Our Top 10 things to do guide to some of Northumberland’s year-round highlights is a great place to start planning your getaway, but for those one-off seasonal events that will take your holiday from being memorable to unforgettable, look no further than this compilation of what’s on this summer.
The 80-day Great Exhibition of the North kicked off in Newcastle at the end of June with aerial displays of drones and live music. A celebration of all things northern from art through to innovation, there are trails and events happening across the city until September. Download the programme here.
Celebrate the end of the summer at the Lindisfarne Festival – Northumberland’s answer to Glastonbury but without the price tag. Held in the grounds of Beal Farm overlooking Holy Island, the setting is worth the ticket alone. This year’s line up sees the Happy Mondays headlining on Friday and the Levellers on Saturday. August 30 to September 2.
It wouldn’t be summer without filling your stomach at a food and beer festival. Set in Berwick’s 18th century barracks, the Berwick Food and Beer Festival has more than 80 stalls for you to feast on. August 31-September 2.
If you are a big fan of Harry Potter, then Alnwick Castle’s Wizarding Week will have you reaching for your wand in no time. Try broomstick training on the very lawn where Harry did in the film, discover the locations where scenes were shot and meet some of the characters. August 28-September 1.
The Castles Challenge Triathlon takes place on August 19 from Bamburgh Castle. Think scenic routes and stunning backdrops at this swim, cycle and running event.
A reenactment of the Battle of Carham (also referred to as the Battle of Coldstream) to mark the 1000th anniversary of when the Northumbrians fought the Scots will take place at Holme, possibly the original site of the combat, on July 7 and 8. It is considered by many the reason why the Scottish border is where it is today. This event will also be celebrated at the Defending Berwick and the Border Living History weekend on July 21 and 22 where there will also be medieval textile making, cookery and archery.
Warm and light evenings are made for outdoor theatre and even more so when the backdrop is one of Northumberland’s iconic castles. This year there are Shakespeare performances of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on July 10 and 11 at Alnwick Castle. Bamburgh Castle is also staging one of the Bard’s plays, Romeo and Juliet on August 25 while you can go down the rabbit hold with Alice on August 6 at Warkworth Castle in a production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
For pop and opera, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Tom Jones, Madness and Il Divo will all be in concert at Alnwick Castle, while classical sounds can be experienced as part of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Nordic Summer Nights tour in Alnwick, Rothbury or Berwick. Click here for the programme.