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Barmoor Castle Country Park

Top 10 unmissable things to do in Northumberland in Summer

As the summer holidays approach, it’s the perfect time to plan quality moments with family and friends, exploring the Northumberland countryside and charming coastal towns. From attending vibrant summer events to uncovering the historic Northumbrian castles, this region offers a wealth of experiences. Read on to discover the top 10 things to do in Northumberland this summer, and make the most of your visit to one of England’s most captivating regions.

1.   Castle Exploring in Northumberland

Discover the stunning historic architecture of Northumberland’s castles, where history comes alive against the backdrop of picturesque landscapes. With over 70 castle sites to explore, Northumberland boasts more castles than any other county in England, offering a unique journey through time. Wander through the majestic Bamburgh Castle, perched high on the coast, marvel at the grandeur of Alnwick Castle, the largest castle in Northumberland and uncover the mysteries of the 14th-century ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, to name a few. These historic sites are perfect for a summer day’s exploration.

2. Walks and Hiking

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the North East by setting out on leisurely walks or energising hikes through the Northumberland National Park, coastal trails and more. There are few views as stunning as those found while exploring the Cheviots, a landscape rich in ancient history and straddling the Anglo-Scottish border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. This area attracts keen hikers with its opportunity to ascend to the highest point in all of Northumberland, providing rewarding, panoramic views that are unforgettable. For the history buffs in your group, a day spent exploring Hadrian’s Wall Path is a must. This trail takes you to historic sites like Housesteads Roman Fort offering breathtaking views of the ancient Roman frontier.

 

3. Northumberlandia, ‘The Lady of the North’

Summer is the perfect time to visit one of the world’s largest land sculptures, Northumberlandia, also known as The Lady of the North. Free to the public and open from dawn to dusk each day, this awe-inspiring landscape welcomes all visitors. Standing 100 feet tall and spanning a quarter of a mile, Northumberlandia features four miles of footpaths to explore, providing plenty of viewpoints to marvel at the grandeur of this unique landmark.

4. Explore Alnwick Gardens

Neighbouring the Alnwick Castle, The Alnwick Gardens is an inspiring complex that blends contemporary design within a historic setting. The gardens boast an array of unique spaces, each with its own theme and charm. From the serene Cherry Orchard to the Grand Cascade and the allure of the Poison Garden, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Magical Lilidorei – Fun for the Kids

For younger visitors, The Magical Lilidorei is an enchanting play area that sparks imagination and adventure. With whimsical structures and interactive elements, it’s a perfect place for kids to explore and enjoy.

Summer Music Nights at Alnwick Gardens

Throughout July and August, Alnwick Gardens hosts 3 Summer Music Nights events, where visitors can bring their own picnic blanket and enjoy live performances in a stunning outdoor setting. Enjoy music ranging from harpists to saxophonists and even a quartet.

5. Stargazing at Kielder Forest

For astronomy enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, head out to Kielder Forest and join guided stargazing sessions led by knowledgeable astronomers, where you can observe constellations, planets, and even distant galaxies through professional telescopes at Kielder Observatory. Kielder Observatory hosts multiple events from early evening to dusk and late evenings throughout the year. Their summer events include aurora nights, family events designed just for kids and evenings that guide you through the origins of the universe.

6. Golfing in Northumberland

For golf enthusiasts, Northumberland offers a selection of impressive golf courses set against the stunning backdrop of historic castles and picturesque coastlines. One of our favourites, Goswick Golf Course is only ten minutes away from Barmoor Castle country park and is ranked in the top 50 in England. It’s easy to see why with its amazing views of the North Sea, Holy Island, Bamburgh and Castle Views.

7. Fishing

Summer in Northumberland is a prime time for fishing fanatics, with opportunities abound in the region’s rivers and lakes.  The River Till, renowned for its sea-trout runs and occasional salmon catches, offers serene night fishing experiences amidst its scenic surroundings. For those seeking trout fishing, Chatton Trout Fishery provides three expansive lakes stocked with a variety of trout species, complemented by a comfortable fishing lodge and essential amenities.  Whether casting a line or simply enjoying a tranquil day at the river, Northumberland promises rewarding fishing adventures throughout the summer months.

8. Beaches of Bamburgh

Nestled along Northumberland’s scenic coast, Bamburgh Beach offers a picturesque escape with its pristine sands and rolling dunes, all framed by the backdrop of Bamburgh Castle. Ideal for leisurely walks or simp Ready to make Northumberland your summer retreat? Explore our beautiful holiday homes for sale and find your perfect home away from home.

9. Discover Wildlife & History on Farne Island

Off the coast of Northumberland lie the Farne Islands, a sanctuary for wildlife enthusiasts. These islands host a rich diversity of seabirds including puffins, terns, and guillemots, alongside colonies of Atlantic grey seals. Visitors can experience the islands’ natural beauty by taking a boat tour from Seahouses, offering glimpses of seals basking on the rocks and seabirds soaring above. Explore St Cuthbert’s Chapel, steeped in history and surrounded by serene landscapes. The islands also boast Longstone Lighthouse, linked to the renowned local heroine Grace Darling, and a shop in Seahouses where visitors can find a range of island-themed souvenirs and gifts.

 

Big flock of Atlantic puffins are standing on a cliff under sunlight. One puffin is trying to take off. Farne Islands, Northumberland England, North Sea. UK

10. Arts, Culture & Music

There are some fantastic events happening this summer, where you can explore Northumberland’s vibrant arts and culture scene, from traditional music festivals to contemporary art exhibitions. 

The Rothbury Traditional Music Festival, running from 12th – 14th July, 2024 in the Coquet Valley, is a longstanding community event celebrating Northumbrian traditions with musicians, dancers, and singers nationwide. 

Also, this summer visit “Lowry & the Sea,” at Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Granary Gallery, showcasing over 20 works by L.S. Lowry. Discover traditional pottery making at Errington Reay Pottery’s Tour in Bardon Mill, where Karl offers tours on the 2nd and last Friday of each month, including the firing of the Beehive kiln and demonstrations by skilled potters.

 

You’ll find no shortage of unforgettable experiences this summer in Northumberland. With its rich tapestry of history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cultural events. Whether exploring ancient castles, unwinding on picturesque beaches, or discovering the wildlife haven of the Farne Islands, Northumberland promises something special for every visitor. Ready to make Northumberland your summer retreat? Explore our beautiful holiday homes for sale and find your perfect home away from home.

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