10 Northumberland places to be seen at this summer

Coastal Retreats Blog 1 May 2019

Lindisfarne Castle at sunrise

The wave of warm weather that was so welcome over the Easter weekend has certainly got us in the mood for summer days, which will be here a whole lot sooner than you think! In fact, with the first May bank holiday weekend landing so delightfully at our doors this weekend, we thought it was time to compile the Northumberland places to be seen at this Summer. What not to miss, what’s new and some classic favourites that never fail to disappoint.

‘Untold Stories’ exhibition at the recently reopened Lindisfarne Castle

Lindisfarne Castle is a firm favourite with our guests, but this year is particularly exciting after it reopened following nearly 18 months of restoration work. The ‘Untold Stories’ exhibition features exciting discoveries uncovered during the restoration, including some intricate wall paintings.


The new Box.Restaurant at Swinhoe, Beadnell

Following a successful Kickstarter funding campaign earlier this year pop-up eatery Box.Pizza became Box.Restaurant when it redeveloped its shipping container into a sit-in restaurant with some amazing views of the coast. It is now open all day for breakfast and pizza from its bespoke, traditional Italian wood-fired oven, with the choice of sitting indoors or out or ordering takeaway. Box has also adopted an initiative run by non-profit Refill HQ where people can refill their own water bottles to reduce plastic waste. Coastal Retreats guests receive 10% off at Box – see our partner offers for details.



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Singalong to The Greatest Showman at Bamburgh or Alnwick Castles

Both castles will be hosting an outdoor cinema screening of this still popular movie. Bring a blanket, a picnic and your singing voice and enjoy a night of entertainment at either of these spectacular locations. Bamburgh Castle (Aug 8), Alnwick Castle (Aug 25).



See nature in all its glory at one of the best places in the UK – The Farne Islands

No trip to Northumberland should leave out a boat trip to these islands. Puffins – the star attraction – have already been sighted this year with around 44,000 pairs expected to arrive to have their young throughout the breeding season of May, June and July. The islands are also home to a colony of grey seals and if you’re lucky you may spot dolphins in the water as you head back to shore.


Puffins at The Farne Islands


Named on The Times 2019 Best Places to Live list, Amble is enjoying a renaissance. We love it for its harbour shops – 15 wooden pods selling artisan food, drink, arts and crafts – gelato fixes at Spurreli’s ice cream parlour, fresh fish and seafood at The Old Boat House and watching lobster eggs hatch and grow at the fabulous sustainable project that is the Lobster Hatchery. The hatchery is part of the Northumberland Seafood Centre, which is a great place to stop off at and buy the catch of the day.




Amble Harbour village

Star Wars laser battles at The Alnwick Garden

This weekend (May 4, 5 and 6), The Alnwick Garden will be going to a galaxy far far away when it welcomes Darth Vader, The Storm Troopers and Chewbecca as part of its Star Wars weekend. The highlight will be the laser wars on Sunday and Monday with 40 inflatable walls and obstacles. One of our top 10 things to do, The Alnwick Garden is always fun whether you are eating in its Treehouse Restaurant, braving its rope bridges, getting lost in bamboo maze or just chilling out underneath the cherry blossom.



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European Rugby Finals in Newcastle

Newcastle plays host to the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the European Rugby Champions Cup at St James’ Park on May 10-11. Tickets are sold out for the Champions Cup, but you can still head over to the Quayside fanzone where they’ll be a big screen to watch the games, food and drink, family activities, zip wire rides from the Tyne Bridge and a fireworks finale at 11pm on the Saturday.

Go all Game of Thrones at Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall inspired the ice wall in Game of Thrones and now English Heritage has responded to the surge in questions from visitors about the connections between the two by appointing Watchers on the Wall. To coincide with the final season airing last month, these Watchers, complete with black cloaks and shields are reminiscent of the show’s Night Watch and will be stationed at Roman forts along Hadrian’s Wall to answer questions.


Party at the Lindisfarne Festival

This end-of-the-summer festival celebrates its fifth year of music and creativity on the Northumberland coast, overlooking Holy Island. Headline acts include Ocean Colour Scene, Pete Doherty & the Puta Madres, Gentleman’s Dub Club and Goldie. Start the autumn on a high note.



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Dippy at Newcastle’s Great North Museum

Dippy – a skeleton cast of a diplodocus previously on display at London’s Natural History Museum and now on a tour of the UK – will set up home at Newcastle’s Great North Museum from May 18 until October. It’s the only venue to host Dippy in the North East so if you’re a dinosaur fan, it’s one not to miss.

If you’re new to Northumberland, you may also like to check out our beaches and top 10 things to do guides, which are a great place to start when planning your holiday.



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If you’re new to Northumberland, you may also like to check out our beaches and top 10 things to do guides, which are a great place to start when planning your holiday.

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