Lets go North…
Published: Tuesday 14th Feb 2017
Written by: Jackie Forsyth
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 a new life. Incumbent residents and entrepreneurs, have embraced their new found quieter more relaxed surrounds and you will find a few independent shops popping up, revitalised local pubs and eateries, a smattering of inland holiday homes and two well run caravan parks. Belford’s near neighbour Middleton Hall is a busy and successful wedding venue, bringing with it all the additional business for the town that a destination function venue draws, and with it more business opportunities for local trades. Belford’s location makes it a great place to use as a base for holidayers too, walking and sightseeing, a nearby trekking centre, all this and still only a 20 minute drive to the beach.
Travel further north and a little inland from the A1 and you will find the villages of Fenwick and Lowick. Fenwick lies less than a mile off the A1 to its West, a two street village with pretty stone cottages, and new builds which have been tastefully designed to fit in with the older traditional properties, its close proximity to Beal, makes it a great place to stay and visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, without the complications of being cut off by the tide.
Lowick lies a further 4 miles inland, 7 miles south east of Wooler and 9 miles south of Berwick upon Tweed at the point where the Roman Road “The Devil’s Causeway” intersects the ancient road used by the monks of Lindisfarne travelling to Durham. It is at this cross roads the village of Lowick developed. Still an important farming and grain community this rural village, boasts 2 pubs (both serving food), a small local store and is a great location from which to explore the area. Lowick lies close to the pretty estate villages of Ford and Etal, both popular with visitors, and the Cheviot Hills and Northumberland National Park with its great walking hills and valleys.
Closeby, Ancroft is a hamlet which lies between Lowick and Berwick upon Tweed. A farming area, again a great base for exploring the area, and closer to the main town of Berwick, with its historical walls along which you can walk around the whole of the old town, or visit the quays, and Scremeston the architecture of the towns are testiment to the affluence once associated with the area with many large and imposing houses, converted warehousing along the quay and the stunning bridges across the Tweed.
Wooler – the gateway to the Cheviot Hills, a very pleasant and busy market town with lots of independent shops, and on the edge of the Northumberland National Park. This is just about the most northerly point of the Park recently designated as with a Gold standard Dark Skies status – so the ideal place for exploring not only our terrestrial hidden gems but also those in the skies above us.
Great self catering properties available in this location:
Causeway Barn – Scremerston Nr. Berwick, 4* barn conversion for 4.
Ancroft Manor, in the hamlet of Ancroft – Sleeps 12
Willow Cottage in Lowick, a 5* cosy wooden chalet for 2.
Coombs Cottage in Lowick, well equipped and furnished cottage for 4/6
Aidanfield in Fenwick – Studio apartment ideal for single traveller or 2 people
Goldcrest Cottage in Fenwick – lovely 4*, three bedroom traditional stone cottage for up to 6.
Burnbank Cottage Nr. Belford – 4* two bedroom farm cottage, sleeps 4.
Homildon Cottage – Humbleton Nr. Wooler – 4* four bedroom cottage sleeps up to 8.
Places & Attractions:
The Quay Walls – Berwick upon Tweed
Chainbridge Honey Farm – Horncliffe
Paxton House – Paxton
The Old Dairy – Concept store & restaurant – Antiques – Ford
Belford Museum – Belford
Pot a Doodle Do – Interactive Art Studio, Scremeston
Lindisfarne Castle – Holy Island
Lindisfarne Priory – Holy Island
Heatherslaw Mill & Railway – Ford & Etal estate – 19th century working corn mill and light railway
5 Things to do when visiting with Kids
- Visit Pot a doodle doo Interactive Art Studio – throw a pot, decorate it and fire it to take away.
- Take a Moor Ride, or Beach Ride (both supervised & for experienced riders only), with Kimmerston Riding Centre
- Visit Chainbridge Honey Farm its not all about bees & honey, they have some great vintage agricultural machinery there and a cafe on a double decker bus.
- Jump aboard the Heatherslaw Light Railway
- Walk around the old Quay walls in Berwick and do a spot of trainspotting on the famous Berwick bridges.