Things to do in Northumberland | Guest Post

How many of us take the time to explore our “own back yard”, whether that be your own country, state or county or even the town or city you live in? A staycation can be the perfect get away and something I’m trying to do more often.

Next in my staycation series we’re taking a trip to the North of England with Rachael to a place high on my UK travel list – Northumberland.

[Missed last week’s staycation post? Catch up here.]

Rachael is a lifestyle blogger living in the North East of England with her husband. She’s a born and bred proud Geordie. She writes about a little bit of everything from makeup and beauty, food reviews, how to tips and more.

An NCTJ trained journalist who has spent the last three years working her way up the communications and PR ladder. She’s training for her first half marathon and working through a 30 things to do before she’s 30 bucket list.

You can find Rachael on her blog: or follow her on social media; Twitter: @rachael_stray, Facebook:, Instagram:, Pinterest:


A guest post by Rachael Stray.

Northumberland has so much to offer from golden beaches, dramatic hills, lush wide-open spaces and a turbulent historic past to explore.


If you love the feel of golden sand beneath you toes and that salty sea air filling your nostrils then a visit to Northumberland’s magnificent coastline should certainly satisfy you. There’s more than 30 miles of beaches along the spectacular Northumberland Coast. There’s retro-chic seaside towns such as Seahouses where you can promenade along the pier, play at the penny arcades and tuck into the obligatory fish and chips.

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is home to Britain’s first permanent coastal sculpture The Couples as well as some good fish and chips!

The Couples sculpture from afar

The Couples sculpture

Bamburgh beach is my favourite though – it’s steeped in history and there’s loads to do in the village. Of course you can pay a visit to the castle but there’s also impressive stretches of pure golden sandy beaches, a variety of proper English tea rooms and restaurants, St Aidan’s Church and a newly renovated museum dedicated to Grace Darling and lots more!

Bamburgh beach


Did you know Northumberland has more castle sites than any other county in the whole of England – 70 in fact! Warkworth, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Lindisfarne castles all stand guard along the dramatic coast.

Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick are probably the two most well-known. Alnwick Castle is perfect for Harry Potter fans! Bamburgh Castle is so impressive and well worth a visit.

Bamburgh Castle

There’s also Chillingham Castle reputedly one of the most haunted castle in England as well as the award-winning and stunning Langley Castle Hotel.


Walkers really are spoilt for choice when it comes to Northumberland whether its long distance routes with cosy pubs or a more leisurely curricular walk to take in pretty hamlets and soak up the rich wildlife along the coast and countryside.

Here’s three of my favourites:

Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail
You can do the 84-mile signposted trail which stretches from coast-to-coast or there are many circular walks which take in some of the most scenic areas around the famous Wall.

The Northumberland Coastal Path
I recommend heading north of Bamburgh Castle where the coast is a little wilder –you have the sea on one side and sand dunes on the other and in the horizon you can see Lindisfarne Castle.

St Cuthbert’s Way
It’s been a long time since I did this walk but it’s varied in terrain and exciting. This cross-border route links Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders, and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The route has everything from the rugged terrain of the Cheviot Hills, to the enormous sandy beaches of the Northumberland coast. You’ll see ancient castles, churches and abbeys, as well as charming villages and an array of wildlife along the way.


For wildlife lovers I would recommend a visit to one of Northumberland’s amazing coastal nature reserves like the Farne Islands, Coquet Island and Druridge Bay.

Northumberland is home to two areas of outstanding natural beauty – the North Penines and Northumberland National Park.

The Northhumberland Wildlife Trust runs a range of family-friendly wildlife activities during the summer months including mini-beast trails rock pooling and otter walks.

Dark Skies

Northumberland is also home to Europe’s largest area of protected night sky – Northumberland International Dark Sky Park so for any star gazers I would recommend bringing your telescopes for a right treat (weather dependent of course)! When my husband and I had our glamping trip in Northumberland National Park earlier this year we were amazed at how much we could see.


  • Helen C

    October 18, 2018 at 11:37

    Great guest post Kim, Rachael has a lovely way with words, and I enjoyed reading about Northumberland and what’s on offer. This time of year is perfect for walks with the crisp autumn air and amazing scenery. The star gazing sounds fascinating too, definitely something I would like to try! 🙂 xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • Karen Lanzetta

    October 5, 2018 at 23:50

    Cool! Now I want to visit! I love castles! And it sounds like there are amazing walks to explore.

    Thanks for introducing us to your corner of the world!

    1. Kim

      October 7, 2018 at 17:53

      Thanks for your comment. The UK is full of wonderful places to visit and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Northumberland myself.

  • Laura

    September 27, 2018 at 21:53

    I live in Newcastle and love Northumberland so much, so many of my favourite places there. It’s just so beautiful!

    1. Kim

      September 28, 2018 at 12:06

      I’ve only ever been once but I’m looking forward to going back and exploring some more. x

  • Deborah Kos

    September 25, 2018 at 21:28

    I would like to see Northumberland. I also like to see all the castles, visit the beach, go along the coastal path and walk some of the wall path national trail.

    1. Kim

      September 26, 2018 at 08:13

      Thanks for your comment Debs. One of my travel goals is to walk the Hadrian’s Wall trail.

  • Bexa

    September 25, 2018 at 16:50

    I always enjoy reading Rachael’s blog and this is another fab post! I always want to explore more of the U.K. and Northumberland sounds like the perfect place to visit. I love walking so would be interested in doing the Hadrian’s Wall trail, although I think all 84 miles would be a bit ambitious, I’d have to stick to the shorter routes he he. Thank you for sharing Kim! <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. Kim

      September 25, 2018 at 18:47

      I know what you mean, I’d love to do the Hadrian’s Wall trail as well but I’m not sure I’m fit enough for it. Yet! I’ve only visited a small part of Northumberland myself (Alnwick and Alnmouth) but would love to explore more of the county. xxx

  • Rachael Stray

    September 25, 2018 at 12:23

    Thanks for having me Kim 😊

    Rachael |

    1. Kim

      September 25, 2018 at 12:29

      Anytime Rachael! I really enjoyed reading your post and I’m definitely planning to visit Northumberland again soon. xx

  • Lisa McLachlan

    September 25, 2018 at 09:48

    I’ve never been to Northumberland and the only reason I know a little about it is due to my history. During the Wars of the Roses, the Percy family (Dukes and Earls of Northumberland) played quite pivotal roles. And of course, Anne Boleyn had a relationship with Henry Percy before she caught the eye of Henry VIII. I had no idea about all those beautiful beaches though, I’m going to have to put Northumberland on our staycation list now! Thank you for sharing, Kim 🙂 x

    1. Kim

      September 25, 2018 at 12:41

      Thanks for your comment Lisa and for sharing a piece of Northumerland’s history with us. I’ve only seen a very small part of it myself (Alnwick and Alnmouth) but I’m looking forward to another visit. xx

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