What to do and see when staying holiday accommodation in Northumberland.

Alnwick Garden and Castle, Hadrian's Wall Country, Bamburgh Castle & Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Northumberland and Hadrian's Wall Country

View all self-catering holiday cottages in Northumberland

Northumberland is said to be England’s most serene county – its giant skies and alluring sweeps of horizon arch over some of the most unspoilt scenery in the UK. The long pale beaches, tranquil open countryside and serene valleys that stretch from Hadrian’s Wall to the border with Scotland make it a part of England not to be missed. Centuries of old border conflicts with Scotland have left their mark on this region making it fascinating to explore. Stay in one of the sympathetically restored holiday houses in Northumberland and travel by car, foot or bicycle to one of the many castles that guard the stunning coastline. Cross a tidal causeway, and see the enchanted island of Lindisfarne. Visit the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Gateshead or the historic city of Durham with its gothic cathedral, all within easy reach. The area is dotted with towns and villages such as Alnwick and Rothbury where cobbled streets and ancient marketplaces provide a warm welcome. You’ll want to linger in Northumberland and relax in one of the many atmospheric Northumberland holiday cottages that are available to let in this awe-inspiring corner of England.

Places to tour and explore while on holiday in Northumberland.

  • Northumberland National Park
  • Hadrian’s Wall
  • Alnwick Castle
  • Alnwick Gardens
  • Bamburgh Castle
  • The Farne Islands
  • Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Holiday activity equipment help list:

  • Hiking - walking boots
  • Tennis - rackets and balls
  • Dog - lead, dog bed, dog bowl, dog food
  • Cycling - road bike or mountain bike
  • Angling - fishing rod
  • Bird watching - binoculars
  • Cooking - food!
  • Reading - books
  • Beach - swimming costume, bucket and spade

Hadrian’s Wall

Walking path at Hadrians Wall

Hadrian’s Wall snakes 80 miles across the Tyne Irthing and Eden Valleys between the cities of Newcastle and Carlisle. Built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in around 122 AD, it took six years and an estimated million-plus cubic meters of stone to build. The area was a frequent battleground between the English and Scots - nearby Berwick-upon-Tweed was passed between the two countries 13 times until 1482. Hadrian's Wall stood between 8 to 10 feet wide and was 15 feet high. It was also flanked by a small ditch to the south, built to contain the rebellious Northern English tribes who might unite with the enemy. It is hard to believe such a tranquil spot was the site of so much blood spilling. Step out from your idyllic holiday cottage near Hadrian's Wall to walk the Housesteads to Great Chesters section for a gloriously rugged trip that will transport you back to past times and ancient dominions. The area is very popular with walkers and there are many cosy holiday cottages to rent which are perfect for a walking holiday, many with wood-burners which are very relaxing after a day's walk.

Plan your visit - Harian's Wall stretches through Northumberland, Cumbria and Tyne and Wear.

It is useful to hire a car to tour the area, many sites can only be accessed by foot. We advise sturdy footwear as much of where you visit will be in exposed areas and may be muddy and wet ! There are many picnic areas - ideal if you are staying in a self-catering holiday cottage as will have all the equipment to prepare the meals ahead.

In Northumberland it is hard to prioritise what to visit - our favourite places include:

  • Walltown Crags
  • Housesteads Roman Fort
  • Cawfields Roman Wall
  • Winshields Wall
  • Millennium Bridge
  • Sewingshields Wall
  • Temple of Mithras, Carrawburgh
  • Black Carts Turret
  • Brocolitia Fort
  • Chesters Bridge Abutment
  • Brunton Turret
  • Vindolanda
  • Planetrees Roman Wall
  • Heddon-on-the-Wall

Along the Roman trail, you will find Roman Forts, museums, temples, and of course many tea rooms!

Get prepared with knowledge before you arrive - here is a challenge quizz for you:

  • Where is Hadrian Wall?
  • Where is the best place to see Hadrians Wall?
  • How tall is Hadrian's Wall?
  • Where does Hadrian's Wall end?
  • Where does Hadrian's Wall begin?
  • How long is Hadrian Wall?

Now plan your day trips for your holiday!

Hand-picked quality self-catering cottages

Quality self-catering cottages - WhichCottage

Visiting Northumberland National Park

There are charming holiday cottages to rent in the beautiful wilderness of Northumberland National Park, an area of unsurpassed natural beauty. Cottages are available for all party sizes so whether you are a couple looking for a romantic retreat or a family or larger group looking for a spacious character self-catering base, you are well catered for in this World Heritage Site. For a days out, Kielder Water and Forest Park, said to be the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe. It has a serene beauty and offers many activities too. Take a boat cruise across the iridescent lake, enjoy spectacular fishing at Kielder River’s North Tyne. Or raise your pulse with kite surfing, wind-surfing or water-skiing at the Leaplish Waterside Park. Cycle paths of ever-increasing difficulty are mapped around the lake, with routes to test even the bravest off-roader! Tower Knowe Visitor Centre explains the area’s history and its many bloody battles with the Scots. Rare wildlife roams through the ancient forest that fringes the lake, including red squirrel and deer. If you’re staying one of the many well-equipped rental holiday cottages in Northumberland then you might choose to bring a picnic – there many areas to sit and enjoy a hamper. Otherwise, there are numerous eateries dotted around the park such as the Boat Inn at Leaplish, the Water’s Edge Restaurant at Tower Knowe or the Duke’s Pantry at Kielder Castle, an old shooting lodge of the Duke of Northumberland which has an vast forest drive and an adventure park for youngsters. For walks and cycle routes in the area check out Northumberland National Park.

Alnwick Garden and Castle

Alnwick Garden with its beautiful ornamental and contemporary horticulture, fascinating plants and tumbling water sculptures, is great day out, and there are many 5 star refurbished holiday cottages near Alnwick. If you are holidaying as a family, your children will love getting lost in the confusing bamboo Labyrinth, and will enjoy playing in the enormous tree house with springy walkways suspended in the sky. While the fascinating poison garden thankfully keeps its toxic flora under lock and key! There is a restaurant on site, or if you are staying in one of the well-equipped cottages in the vicinity, stock up on local organic ingredients in Alnwick’s mediaeval market to prepare a meal in the comfort of your vacation home. This stunning newly created garden at Alnwick Castle has become a very popular Northumberland tourist attraction and renting an Alnwick holiday cottage is a great way to explore it at leisure.