For those of you who have booked a Retreats break, and for those who are toying with the idea, here are some of our recommendations to have a truly memorable Northumberland Christmas.
For the kids (and the big kids!)
Take a trip to Alnwick Gardens where its Sparkle installation will be lighting up the gardens in an array of colours until December 31. The Sparkle event will be running alongside visits to see Father Christmas, a Christmas Market and a lantern procession on December 20.
Stay at Driftwood (Sleeps 6) or The Fold@Rock (Sleeps 8).
For food lovers
Take a bracing Christmas stroll along Bamburgh, Seahouses or Newton by the Sea beaches and then stop off for a pub lunch and a warm by the fire at The Joiners Arms or The Ship Inn in Newton, The Olde Ship Inn in Seahouses or The Victoria, Bamburgh. Alternatively, combine a beach walk with the craggy coastline of Craster and have some gastro fayre at The Jolly Fisherman.
If you are sick of the sight of turkey then Elan Pizzeria, The Spice House and The Indian Brasserie in Seahouses are great options for some non-Christmas tucker.
Stay at Bamburgh Six (Sleeps 5), Craster Retreat (Sleeps 8) or Salt Air (Sleeps 4).
For the adventurous
Ride the North Sea surf and work off the Christmas Day lunch with some surf lessons from the guys at Northside Surf or take part in the Boxing Day Dip at Spittal beach in Berwick.
Stay at The Beach Pad (Sleeps 2) or The Bolthole (Sleeps 4).
If you need a pamper
Take advantage of the membership to the private Ocean Club in Seahouses which comes with your holiday cottage to enjoy a swim, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi at a small entry fee of £6. The club also has day and half day spa packages if you are in need of a massage or a facial.
Stay at Bluegrass (Sleeps 4 plus the small entry fee to the club is waived at this apartment) or The Plaice (Sleeps 6).
If you’re a Christmas traditionalist
Get back to what Christmas is all about with midnight mass on December 24 at St Aidan’s Church in Bamburgh, or join in on their Christmas Day service. Alternatively, have a musical experience in the epic setting of Bamburgh Castle’s Kings Hall with its Christmas concert on December 19. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the interval.
Stay at Skyfall (Sleeps 4), Castlegate (Sleeps 6) or The Mast House (Sleeps 8).
If you’re a home body
Order in all your Christmas food and drink and camp down in your chosen cottage. See the festivities through by warming your feet by the log burner, playing the numerous board games or cosying up on the sofa and watching a movie.
Stay at The Old Paper Mill (Sleeps 2), Tweedswood (Sleeps 4) or Moo House (Sleeps 12).