Northumberland offers miles and miles of beautiful countryside and beaches with golden sands, a truly unspoiled region.
Made up of more than 30 miles of coastal area, including an Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), the beaches in Northumberland are famed for seclusion and long stretches of clean sand. The Northumberland coast is a place to relax, explore and enjoy days out. We especially love the beaches at Alnmouth, Beadnell and highly recommend a visit to Craster to enjoy the renowned kippers, or take a boat from Seahouses across to the Farne Islands to spot seals, puffins and other bird life.
National Trust properties and gardens at both Cragside and Wallington are within a 20 and 5 minute drive of The Granary. Other Trust properties nearby include Gibside and Seaton Delaval Hall. In addition, we recommend the unique gardens at Belsay Hall, Howick Hall and Alnwick Castle.
Stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian’s Wall was built to guard the north west frontier of the Roman Empire. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Northumberlandia (The Lady of the North) is a country park and human landform sculpture that was created as part of a unique restoration project. At Brinkburn Priory you will see one of the best examples of early Gothic architecture in Northumberland. It is nestled within woodland and the River Coquet. Very close to The Granary is Kirkharle Lake and Courtyard which celebrates the birthplace of the renowned 18thC landscaper ‘Capability’ Brown, and Bolam Lake Country Park with car parking and a fully accessible path around the lakeshore. Popular attractions for families include Whitehouse Farm Centre, Northumberland College Zoo and Northumberland Country Zoo. The pristine dark skies of Northumberland, considered the darkest in England, come into their own at Northumberland National Park. At Kielder Observatory you will find the International Dark Sky Park – the largest area of protected night sky in Europe. There are about 12 other sites throughout the county that are recognised as dark sky discovery sites, and nearby Elsdon Village Green is one of them. The Sill, The UK’s National Landscape Discover centre is at Bardon Mill,Hexham, NorthumberlandNE47 7AN. (Tel: 01434 341200) and well worth a visit.
For lunches and snacks you will get a good selection of food at Kirkharle Coffee House, Northumberland Cheese Company, Blacksmiths@Milkhope and Blacksmiths@Belsay. The nearby town of Rothbury offers plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants for daytime and night time eating. The Bird in Bush in Elsdon does excellent bar and restaurant food. It is also home to the award-winning microbrewery First & Last. Pubs also include the Dyke Neuk at Meldon, The Beresford Arms at Whalton, The Tomahawk Steak House on the way to Ponteland. All offer secure dining and take out services.
There is a newsagent, grocery shop and fuel station in Scots Gap which stock the real essentials. Morpeth is the nearest big town (within 30 minutes’ drive), and Rothbury (has a small Co-op, butcher and baker) is approximately 20 minutes’ drive. Other nearby villages that are worth visiting for their selection of restaurants, pubs, farm shops and butchers include Stannington, Longhorsley, Belsay and Longframlington. Kirkharle Courtyard offers a farm shop and many craft units as well as Blagdon. For food shopping Morpeth has Morrisons, Aldi & Marks & Spencers, Ponteland has Waitrose and Alnwick has Sainsburys.
In Rothbury you will find the Coquetdale Art Gallery – a community gallery and studio exhibiting and selling a range of paintings, crafts and cards, and in nearby West Woodburn you will find the gallery and shop of local artist Mary Ann Rogers. Tallantyre Fine Art Gallery in Morpeth sells and exhibits work from national and international artists. They also provide interior design products and services.
From the many walking routes throughout the countryside of the Cheviots and Coquetdale you can really appreciate Northumberland’s big skies, beautiful views and friendly villages. Northumberland National Park covers a diverse area of landscape between the River Tyne and the Scotland / England border. The highest point within the National Park is the Cheviot. There are a series of guided walks offered by Northumberland National Park, and information about their recommended routes can be found on their website. The ‘table-top’ of the Simonside Hills (near Rothbury) offers a spectacular 360 degree view of the Cheviot Hills and the North Sea Coastline. The coniferous forests and heather moorland are home to curlews, red grouse, wild goats and red squirrels. The walking routes are considered moderate, and OS maps can be downloaded online. There is a car park at the start of the walk, and we recommend good walking shoes. Harwood Forest, managed by Forestry England, is a large coniferous forest with a range of walking trails with good footpaths, and is mostly very quiet – which suits the local red squirrel population! Stay closer to The Granary and walk the 3.5 mile circular walk starting at the Rothley cross roads – this route includes good walking tracks and views towards Harwood Forest and Simonside Hills, and if you’re lucky you may spot a common crossbill.
Northumberland is very popular for cyclists – it offers family friendly cycling routes, long stretches of open roads and plenty of hills! It has hosted national and international road race events and charity cycling festivals. The Sandstone Way is a 120 miles mountain biking route between Berwick upon Tweed and Hexham. The route takes in stunning Northumbrian landscapes and iconic scenery, and passes through delightful villages. To get more information on cycling in Northumberland, including road routes, maps and cycling coffee shops we recommend visiting www.cyclenorthumberland.org.uk
We have photocopied maps of the immediate local area which shows the footpaths etc directly on the doorstep.
If you don’t fancy cooking, you can get takeaways from the following locations:
Rothbury: Fish and chips, Italian, Indian, Chinese
Morpeth: Fish and chips, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai
Ponteland: Fish and chips, Italian, Indian, Chinese
Rothbury Food truck visits Elsdon and Kirkwhelpington
Pizza is available in Longhorsley on a Thursday pm
Fish and chips in Longhorsley on a Friday pm
The Dyke Neuk at Meldon also currently offers a takeaway menu
through Northumberland Sporting Clays. Held on our farm and taught through Phil Fairless.
01670 774 380
Lindsay Rutherford Beauty
Hedchester Law, Belsay. NE20 0EU
Go Ape Matfen, Newcastle, NE20 0RH