Top 10 things to do in Northumberland
Read blog >
Whether you are looking for live music or a quiet country pub, there’s plenty on offer in Northumberland. Anyone whose idea of fun is partying all night, and even some of the morning, might want to plan a visit to Charlie’s or Bedrocks, at Berwick-upon-Tweed, to hear party tunes from across the decades. Hexham’s The Phoenix is well known in the area and popular for its regular club nights and events, while Blyth is home to Dejavu, which boasts two floors of music for dancers to make the most of. Ashington is also fairly well stocked with bars and clubs with the Block and Tackle and The Conchie Pub normally proving pretty lively, especially at the weekend.
If you want to visit a micropub, why not spend an evening with the locals at award-winning The Office, at Morpeth, or its sister venue The Foxes Den, at Felton – a charming cellar bar beneath the Running Fox Bakery and Café? And if you travel to Hexham by train, make sure to stop for a drink at the Platform Bar inside the station, stocking a wide range of beverages but specialising in malt whisky. Virtually every Northumbrian village will have live music on offer at some point but among the best known is The Queens Head at Rothbury, which hosts popular busker’s evenings, The Thatch at Berwick-upon-Tweed and Mr Ant’s at Hexham, where visitors can enjoy live music every Friday. In Low Newton, The Ship Inn is another very popular music venue, with live folk music every fourth Monday in the month and regular film nights.
Anyone in the market for a truly spectacular show need look no further than the sky itself. Northumberland National Park has very little light pollution resulting in the most pristine dark skies in England, and making it one of the best places to stargaze. In 2013, the combined areas of Northumberland National Park and most of Kielder Water and Forest Park were designated England’s first and largest International Dark Sky Park. Here, on a clear night, you can see millions of stars, the Milky Way and even the Andromeda Galaxy (2.5 million light years away) with the naked eye, from anywhere in the National Park. If you want something special, why not visit the world-class Kielder Observatory or attend one of the many dark sky events at the Battlesteads Hotel Observatory in Wark?
Main Road, Milfield, Wooler NE71 6JD
Situated in Milfield Village, The Red Lion is set in a classic stone building dating back to the mid 1700s. It was originally frequented by the Sheep Drovers of the northern counties and became a major resting point for the Mail Stage Coach carrying passengers and mail between Edinburgh and London. Diners can be assured of wholesome home-cooked food, freshly-prepared using locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. Relax and indulge on such treats as honey roast pork belly, home-made steak and ale pie or pan fried salmon fillet, with garlic king prawns, followed by decadent home-made desserts. Visit website
The Peth, West Thirston, Felton, Morpeth NE65 9EE
The Northumberland Arms is a beautiful bar and restaurant situated by the River Coquet in the heart of Northumberland. The building was built in 1820 by Hugh Percy, the 3rd Duke of Northumberland as a coaching inn and has now been fully renovated to a high standard. Wholesome, locally-sourced food is served daily in the River Room, as well as the restaurant and bar/lounge area, it is cooked to perfection by the team of chefs. The real ale offering is predominantly based on local breweries supplying good quality ales with the occasional guest appearances of beers from a little further afield. The cellar team is also passionate about cocktails, craft beer and real ales so expect to see a regularly changing lineup. Visit website
Sanderson Arcade, Unit 3D, Morpeth NE61 1NS
Barluga is a place where you can indulge yourself and entertain your friends at the same time, offering a gastro-pub style menu of comfort food, and an a la carte menu of delicious modern British cuisine. An extensive quality wine list and superb cocktail selection will exercise the mind as much as delighting the palate and the atmosphere and service is always friendly. Visit website
Main Road, Chatton, Alnwick NE66 5PS
In the heart of rural Northumberland in the village of Chatton you’ll find The Percy Arms; an ideal place to drink and dine in luxury. Upon entering the dog-friendly bar area, guests are greeted with cosy hues of greens and tartans, comfy Chesterfield sofas, combined with a mix of newly covered chairs in rich tartan fabrics and delightful drapes depicting hunting scenes complete with horns, horseshoes, riding crops and wellies! The menu features an extensive combination of seasonal, locally-sourced produce presenting everything from hearty soups with home-made breads, appetising meat and fish planks, home-made ‘stacked’ burgers and sandwiches and for the heartier appetite, the best quality steaks, traditional beer battered fish and chips and warming shepherd’s pie. Visit website
Alnwick NE66 3EW
The Ship Inn is a small pub and micro brewery that serves their own ales. This restaurant and pub pride themselves on cooking simple food extremely well, only using first class local ingredients and there is a very small evening menu which changes daily. The menu offers interesting vegetarian food, delicious old fashioned puddings and nearly all of the fish is caught by local fishermen. From June until October the restaurant serves lobster straight from Newton Bay, arrive at the right time and you will see the ‘lobster man’ enroute to The Ship walking up the beach with a bucket of lobster in each hand. All meat comes from local farms and is free range wherever possible. Visit website
Northumberland restaurants and cafes
Northumberland cultural attractions
Image credits: ©Chinh Le Duc/Santypan/Scott Warman/Yutacar/Unsplash; Irmelamela/stock.adobe.com; Shutterstock.com