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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Northumberland

Northumberland is an enchanting county situated in northern England, the ancient region is where most of the country’s historical sites can be found. In addition, it has more castles than anywhere else in the UK, making it an excellent place for those seeking some history when visiting here. 

Rolling natural landscapes, surrounding greenery, never-ending hillsides, dense forests and incredible coastlines make Northumberland a stunning place to go. These varying terrains create many things to see and do for a range of holiday itineraries. 

The county of Northumberland is a great place to stay if you want to relax and unwind, as it is one of the least populated places in the UK. Its wide, open spaces also allow you to enjoy tranquillity here without the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds that you’ll find elsewhere in the north of Britain. 

If you are planning a trip to Northumberland, you are probably wondering where the best places to stay are. Below are the top destinations in the area to help make your decision-making process a little easier. 

Alnwick

Location

Alnwick is a small, bustling market town approximately 7 miles northwest of the village of Amble. It is an excellent place for those who seek a coastal destination encompassed by countryside, as there is plenty of Northumberland’s greenery surrounding the area.

Best For 

Known for being a great little market town, Alnwick is best for its weekly markets that are in the village square on Thursdays and Saturdays. You will find multiple stalls offering fresh produce, arts, crafts and household items here. 

Alnwick Castle, one of England’s best castles, is also situated here. The castle has been home to the Dukes of Northumberland since the 13th century and is still the second-largest inhabited court in the UK. The extensive grounds make it a great place to explore with the kids, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the whole area. 

Things to Do

There is much to see and do in Alnwick, with a visit to the castle being top of the list for most visitors. You can wander through the large structure and browse the family’s collections which consist of pieces of art and many other historical possessions. 

When visiting the castle, it is worth checking out the gardens here. The castle’s garden has over 42 acres to explore and consists of cherry orchards, a bamboo labyrinth and a serpent garden. There are also plenty of other exciting areas around the castle’s grounds, including the largest treehouse in the world. 

Another option is to stroll through Alnwick town; you can browse the many shops or perhaps grab a bite to eat in one of the cosy pubs or cafes. 

Amble 

Location

Amble is one of the best places to visit in Northumberland due to the River Coquet surrounding the town. The town also sits on the southern gateway to the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it a great place to visit for travellers who seek stunning natural surroundings.  

Best For

The small port town of Amble is renowned for being an excellent place for those who want to stay on Northumberland’s coast. The pretty harbour and colourful beach huts make it a lovely place to visit. 

Along Amble Harbour Village, you will find the unique wooden retail pods that sell everything from local produce to arts and crafts and fish and chips – it wouldn’t be a seaside town without them! 

If you are planning to stay in Amble with kids, a great attraction is the Puffin Festival which takes place in the town every June. You will find guided nature walks, a craft fair, bird watching, watersports and live music here across the month.

Things to Do

There are many things to do around Amble that will keep you busy during your stay. A top attraction for many visitors is the watersports at Coquet Shorebase Trust, they offer everything from sailing to kayaking, power boating and raft building. 

Amble is also a great place to stay if you want to catch sight of puffins, which can usually be spotted around the coastline of the town. Alternatively, you could hop on the Puffin Cruise from Amble harbour, which will take you to see the 36,000 bird colonies nesting on Coquet Island. 

Alnmouth 

Location

Alnmouth is a small village on the northeast coast, approximately 4 miles from Alnwick. Surrounding the town are beautiful sandy beaches, plenty of wildlife and stunning scenery, sitting within one of Northumberland’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Best For 

The colourful houses around Alnmouth make it a favoured destination for many, as these buildings have become iconic landmarks. Alnmouth looks as though it is straight from a postcard, as the picturesque area and bright colours provide a beautiful backdrop. 

Things to Do

The lovely nearby coastline means that Alnmouth has become a popular place for those who want to walk, cycle or horse ride by the sea, which are all great ways to take in the stunning coastal views. 

Another excellent thing to do whilst in Alnmouth is the walk to St Cuthbert’s Cross. The location is said to be where St Cuthbert agreed to become Bishop of Lindisfarne when petitioned by the king. It is a lovely trek to the monument with stunning views over the town and out to sea. 

If you fancy playing a round of golf whilst visiting Alnmouth, then you’re in luck as Alnmouth Golf Club offers an excellent course on beautiful grounds. It sits on the stunning Foxton Bay, with eighteen holes, a snooker room, bar and pro shop. As you play your round, you are in a perfect position to take in the impressive views of Coquet Island alongside much of Northumberland’s coastline.  

Bamburgh

Location

One of the best places to holiday in Northumberland is Bamburgh, primarily since its position right on the coast provides visitors with breathtaking seaside views. The town sits in the north of Northumberland and is renowned for being the heart of the county. 

Best For 

Stunning coastal views, an incredible beach with rolling dunes and the infamous Bamburgh Castle that sits in the backdrop are just a few reasons why this town is so popular. 

