England’s most northern county is rife with history and natural beauty, long expanses of unspoiled coastline and ocean wildlife on the doorstep. Northumberland has something for everyone and is the perfect UK holiday destination for those who like to get out and about.
Alnwick Castle and Gardens – the beautiful historic market town of Alnwick is home to the second largest inhabited castle in England and was the set for the Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, which makes it a great destination for children. The castle is adjacent to the stunning Alnwick gardens, which features cascading waterfalls, woodland walks and landscaped gardens, along with The Treehouse – one of the world’s largest wooden treehouses, and home to a restaurant and several education rooms. Alnwick has a weekly farmer’s market which is one of the largest in the North and well worth a visit.
The Northumberland National Park – The Park is home to a considerable amount of British wildlife, including the rare red squirrel, and is a stunning stretch of unspoiled natural beauty. Littered with roman ruins, the history of the area is fascinating and rich, with the park stretching all the way from the Scottish borders in the north down to Hadrian’s Wall. The area is perfect for hiking and camping, with easy walks that are suitable for all abilities. The low fells and moorland means that conditions are exposed and the notoriously temperamental British weather can see visitors caught in bad weather very quickly, so it is advisable to invest in some quality outdoor clothing – places like www.e-outdoor.co.uk carry a great range that will see you through any weather eventuality.
The Farne Islands – Around two and a half miles off the Northumberland shoreline, the Farne Islands is the most famous bird sanctuary on the British Isles and is also home to a large colony of grey seals. Boat trips go from the harbour in Seahouses daily through the summer months, and can include landing trips on the islands themselves as well as more extended trips that take visitors up to Holy Island with its historic castle and monastery, usually only accessible across a causeway at low tide. The islands are home to a wide range of sea birds including an estimated 70,000 puffins in breeding season and is a perfect destination for both the seasoned ornithologist and families.
Northumberland has something for everyone and exploring the area to its full potential would take far longer than a single vacation. Fortunately, accommodation and travel is cheap enough for repeated visits.
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