Welcome to the UK’s best-kept secret county! An open expanse of inspiring landscape, where big open skies and wide vistas have stirred the creativity of Turner and Sir Walter Scott. As a northern heartland, evidence still stands of Romans, border reivers, spiritual worshippers and defenders of frontiers.
From Alnwick, at the geographic heart of the county, you can day trip as far as Edinburgh and Durham, or dawdle with ease inland up the Coquet valley to Rothbury and Cragside House. Going north, visit Wooler, or Ford and Etal to see the steam railway and working water mill.
Another half an hour and you are easily striking the famous frontier of the Roman Wall and the Scottish borders. Other great places around Northumberland include Wallington Hall, the Cheviots and the Pennine Way. For more local recommendations and tips on how to spend your time in Alnwick, visit our blog.
Alnwick Castle is just a few metres walk from Baileygate House. It is the second largest inhabited castle in England and has been the home of the Percy’s, Earls and Duke’s of Northumberland since 1309. The Alnwick Gardens, created by the Duchess of Northumberland, is a multi award-winning visitor attraction.
Now a popular venue for a wide range of events from concerts to charity fund raisers to military displays, there’s a comprehensive programme of regular events in both Castle and Gardens to entertain all.
Harry Potter fans will be enchanted to visit the setting of some of the earlier films, and the Gardens have a good choice of shopping and refreshment options, not least the famous Tree House Restaurant reputed to be the largest treehouse in the world!
Stay in town and let Alnwick be your place, with visits to the medieval castle, the famous Gardens and giant tree house. Browse in Barter Books which is one of the UK’s largest secondhand bookshops housed in a fine old railway station. Visit the Market Square and various good food and coffee shops. The Bailiffgate Museum is worth a visit and is directly across from the house. Alternatively, take a trip to the Aln Valley Railway open from April on-wards.
Less than 18 miles from Alnwick, Bamburgh boasts another fine castle which overlooks this beautiful stretch of Northumberland coastline. Originally built 1,400 years ago, it has more recently been restored in the Victorian era to create one of the largest inhabited castles in England and well worth a visit. The pretty village of Bamburgh offers a good assortment of places to eat and the white sandy beach, stretching over 3 miles to Seahouses, gives way to grassy dunes and acres of space for walking. From here you can see the Farne Islands and Holy Island.
The vast acres of Northumberland’s renowned sandy coastline are all within easy reach. Alnmouth beach is 10 minutes’ drive away and, as with much of the Northumberland coastline, is within a Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Craster is a small fishing village within 8 miles of Alnwick and famous for its smokehouse kippers. For bird lovers, there is the Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve owned by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, and northwards from Craster, a walk along the headland takes you to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle
The Northumberland beaches are unsurpassed in their beauty. Quiet and unspoilt, many with miles of white sand and soft rolling dunes, our favourites are: Alnmouth, Bamburgh, Beadnell Bay, Cresswell Beach, Embleton Bay and Low Newton by the Sea.