Northumberland: an alternative UK coastal break
If you’re after some sea and sun, you shouldn’t overlook Northumberland as an alternative UK coastal break. Often forgotten as a coastal destination, it has plenty of fine beaches, as well as everything else you could want in a staycation, from ancient ruins and trendy towns to a beautiful National Park. Here are some of our favourite coastal cottages from which to explore all that Northumberland has to offer.
With beautiful gardens, flowers round the door, peacocks roaming the grounds and pigs and donkeys in the fields, this is a picture perfect Northumberland coastal cottage. There’s lovely walking in the Cheviot Hills, on the farm’s own trail or along the coast, while a trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a scenic day out with the castle towering above and seals resting on the rocky shore.
Just along the coast to the south, a night trip to Bamburgh gives you the chance to see the dramatic lighting of the ruined castle reflected on sand and sea. Then it’s home to a roaring log fire and super cosy sheets on the heavenly beds!
Drive three miles from the main road and over cattle grids through spectacular scenery to arrive at (almost) the top of the world. This remote off-grid cottage is 1400 feet above sea level in Northumberland National Park, with the greenest of eco-credentials.
Find a welcome hamper from Tully’s of Rothbury and a bottle of champagne, an endless supply of logs for the wood-burner, books, DVDs and board games. In summer you can spill out into the enclosed garden and barbecue your supper as the sun sets. On clear nights you’ll marvel at the stars – this is a Dark Sky area.
Find a heap of good things when you arrive: a generous pack including homemade cake, flowers, fresh fruit, milk, wine, Pilgrim’s coffee from Holy Island, chocolate from Alnwick, local papers. And on top, you can order a brimming breakfast hamper, meat for a week, local pies, a fridge full when you arrive, a chef to cook for you. Stare at the amazing views both north and south from the big open-plan living room/kitchen, light the wood-burner and play games.
Most of the bedrooms have doors out to the terrace – drift off to gentle baaing. Spa treatments can be organised, bikes too if you fancy exploring without the car, and you can walk from the walled garden into meadows and fells.
Colourful, characterful and fun, with plenty of space for everyone in either the big main house or the two separate cottages. There’s a garden play area for the kids, pool table and table football for the bigger kids and 2000 acres to explore without even leaving the estate. When you do venture out, it’s only a two-mile walk to Newton-by-the-Sea, where you’ll find a great pub, sandy beaches for sailing, kite and windsurfing, as well as famous views across Embleton Bay to Dunstanburgh Castle.
Hadrian’s Wall and the National Park aren’t far off either and you can also hike over to the coast along St Cuthbert’s Way, finishing with a causeway crossing to Holy Island if you time it right with the tides.
This cosy little cottage for two sits in a peaceful 17th-century hamlet with a pub that’s served travellers since it was a coaching inn on the original route from Scotland to England. Once you’ve rummaged through the welcome hamper, it’s time to explore. You’ll find the Coquet river a few steps away and the nearest village, Longframlington, is two miles to the north and makes a good stop for fancy coffee and local produce.
There’s the curious Northumbrian Bagpipe museum in Morpeth, Kielder forest and the stunning observatory to take in, but the call of the water is difficult to resist. You can wander the harbourside at Craster, go rowing along the river, or seek out Linhope Spout in the Ingram Valley and brave the plunge pool under the waterfall.
Places to stay in Northumberland
View our gorgeous places to stay in Northumberland: from cosy country cottages to grand B&Bs and seaside hotels.
Explore our collection of self-catering homes, hotels and B&Bs across the UK & Europe, all within three miles of the coast.
Slow Guide to Northumberland
We hit the road in Northumberland and get under the skin of this stunning region. Discover our top tips for where to visit!