All posts filed under: Northumberland


We’re Roasting in Northumberland

We love meeting our suppliers and finding new ones is a great adventure.  General Manager Lisa Herbertson, has been looking out for some new items to put in our welcome packs for guests, something local, something useful, and really tasty.  Last week she turned her efforts to finding some great coffees.  Gone are the days of leaving our guests sticks of Nescafe instant, or even a jar of Dowe Egberts – we want to provide something that’s been lovingly sourced and produced locally. Step up to the plate Jonny and Andy, the guys run their roasting rooms out of Pilgrims Cafe on Holy Island, and following a bit of detective work, Lisa sussed out that the boys actually import coffee beans, roast and blend, package and despatch all from their Yurt in the grounds. We’ve learnt that its actually a skilful art to get that great cup of coffee, the right quantity of grounds, the exact amount of water carefully drizzled over the top at just the right temperature. Jonny and Andy are both pationate about …

LynOld dairy

Golden Delight

Neil and I often take a Sunday afternoon trip out into Northumberland, we live and work on the coast so its nice to take off for a couple of hours inland for a change. Last weekend we headed for the village of Ford.  Its a typical “Northumberland estate village”, beautiful stone houses, with manicured gardens, a Castle, a post office, and a couple of artisan shops, plus the Lady Waterford gallery. Just on the edge of the village is where we wanted to head – to visit The Old Dairy concept store, and take afternoon tea in their fabulous coffee shop – a bit of a contradiction in terms there but you know what I mean. Its an eclectic mix of old furniture, bric a brac, and reclaimation finds, its all for sale, and in the coffee shop, bone china mis-matched cups and saucers, traditional old flatware, and just a total bombardment for the senses, with so much to look at, great food, the aroma of delicious italian coffee, and Keith’s dulcet tones in the background telling …



  If you’re serious about walking or genuinely want to “get away from it all”  then a holiday in & around Alwinton will be ideal for you. The village is located at the head of the Coquet Valley on the edge of the Northumberland National Park and the Cheviot Hills, probably the last largely unexplored area of England. Alwinton is the intersection of a number of ancient drovers roads which linked England and Scotland and is the last village in Upper Coquetdale,  surrounded by rolling hills and is a great starting point for walks or cycling in the Border country.



A small fishing village on the North Northumberland coast, this pretty place is famed for two things, the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle situated about a mile walk along the grassy outcrop above the sea,  and the art of transforming the shiny silver herring to the shimmering gold of the Kipper.   Now a popular holiday destination the village thrives on its visitors.  Those who rent one of the pretty ex-fishing cottages, or boutique style conversions, and stay a while,  or those that visit for the day. Either way  – walk to the castle, wonder a while at the stunning views and the beaches of nearby Embleton Bay with a picnic, or lunch at the Jolly Fisherman with its quaint garden fish and chip shack, Robsons for fish to take home, or Shoreline Cafe for a tasty quick bite lunch inside or out on the deck if its fine. Or, take a look at the view through someone elses eyes – visit Mick Oxley’s art gallery, his images are a master class of colour and vision, …


Lets go North…

There are such a vast number of places to visit in Northumberland, many folks head to the North of the County and get as far as the beautiful coastline scattered with its castles along miles of sandy beaches, little fishing fishing villages, great walking, and a wonderful selection of spots to stop off for a drink and a bite to eat.  But, travel just a few miles further north and there’s another world to visit, stay and explore and accommodation here can be a few % more kind to your pocket too. Only five or six miles north and a little inland is the old coaching town of Belford.  Once a frenetic stopping off point on the North/South journey from Edinburgh to Newcastle and beyond, it is now bypassed by the modern day A1.  A death nell for the town, some may have thought, but this market town has retained many of its features from its former life, the old coaching inns, cobbled market square, impressive stone structures reminicent of more affluent times, and is building …

New Seal Pup on the Farnes

Seal pups arrive on the Farne Islands

This little archipelago off the North East coast of Northumberland can be one of the most inhospitable places you could wish to visit as we enter the windy, stormy winter months, but it is here that a large group of Grey Seals choose to live, mate and breed,  with pups arriving into this trecherous environment and the challenges of survival begin.  This year’s


Garden Room Garden Party

Tea anyone? What a cracking day for the owners of Garden Room in Whitley Bay to have chosen to host their fund raiser event in aid of the Parkinsons UK. They opened their garden, including the garden of the Garden Room, to stalls of all denominations – cake stall, bric a brac, children’s raffle, adults raffle, bouncy castle, live music, tombola as well as home made hot dog & burger stall, all made for a great day out. The Garden Room hosted the afternoon teas, tables were laid with linen table cloths, china tea cups and an array of sandwiches and cakes took you back to the days where afternoon tea in the orchard was the “done thing”, and demonstrated just how versatile this little gem of a self catering holiday let this is. To sample the Garden Room and its quintessential English charm, they accept short breaks and longer stays click here

Bamburgh Castle


With its world renowned beach top Castle, its challenging 18 hole golf course, its place on St. Oswald’s Way walk, and award winning butcher. This “estate” village provides a plethora of photo and leisure opportunities, from the castle itself, to its broad far reaching sandy beaches, the beautiful village cottages, houses, shops & restaurants to its fantastic Christmas lights in winter and local cricket matches on the village green in summer. The village even boasts a Croquet club. A wedding venue, the birthplace (and resting place) of the famous Grace Darling, a historical backdrop, a TV and film location, fantastic beaches and seaside walks, a central location well served with good pubs, restaurants and independent local shops. An award winning butchers, well stocked deli, art gallery, tea rooms, upmarket outdoor clothing (Barbour etc), and gift shop. Mix that together with a visit to the iconic Bamburgh Castle and you have yourself a full day out. Or make Bamburgh a centre marker for a days drive – get your guide here……

Seahouses, Northumberland

Seahouses – gateway to the Farnes

Many of Stay Northumbria’s lovely self catering holiday cottages are based in Seahouses. Why? Well the village has a history seated deep in the fishing and farming industries. The houses by the sea were built later than the houses in North Sunderland just half a mile inland which were homes to the farming community. When the fishing fleets came south from Scotland, St. Abbs and Eyemouth the fisher lasses followed and fishing communities sprang up all along the coastline of Northumberland. Seahouses was one, it has been a commercial centre ever since, in addition to fishing, the area was a major player in the Lime and Grain trades and the original harbour played its part in import and export relating to both these trades. Now, with these industries and major deep water fishing in decline through EU quotas and “over fishing” (see our fight for fish page), the remaining fishermen concentrate on catching prawn, lobster and crabs and some have turned their boating skills to providing services to tourists. From the harbour you can book …

Amble retail outlets on the harbour side


Nowadays Amble is one of the most up and coming harbour towns on the Northumberland coastline.  Situated at the mouth of the River Coquet it looks out over the nearby bird sanctuary of Coquet Island, home to more than 36,000 seabirds, including the iconic puffin and rare Rosette Terns.  It also has a large seal colony too. Amble is the ideal base for the wild life enthusiasts and ornithologists as there are frequent cruises from the harbour around the Island and Amble is adjacent to the nature reserves of Cresswell, Hawxley and Druidge, with the regions many castles and museums within easy reach.