Filled with ancient castles; hidden gardens; unspoilt beaches; rolling hills; rugged moorland; sweeping views; friendly little market towns and a cultural heritage all of its own. Find the most beautiful coastal walks to be found in the UK. Historic castles and forts, secret surf spots, chocolate box cottages and quaint harbour towns combined with dynamic mountain range scenery that will take your breath away.
Alnwick Castle, often dubbed the Windsor of the North, takes pride of place in the town of Alnwick. The castle is popular with film-makers: Blackadder, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Harry Potter; are some of the films shot here.
Alongside is the Duchess of Northumberland’s blooming marvellous creation – The Alnwick Garden. Dine among the treetops in the fairytale setting of one of the world’s largest tree houses and delight at the many exquisite water features.
Alnwick is a bustling, historic market town in the heart of Northumberland with twisting cobbled streets and an eclectic collection of individual shops teamed with some of the country’s top attractions.The town also has a thriving playhouse, a multi-purpose arts centre, which stages theatre, dance, music, cinema, and visual arts productions. The Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre is on the outskirts of the town and Golfers can find thirteen golf courses within 30 minutes drive. Summer market day is a Thursday.
The Farne Islands is one of the best spots to see a wide range of sea birds in the British Isles. It is the biggest Grey Seal sanctuary in England and also one can find Puffins more plentiful here in season than almost anywhere else in the UK. Regular boat trips depart daily from the charming fishing village of Seahouses. A truly wonderful experience.
Head to the dramatic waterfall of Linhope Spout, which tumbles 18 metres down a rockface to the plunge pool below, or visit the tucked-away ponds of Wooler Common. Walk along the border of two countries as you take in the Border Ridge and Pennine Way and who could resist the lure of The Cheviot, Northumberland’s highest point. Here the fresh mountain air will be sure to clear the head and offer spectacular views once you reach the summit. Please see the very useful guide John Harris has compiled: www.walkinginengland.co.uk/northumberland/
Barter Books is one of the largest second hand bookstores in Britain located in Alnwick’s magnificent former Victorian railway station. Fabulous roaring fires, hearty homecooked food served at The Station Buffet and a model railway – a great hit with children of all ages.
The Treehouse Restaurant at The Alnwick Garden is truly one a kind, enormous and beautifully crafted, built from sustainably sourced Canadian Cedar, Scandinavian Redwood and English & Scots Pine, it sits high in the treetops in a copse of mature lime trees and looks as if it has been there forever.
The Treehouse Restaurant can be found at the heart of the structure, beautiful and unique, with a log fire in the centre, trees growing from the floor, handcrafted wooden tables and chairs and screens created from fallen branches
The Alnwick Garden is one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland’s vision for a forgotten plot is now a truly 21st century experience full of imagination, inspiration and fun. Designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz, The Garden is a wonderful combination of spaces, themes, quirkiness and play.
From the tranquility of the Cherry Orchard, the excitement of the Grand Cascade and the mysteries of the Bamboo Labyrinth, to the Serpent Garden’s spell-binding water sculptures, the intrigue of the Poison Garden and one of the world’s largest tree houses – there is plenty to surprise and delight.
The Garden is a space designed to be enjoyed by all your senses, with a collection of over 4,000 plant varieties to discover, thousands of seasonal blooms and countless opportunities to get wet and play in The Garden’s water sculptures