Top 10 things to do
While on holiday with Coastal Retreats, experience the thrill of flying and view the stunning Northumberland coast with Purple Aviation – a Northumberland-based flying school.
From Trial Flights lasting half an hour to a three-hour Big Adventure, Purple Aviation has five small light aircraft and a team of five highly experienced and enthusiastic instructors with more than 10,000 hours of flight time between them.
Full training packages to gain your National Private Pilot’s Licence are also available.
Use discount code c0a5t at the checkout for a £25 discount on a 60-minute Trial Flight.
Our A-Z guide
Some of our favourite things to do…
1. Do the circular walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle, enjoy some fish soup and crab sandwiches in The Jolly Fisherman at the end of the walk and stock up on freshly smoked kippers from Robson’s Smokery before going home.
2. Visit Alnwick Gardens and Castle. Let the children explore the interactive water gardens, learn about how common garden plants can be deadly in the poison garden and walk the wobbly bridges at The Treehouse. The Treehouse is a truly magical restaurant, but you will need to book ahead as it is extremely popular. At Alnwick Castle you can see where Harry Potter was filmed and undertake a spot of broomstick training yourself.
3. There is a beautiful walk from Seahouses to Bamburgh along the beach (at low tide, parts of a shipwreck can be seen half way along). Have lunch at any one of these Bamburgh eateries, visit the interactive Grace Darling Museum, pop over the road to see the beautiful little church where this young heroine is buried, then walk back to Seahouses at high tide along the beach or dunes There is a superb spot on the rocks at Seahouses, next to the old war time ammunitions hut, where you can have an evening beach ‘barbie’. It’s an amazing place to watch the sun go down while the children are doing a spot of rockpooling. Bring your jumpers and some rugs to keep warm.
4. Take afternoon tea at the former home of Earl Grey (namesake of the tea), Howick Hall and Gardens. It’s like stepping back in time and is a marvellous place for tea and cucumber sandwiches.
5. A trip to Holy Island. Holy Island is linked to the mainland by a causeway which is only passable at low tide. It is important to check the timetable before setting out as you don’t want to get caught out. It is truly unique and mystical place to visit. Wander around the village shops, explore Lindisfarne Castle and just soak up those amazing sea views.
6. Cycle to Ross from Bamburgh. Enjoy a meander through the country lanes for about four miles. Leave your bikes locked up at Ross and walk over the sand dunes (about 30 minutes ) to the most beautiful deserted beach with amazing views of Holy Island. You can also drive to Ross and park your car on the country lane if you do not fancy cycling. Once on the beach if you head north for another 45 minutes, and the tide is very low, you may be lucky enough to see a shipwreck.
7. Walk from Beadnell along the beach, dunes and bays to Newton-by-the-Sea and have lunch in The Ship Inn. Football Cove, along the route, is a real find, but don’t swim there as the currents are strong. It’s very sheltered and is a great place for sunbathing or fishing.
8. Browse through thousands of second hand books at Barter Books in the old railway station at Alnwick. There’s a lovely cafe inside the store and some squashy sofas where you can browse the books at your leisure. The well stocked children’s corner is popular. Afterwards, catch a movie at the Alnwick Playhouse.
9. Take a rowing boat down the River Coquet in Warkworth. The boats are found just down the road from the Castle (in the summer months only), along from the picnic area which is accessed from the village centre and the church. After a picnic by the river and some essential retail therapy in Warkworth’s galleries and shops, we suggest you head south out of Warkworth to Morwick and treat yourselves to a large freshly made icecream from the Morwick Dairy.
10. Spend the day at our favourite castle – Chillingham Castle near Chatton. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of artefacts ranging from invitations from Buckingham Palace, personal letters from Jules Holland, stuffed alligators, old wooden skis used on Everest expeditions, suits of armour, torture chamber contraptions and letters warning you not to steal the silverware or you’ll be struck down by the curse! It is known as the UK’s most haunted castle and is open from April to October.