Tuesday 27th of October 2015

WildPlum's Winter Wonders...........

Winter is one of the best times to come and visit us up here in North Northumberland – bright and frosty mornings, big skies full of bright stars, long walks on deserted, beautiful beaches, roaring log fires in our cottage woodburners, mulled wine in cosy, country pubs, fish and chips on our wild and empty coastline– the list is long!!

Our 4 holiday cottages are in a very fortunate position within North Northumberland, which offers the best of both worlds. We are in a very rural area affording incredible views and total peace - yet we are just an hour (by road) to Newcastle and Edinburgh, both offering incredible shopping and of course Edinburgh’s world famous Christmas Market. There are also direct trains running from Berwick upon Tweed, our nearest station, which is 20mins away.

Closer to home is the very pretty market town of Kelso in the Scottish Borders which comes alive at Christmas and is home to some lovely independent shops in an old cobbled square. Late night shopping, carol singers and a choice of eateries is a good way to spend a December evening. The Border Union showground in the town also sees the annual art and design fair in November, a great opportunity for Christmas gifts, and the Antique Collectors Flea Market, the largest of its kind in the Borders. Kelso racecourse – known as Britain’s friendliest – has fixtures set for November and December.

The dramatic Bamburgh Castle remains open during the winter weekends and their Christmas Concert takes place on the 19th December offering an evening of festive music in the glorious setting of the Kings Hall, with mulled wine and mince pies served in the medieval kitchen during the interval. Bamburgh beach with its vast expanse of sand is the most wonderful place for a walk and it is well worth the short stroll into the picturesque village.

Alnwick Gardens are a great place to visit in winter as it was designed for all seasons so there is always something to admire. Christmas lunches are available in their atmospheric pavilion café or why not try the unique Treehouse restaurant, found high up in the treetops with a roaring fire and trees growing through the floor! Father Christmas and his elves can be found at the gardens in his amazing grotto from December onwards. Their wonderful Christmas market also starts at the end of November with fabulous gifts to be found and seasonal singing and live music - all from the comfort of the marquee.

With it being winter we do find it even quieter than it usually is so a great time to visit local landmarks. Berwick upon Tweed’s town walls are an incredible piece of architecture and the walk around them takes in stunning views over the town and towards the wide sandy beaches of the North coast and Tweed Estuary.

A bit further down the coast is Holy Island, an island and village, which is cut off twice daily from the mainland by the tides. Crossing the causeway is an experience itself but check the tide times! Holy Island remains a place of pilgrimage and is the final destination of one of Scotland’s great walking trails – St Cuthbert’s Way. It is a stunning place to visit on a winter’s day – extremely atmospheric and very special.

Our other wonderful landmarks also take on a more atmospheric hue in the winter months. Abbey ruins at Melrose and Jedburgh and the lovely churches at Ford, Kirknewton and Chillingham are all well worth a mention. Finally, our local eateries are a great draw for a festive dinner or lunch – Tilmouth Park, Collingwood Arms, Percy Arms and the Allanton Inn are some of the best for big fires, warm welcome and a great atmosphere.

This is just a very short list of so many things to do over the next couple of months but don’t take our word for it - come and see for yourself!!