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The Best things to do in Northumberland

Northumberland is home to stunning sights and unforgettable days out. With miles of coastline, vast areas of countryside and magical forests at your disposal, you don’t need to worry about being short of attractions. With so much to choose from, the only problem is: where do you start?

To help you out, we’ve highlighted some of the best things to do in Northumberland.

Discover local history

Nestled in Alnwick’s Castle Quarter, Bailiffgate Museum is a place where history comes alive. Home to intriguing displays, interactive activities and archival films, both children and adults will be captivated by the history of the region.

In 2010, Bailiffgate Museum was recognised as one of the 25 best places in the country for youngsters to visit, so there’s no danger of your little one’s attention wandering!

Spend a day in the great outdoors

Want to immerse yourself in history and nature? Head to Ford & Etal, a vast country estate sitting close to the Scottish border. With around 16,000 acres of grounds to explore on foot, two wheels or even horseback, you could easily while away an entire day. Other activities at Ford & Etal include canoeing and fishing, as well as plenty of indoor pursuits dedicated to local history. It isn’t every day you can meet a gentle Clydesdale horse before exploring the site of a ruined castle!

Ford & Etal is just a 20 minute drive from Haggerston Castle Holiday Park, meaning it won’t be long before you can rest your feet after a day of exploring.

Travel the most northerly steam railway

The tracks of the Heatherslaw Light Railway make up the most northerly steam railway in England. It’s also one of the most beautiful, taking in four miles of beautiful Northumberland countryside from Heatherslaw Station to Etal Castle. This includes the banks of the River Till, where you might be lucky enough to spot an otter!

With covered train coaches, free parking, a working ‘G’ gauge model railway and a gift shop, the Heatherslaw Light Railway is the perfect all-weather attraction.

Meet magnificent birds of prey

Visitors with an interest in wildlife will love Falconry Days, a thrilling bird of prey centre on the edge of the Pennine Way. The centre is dedicated to educating the public about birds of prey, and rehabilitating wild birds before releasing them back into their natural environment.

Drop by Falconry Days’ flying field to see the birds in action with their trainers, or book an once-in-a-lifetime flying experience to get up close to these magnificent animals. Just remember to call ahead if bad weather looks like it’s looming, as the birds may not be able to fly.

Explore Northumberland’s seafaring past

John Lord / Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0

The Newbiggin Maritime Centre offers an incredible insight into the seafaring history of Northumberland. The museum itself contains fascinating old boats, fishing equipment and artefacts alongside interesting video displays. Then there’s the Breakwater Café: a cosy retreat looking out over Newbiggin Bay. Tuck into delicious local produce before finishing off your trip with a visit to the Seashore Shop. From buckets and spades to little wooden sailing boats, you’re sure to find a memento.

Let little ones run wild

Where better to let your little ones burn off some energy than Bounce, a fabulous indoor adventure play area in Blyth? Soft-play stairs, slides and ball pits are perfect for the most adventurous of children. And as your youngsters spend an afternoon squeezing through climbing frames, clambering to new heights and making new friends, you can sit back and enjoy a cup of tea.

Create your own work of art

Free your creative flair at Pots & Paws in Rothbury. This cosy little craft studio stocks an eclectic range of ready-made pottery items, gifts and upcycled furniture, but that isn’t the best part. Here, you can paint your very own piece of pottery! From plates and mugs to wise old owls and cute dogs, there’s no shortage of items you can bring to life.

Meet cute and cuddly animals

If you’re out and about in Morpeth, why not head to Whitehouse Farm Centre?

This 40 acre, family-run farm is bursting with things to see and do. Discover rare breed farm animals alongside cheeky pigs and cuddly donkeys, groom a goat or meet some of the farm’s more exotic creatures. There are also plenty of indoor activities in case of rain (including an adventure playground and indoor racing cars), as well as Pippa’s Pitstop. Here, you can rest your feet and fill up on hearty homemade food, before treating yourself in the gift shop.

Visit a haven for nature

Kielder Water & Forest Park is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors. It’s home to spectacular views and the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe.

Kielder is also a haven for wildlife, meaning a walk around this forest won’t go unrewarded. Keep your eyes peeled for large birds of prey – ospreys – fishing over the lake throughout spring and summer, and roe deer feeding during spring and autumn. And year-round? You could be treated to sightings of red squirrels and otters.

Will you be trying out any of these great things to do in the Northumberland on your next visit? Is there an attraction you’d like to see on this list? Let us know using the comment box, below.

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I had no idea there were so many amazing things to do in Northumberland!

History, nature and heaps of fun - Northumberland, here I come!

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