Though the winter months are enough to send anyone searching for sun overseas, Northumberland’s winter transformation makes it the perfect family holiday destination - without the stress and expense of a holiday abroad.
Famed for its reputation as a county for all seasons, the winter months allow for Northumberland’s outstanding natural beauty to shine through, while the rustic charm of the region's hotspots are enough to warm the coldest of winters. So, today, we’re bringing readers 5 reasons why the family should pack up the car and head to the picturesque region of Northumberland in search of a family-friendly break this winter.
The great escape
If you hope to make 2017 a year of tranquillity and calm, the stunning views in and around Northumberland are well worth the trip - and are a great way to take the whole family away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With over 30 miles of coastal stretch, a venture around the coast promises breathtaking views - accessible both inland and from the plethora of piers and promenades around the coast. Rural tours from a walk along Hadrian’s Wall to the vibrancy of Hulnes Park are a perfect way for the family to feel at one with nature, while the quaint towns along the way make for memorable stop offs.
Rich histories and traditions
Castle-crowned villages, historic ruins and religious shrines are visible in abundance across the region, making for an educational and atmospheric experience. An adventure across the causeway to Holy Island, the birthplace of the Lindisfarne Gospel, makes for an unforgettable pilgrimage to one of Northumberland’s best preserved spots. For families with children, Alnwick Castle is known as both an historic site and as the filming location for Harry Potter. Boasting wizarding activities, botanical gardens and a charming surrounding village, Alnwick is one of Northumberland’s many family friendly spots.
The wild outdoor spaces and natural assets of Northumberland make it a busy and exciting activity destination. The incredible range of adventure sports and outdoor activities the region has to offer means that going back to basics is far from going back to boring. Be it falconry, archery, or ziplining across the vibrant forests, the activities available across the county are great for making family memories. After a day of adventure, you’ll be ready for a great night’s sleep - and there are a range of family-friendly, self-catering holiday cottages
scattered throughout the region to help you rest and refuel. Whether you fancy staying by the coast or heading inland, there’s an array of home-from-home holiday cottages for you to choose from - so from mum and dad down to small children, everyone’s guaranteed a great night’s sleep.
A trip to the Farne Islands comes with unparalleled views, and there are boat trips available that boast views of Northumberland’s playful sea life. From puffins to seals, a boat trip around the islands is an exciting and refreshing way for the whole family to enjoy the wildlife and take a trip back in time with the story of Grace Darling.
Also home to Europe’s largest international Dark Sky Park, Northumberland provides the ultimate opportunity to explore the night skies. Offering beauty that is literally out of this world, planets, stars, and dazzling meteor showers can be seen in the winter skies across Northumberland - so it’s well worth braving the colder temperatures!
A benefit of the region’s rich history means that it similarly boasts a wealth of educational establishments, from parks and museums to galleries and building tours. Northumberland is an education-lover’s paradise, ideal for developing the knowledge of the younger minds of the family through a shared, enjoyable experience. From Mr George’s Museum of Time, to railway galleries, the opportunities for learning about the history of Northumberland and beyond makes it the ideal place for families wanting to learn together. Northumberland, all year round, is a magical place for families hoping to escape the regularity of everyday life. From learning about history and forgetting about time constraints to getting lost in nature and drinking in the region’s natural beauty, Northumberland is the perfect place to make memories this winter.