Things to do in Northumberland

You’re never short of things to do in Northumberland. With its stunning and diverse countryside, its fabulous sites of historical interest and a wide range of family friendly facilities, your time in Northumberland will be an unforgettable experience packed full of fun. Here’s a quick guide and just a few of the things to do in Northumberland


Northumberland’s historic market towns, including Hexham, Morpeth, Berwick upon Tweed and Alnwick offer visitors a diverse shopping experience. With their bustling regular markets, they are great places to buy locally sourced and locally produced food, as well as handmade crafts and gift items. Their town centres are no less exciting. With the big high street names nestling along independent boutiques, craft shops, galleries and traditional department stores, there’s a fantastic array of items on offer. With so many shopping areas in the UK looking exactly the same, Northumberland’s towns each offer a distinctive and unique shopping experience, giving shoppers the chance to discover exciting independent book shops, coffee shops and boutiques.

Historical Interest

things to do in northumberland alwnick castle
Above: Visiting Alnwick Castle is one of the many things to do in Northumberland

Every inch of the Northumberland coast is steeped in a rich history. With its long North Sea coastline and its strategic position as the buffer between Scotland and England, its very location means that the history of Northumberland has been shaped by violence, conflict and conquest.

From the invasion of the Romans 2000 years ago, Northumberland has borne witness to Viking raids, Anglo Saxon battles and notorious raids by the murderous Border Reivers. This embattled past can still be seen today, and visitors with an interest in history are in for a treat. With more castles in Northumberland than in any other English county, visitors can experience over 70 castle sites. Whether it’s the romantic ruins at Dunstanburgh Castle, Bamburgh Castle in all its fully restored glory or the haunted Chillingham Castle, there’s a great time to be had by all.

Northumberland isn’t all about castles though, because no trip to Northumberland would be complete without a trip to Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the nation’s finest Roman monument and the best preserved frontier of the Roman Empire, it really is one of the must see attractions in Northumberland, with its museums and archaeological sites telling the epic story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

The Countryside and Coastline

Above: One of the many miles of beaches on the Northumberland coastline

Northumberland is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, with mixture of rolling hills, luscious valleys, ancient meadows and sprawling beaches. With unspoilt wilderness a plenty, in some parts of the county you can experience genuine tranquillity and walk for miles without seeing another person.

With it’s 30 miles of beaches, hidden coves and a galapagos of islands, the Northumberland coast is nothing short of spectacular. With stretches of flat sands suitable for beach sports, sheltered coves for cosy picnics and invigorating beaches where the wind howls and the waves crash, Northumberland’s beaches have something for everyone. Wherever you go in Northumberland, you are never more than a few minutes away from some of the country’s most spectacular natural environments.

Special mention must go the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This unspoiled, historic tidal island lies off the coast of Northumberland and has a population of just 160. However this is swelled by the influx of over 600,000 visitors every year. As well as being the foundation of Christianity in the UK, it is also host to some of the UK’s most stunning landscapes and a fantastic array of wildlife.

Active and Outdoor Fun

With some of the UK’s best beaches and stunning countryside, there are lots of things to do in Northumberland for those who like something a bit more active. Cycling is one of the best ways to explore Northumberland, and as well as the chance to see some if its fantastic countryside, you can also visit some of the county’s best pubs and cafes whilst taking a break from the saddle.

Fishing is a popular activity in Northumberland, whether game, sea or coarse, and the county is a golf lover’s paradise, with courses featuring some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes the UK has to offer. Horse Riding is always popular, and whether galloping across deserted beaches or hiking in the Northumberland National Park, there’s fun to be for riders of all ages and abilities.

If you love more adrenaline fuelled activities, then Northumberland can offer canoeing, kayaking, flying, gliding, ballooning, quad biking and coasteering to name just a few of the activities on offer. For those who prefer something a little bit more relaxing, what could be better that a walk round the beautiful Kielder Water and Forest, or diving with the Grey Seals of the Farne Islands?

With such a diverse range of activities and facilities, you’re never short of something to do in Northumberland. With so much on offer, Northumberland offers visitors a rich, rewarding and enjoyable experience, and you’ll want to return again and again.

If you’re considering a trip to Northumberland and looking for self-catering accommodation, we have a range of cabins throughout the area to suit every taste and budget.