grey we had wall to wall sunshine.
Beaches and Nature
We love being by the beach so much and we made sure we were there every day. The dunes at Druridge Bay were just 5 minutes away in the car, well actually the beach we walked to from our base was the beginning of this bay, but I think it got better near the parking sign. It’s one of those beaches that seem to go on forever and even when busy seem to be completely deserted. I loved it. The kids spent ages running up and down the dunes, jumping off ledges, running down to the water, getting completely soaked and running back again. M is getting sucked into video games lately which I find hard so watching him come alive on a beach is great and something I am looking forward to witnessing more next year.
The beaches were a haven for wildlife and on our evening walks to the beaches we loved watching the sand martins and swallows swooping around for insects and the oystercatchers waddling along the shoreline. There were terns swooping in for fish as well which are fab to watch as they just dive so fast into the water. I think the only thing that was missing was rock pools. But you can’t have everything and I daresay if we looked hard enough we’d have found some somewhere.
If you’re interested in a Farne Island boat trip and a bit of seabird watching while you’re in the area check our our post about that.
Northumberland is also full of castles and famously has one of the castles used in some of the first Harry Potter films. We’re big HP fans here and I would have loved to go to Alnwick castle but this time the cost of the admission just meant we couldn’t go. It’s around £36 for our family and A & M can be a bit hit and miss about what they like lately (too many pre teen hormones I think!) I was worried we’d splash out and regret it. Maybe one day we’ll go, but for this budget trip we couldn’t.
Like I said though, there are lots of castles around Northumberland and so when I saw there was one not too many miles away we decided we’d go there and as we’re English Heritage members it was free and so I didn’t care if we were in 5 minutes and hated it! We visited Warkworth Castle and decided to get the audio tours to learn a bit about life in the castle. The tours are free and well worth it in my opinion, certainly for kids M & A’s ages. We do love history in our house which helps and A even thanked me profusely at the end for letting her get the tour!
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Other highly recommended historical places to visit in Northumberland would be the Holy Island of Lindisfarne which we visited on our last day. Again, being english heritage members meant we could visit the priory for free and they also had a really well done museum so we could get our heads around the history of the place. There is also the castle which is owned by National Trust, we enjoyed looking round (again, we’re members so it was free for us) but I’m not sure it would be worth the fee if we weren’t. Overall a gorgeous island to visit and James came home with dreams of moving there!
If you’re interested in the medieval abbeys of Scotland check out my post here about our trip to the Scottish Borders Abbeys.
Do check the Holy island tide times as it is a tidal island and reached by a causeway – you don’t want to get stuck there if your return journey coincides with high tide!
All in all, we had a fantastic time in Northumberland. There is loads for kids to do and enjoy, we only really scratched the surface, but plenty to keep us busy for a return journey which I hope we’ll do soon. I do love it there and being near the sea is one thing we all want… it brings out the craziness in us all…
Travel tips for a trip to the Northumberland coast:
Where is it?
Northumberland is a region in the North East of England on the border with Scotland.
How to get there?
The nearest airport is the city of Newcastle which is about 25 minutes away from Morpeth. To get around, renting a car is probably preferable, but the area is also linked by rail and bus quite well.
Where to Stay?
Locally owned guesthouses and bed & breakfasts are a great option and can be found through my recommended hotel booking site – booking.com
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