Out & About

England's most northerly county, the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria is a magical place filled with ancient castles, golden sandy beaches, rolling hills, rugged moorland, picturesque market towns and seaside villages. From Hadrianís Wall to the Cheviot hills and from Bamburgh beach to historic Holy Island and the spectacular backdrop of Dunstanburgh Castle, North Northumberland has it all.

Outdoor Enthusiast | Family Fun | History & Heritage | Anglers Paradise | Towns & Cities | Homes & Gardens

For the outdoor enthusiast

Superb walks from the doorstep of all our cottages, ranging from leisurely rambles along the Bowmont Water and surrounding farmland to more challenging hill and moorland treks in the Cheviot Hills. With more than 600 miles of footpaths and bridleways to choose from in the National Park alone, walkers are spoilt for choice. The Northumberland Coastal Path provides a more gentle alternative with fantastic views of the stunning coastline and out to Holy Island and beyond.

Cyclists are equally well provided for with miles of marked routes and quiet country lanes to explore offering everything from meandering river valley saunters to wild open moorland blasts. Popular routes include the Pennine Cycleway and the Reivers Cycle Route, both of which run through the National Park.

There can be no better way of enjoying Northumberland's beautiful scenery than from the back of a horse. The stables at Kimmerston, just down the road, offer riding in the Cheviot Hills as well as rides on the spectacular sandy beaches with views to the Farne Islands and beyond. The paddock behind the Bothy is available to guests wishing to bring their own horses, and stabling can usually be arranged with sufficient notice.

This part of Northumberland has more golf courses than any other county and you will never play a round in a more beautiful setting than on some of these cliff top courses. Try Goswick, Bamburgh or Foxton for the coastal feel, Wooler or Rothbury for hillside views, or the Hirsel near Coldstream for the Scottish touch.

Anyone for tennis? Then drop into Berwick Tennis Club or Lennel Tennis Club which has three all-weather courts available as well as squash and badminton. If you fancy taking the opportunity to brush up on your skills, local tennis coach Richard Ward (rwtennis@btinternet.com) is an LTA qualified coach with years of experience.

Family Fun

Some of the cleanest and emptiest beaches in England can be found on Northumberland's spectacular Heritage Coastline. Over 25 miles of rocky coves and golden sands remain almost deserted even during the summer months. The beach at nearby Bamburgh is well worth a visit at any time of the year, whether for walking, kite-surfing, or sandcastle building. From nearby Seahouses, take a tour to the Farne Islands, to see the resident colonies of Grey Seals and an impressive array of birdlife including the Puffins.

Almost on the doorstep is the Ford & Etal Estate complete with many attractions and things to do. One of our favourite's, popular with old and young alike, is the delightful miniature steam railway which runs from Heatherslaw to Etal. On arrival in Etal, visitors can leave the train and while away an hour or two in the village, exploring the ruins of Etal Castle and its museum on the nearby Battle of Flodden visiting the Black Bull Pub, the child friendly and inspirational Lady Waterford Hall, village shop, Tea Room, the Church, the pine furniture makers' showroom, or simply enjoying a walk or picnic beside the river, before catching a later train back to Heatherslaw. Here, on the other side of the bridge from the train station, the working water driven mill , cafť and visitors centre are also all well worth a visit.

History and Heritage

Situated in close proximity to the Flodden Battlefield (www.flodden.net), historians of all ages will be enthralled by the area's rich and often bloody past which has left its imprint on the region, giving rise to a myriad of impressive castles to explore and battlefields too.

Because of itís often turbulent past, Northumberland boasts more castles and fortified houses than any other English county. Bamburgh Castle perched on its rocky outcrop above the golden sands of Bamburgh Beach, the romantic cliff-top ruin of Dunstanburgh castle, the medieval splendor of Alnwick (now probably more famous because of itís connection with Harry Potter wizardry!) and not forgetting Chillingham Castle, said to be the most haunted castle in Britain and where you can also see the only truly wild cattle in the world. Further back in time, take a inspirational trip to the Duddo Standing Stones which date back over 4,500 years!

Anglers paradise

For fishing fanatics, the legendary River Tweed is only a ten to 15 minute drive from any of our cottages, or the River Till is closer still and one of the area's best kept secrets with an impressive sea trout run each spring, said to be amongst the best in the country.

Trout permits are available for as little as £5 per day and rods, reels and waders can be hired locally. Fishing is available on the Bowmont Water which runs within easy walking distance of The Bothy and a short drive from the other cottages. This is free of charge to cottage visitors on a first come first served basis, so please get in touch if you would like to fish it.

Towns and Cities

The local market towns of Berwick upon Tweed with The Maltings Theatre and the Swan Leisure Centre with itís fantastic indoor pool Ė just the thing for a wet day to entertain the entire family. Market towns on both sides of the border such as Kelso and Alnwick all have plenty to offer from fresh local produce which can be found in the local farmers markets to country clothing and gifts for all the family.

If you fancy the bright lights without the stress - From Berwick upon Tweed catch the train north to Edinburgh (45 mins) or south to Newcastle upon Tyne (45 mins) for a leisurely way to explore these fascinating and cosmopolitan cities without the usual parking space trials and tribulations.

Homes and Gardens

There is a wealth of lovely homes, some very grand indeed, to visit in the Borders. One of the closest is Floors Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe and Scotlandís largest inhabited castle. Also a great place for lunch and lovely garden.

Along the coast towards Alnwick lies the Howick Garden. Always worth a visit but particularly splendid in the late Spring when the magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas are at their best.

Head west for the splendours of Bowhill House and Estate and to see the internationally renowned Buccleuch collection. Paxton House in Berwick upon Tweed hosts lots of family events throughout the season and is close by offering a good option for a rainy day. Although slightly smaller in scale, Mindrum Garden is seriously worth a visit for the plant lover with itís profusion of scents, colours and textures.

Some 40 minutes drive south is Alnwick Castle and Gardens. Home to the Percy family for over 700 years the historic castle offers culture as well as family fun. The neighbouring Alnwick Garden with its grand treehouse restaurant and poison garden are equally family friendly. The picturesque market town of Rothbury is also well worth a visit and is where Cragside, the estate of the Victorian industrialist, Lord Armstrong is located.