The castle sits atop a small grassy knoll that overlooks the sizable sandy stretch. On a warm sunny day, this is a great place to wander through the castle’s grounds and head to the beach to relax with a picnic afterwards.

Things to Do

A visit to Bamburgh Castle is a must when deciding to stay in this part of Northumberland. The castle has stood in place for over 1,400 years and is one of the largest inhabited courts in the country. Visitors can uncover the history within the 14 staterooms, many of which are full of art and ceramics from around the globe.  

The RNLI Grace Darling Museum is also located in Bamburgh and is worth visiting for those who want to explore the town’s shipwreck history. Grace Horsely Darling is known for risking her own life by assisting the rescue of nine men from the tragic wreckage in 1838, and is now known as ‘Victorian Britain’s greatest heroine’. 

Beadnell 

Location

When seeking the best coastal places to stay in Northumberland, Beadnell is undoubtedly worth a mention. The small village sits at the end of a stretch of beach known as Beadnell Bay. The bay is in a lovely horseshoe shape and is approximately 4 miles from Bamburgh. 

Best For

Beadnell is renowned for its watersport offering and is one of the best places in the country for surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving; great activities if you want to keep kids of all ages entertained! 

The beautiful stretch of sand on Beadnell Bay is a great place to relax on the shore or enjoy beach games such as cricket or boules. Castles stand guard in the backdrop along the coastline, which provides stunning surroundings across the bay.  

Things to Do

A must when visiting Beadnell is partaking in the many watersport activities available on the beach. This is a great place to go with the whole family if you want to get outdoors and be active, as there are so many to choose from, so you can try something new each day.  

If you prefer to relax and unwind in Beadnell, a stroll along the harbour is the perfect place to do this. Sit and watch as the fishing boats come in and out, or perhaps grab some fish and chips and enjoy your dinner here. 

Berwick-upon-Tweed 

Location

Berwick-upon-Tweed or Berwick is the northernmost town in England, situated on the Scottish and English border. The town is 8 miles from Eyemouth and around 57 miles from Newcastle. 

Best For

Berwick is well-known for its historical offering due to its Elizabethan town walls and numerous castle remains around the town. Its cobbled streets and beautiful beaches make it an excellent spot for those seeking an old English-style place to stay. 

Many conflicts in history occurred in Berwick between England and Scotland. It’s also been a place that survived Roman invasions and Viking attacks, the marks of which can still be seen in places. 

Things to Do

When planning a trip to Berwick, a trip to Berwick Pier and Lighthouse is a lovely way to spend the day. The 19th-century lighthouse sits at the end of the stone pier at the mouth of the River Tweed. You can grab a coffee, stroll along the dock or sit on one of the benches whilst taking in the view across the water.   

Berwickshire Coastal Path is another excellent thing to do when staying in Berwick. With 28 miles of stunning countryside to explore, plus coastal scenery along the route, the walk from the town into Scotland is a must when staying here.  

Craster 

Location

Craster is a small fishing village 6 miles from Alnwick and a neighbouring village of Embleton. It is popular among hikers as splendid coastal paths provide stunning views over the Northumberland coastline.   

Best For

Craster has a peaceful cove to explore and a small harbour in front of a row of quaint cottages. You will also find the remains of an old fortress that stood in place to protect the village. 

There isn’t as much going on in Craster compared to other popular towns in Northumberland, but it is a great place to stay if you are looking for some seclusion and tranquillity. 

Things to Do

A visit to Dunstanburgh Castle, just 1.3 miles from Craster, is a great way to explore the area when staying here. The 14th-century fortress is on the coast between Craster and Embleton, built between 1313 and 1322. Sat on a remote headland, the castle displays dramatic views of the rugged coastline and ancient ruins. 

Seahouses

Location

Seahouses is a large village in the northern part of Northumberland, around 12 miles from the town of Alnwick. It is known as the ‘Gateway to the Farne Islands’ due to its proximity to the small outcrops. 

Best For 

If you are interested in bird watching, Seahouses is a great place to stay as there are many migratory birds around the area. There is also a colourful harbour, multiple beaches and plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants, making it an excellent place for those who seek a natural, pretty seaside town in Northumberland. 

Things to Do

There are plenty of things to do around Seahouses, including the 3.4 mile walk from the village to Bamburgh Castle. The path along the coast provides breathtaking views out to sea, and as you get closer, you can see the enormous castle approaching in the distance. 

Seahouses is also the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the Farne Islands, which are 2-3 miles off the coast between the village and Bamburgh. When visiting the islands, you will find bird sanctuaries and rugged coastlines. 

Summary 

After reading through our top places to stay in Northumberland, it is clear that there are plenty of places to choose from. Each town and village offers unique attractions, which are great for those seeking a relaxing break by the sea or inland where ancient ruins remain. The close proximity of some of the towns also makes this a great county to visit if you want an ideal location for exploring numerous areas in one go. 

If you are planning a trip to Northumberland and are looking for somewhere to stay, Independent Cottages offer a range of stunning rental properties in many of the towns above. Browse our collection here, or get in touch with the team for more information.

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