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How to spend 48 hours in Northumberland

By Bernice Saltzer

You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Northumberland. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.

Day one

You’ll need to make an early start but few sights are as moving or as memorable as that of the sun rising over Sycamore Gap at Hadrian’s Wall – you really will feel you’ve stepped back in time and an early start means you may even have this particularly pretty stretch all to yourself.

If you fancy a slice of home-made cake and a warming pot of tea in a traditional village cafe then head south down to Corbridge, where the Watling Coffee House is one of many charming coffee shops in this pretty – and upmarket – little town. There is also free WiFi so you can upload all your photos and relive your special sunrise.

If a trip around a stately home is up your street, then you are spoilt for choice. At Cambo you will find Wallington Hall, former home of the Trevelyan family and with an entire room devoted to their collection of exquisite dolls houses. North, at Rothbury, is Cragside – built by industrialist Lord Armstrong and the first house to be entirely lit by hydroelectric power. If it’s raining, stay inside and explore this monument to Victorian opulence and, if it’s sunny, head out into the grounds.

When it comes to eating out, Northumberland is your oyster. For variety of cuisine then one of the larger towns such as Hexham, Alnwick or Morpeth will fit the bill. Alternatively, why not hunker down in a traditional country pub? The Pheasant Inn near Kielder, is a popular family run gem which attracts visitors from all over the region, serving fantastic locally-sourced food – just be aware they don’t serve chips.

At Cambo you will find Wallington Hall, former home of the Trevelyan family and with an entire room devoted to their collection of exquisite dolls houses

Day two

There’s nothing to beat the feeling of fresh, sea air in your lungs and a morning walk along the beaches at Beadnell or Alnmouth is hard to beat. At the latter, you may well find sea coal washed up on the shore and, while you may struggle to gather enough to stoke a campfire, it does make a lovely memento of this pretty stretch of coastline.

The simple things in life often bring us the greatest pleasure and – as most Northumbrians and Geordies know – nothing beats sitting on the harbour wall at Amble, eating fish and chips out of the paper. So what if you have to fend off the occasional greedy seagull? For some reason fish and chips taste better here than just about anywhere else on earth.  The Fish Shack on Amble’s beautiful harbour, is a cosy, rustic eatery that was purpose built using the old ‘Sea Quest’ boat. It does fantastic beer-battered cod with twice-cooked chips and mushy peas.

If you’re visiting with children, then a trip to Seahouses is a must. Possibly Northumberland’s most family-friendly town, it offers crazy golf, arcades and great gift shops, just perfect for pocket money purchases. You can try award-winning fish and chips at Neptune’s. It’s also the departure point for boat trips to the Farne Islands, where you can spend the afternoon in the company of puffins and sea lions.

Northumbrians are good eaters and with such a wealth and breadth of local ingredients to choose from, you’ll find good, well-priced restaurants very easily. The Cook and Barker Inn at Felton is one of the finest eateries in Northumberland and its location – just a hop away from the A1 – puts it in easy reach wherever you are in the county.

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Image credits: ©Getty Images/iStockphoto; Northumberland Tourism/;

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