Classic British weather need not spoil your fun on a Retreats holiday. There are still lots of adventures to be had – you just need to know where to find them. Here’s our inside knowledge of what to do when you get served a slice of umbrella weather in Northumberland.
Have your pick of the castles
You don’t have to go far in Northumberland to come across a castle, and these iconic structures have been around for centuries, so a bit of rain doesn’t alter their glory one bit.
For the king of castles head to Bamburgh Castle where you’ll find impressive state rooms, weaponry and some creepy dungeons, plus arguably one of the best views of this stretch of coastline.
Harry Potter fans will no doubt have Alnwick Castle on their to-do list as the site where Harry had his first broomstick training session in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. A great place for exploring your imagination, you can dress up as a knight and take part in some medieval crafts, or if you are brave enough enter the dragon’s lair in Dragons Quest. We’d recommend you schedule in a visit to The Alnwick Garden treehouse for lunch while you’re there. You don’t need a garden ticket to eat here, but it is advisable to make a reservation. A unique experience of dining inside an actual treehouse, you can warm up by the open fire, enjoy some excellent meals made from locally-sourced ingredients and then take to the wobbly rope bridges under the shelter of the trees afterwards.
For a true haunted castle experience, Chillingham Castle has weird and wonderful artefacts and chilling ghost stories. Its quirkiness makes it different from what you’d normally expect. Well worth a visit.
There’s also Lindisfarne and Warkworth castles which you can find out more about in our castles guide.
Head to the spa
The majority of our Retreats come with membership to the Ocean Club in Seahouses, which is perfect for a rainy day. A ‘member’s only’ leisure centre and spa where you can swim, relax in the Jacuzzi, sauna or steam room, take part in a fitness class or indulge yourself in one of the spa treatments. There’s a children’s pool for younger guests and excellent changing rooms and café. A small entry fee is charged.
Brush up on your history
Take your pick from Victorian heroine Grace Darling who rescued nine survivors from a shipwreck (Grace Darling Museum – Bamburgh), traditional bread-making at a 700 year old water mill (Heatherslaw Corn Mill – Cornhill-on-Tweed), a Scottish laird’s country house (Paxton House – Berwick upon Tweed) or tasting Earl Grey tea at the home of its maker (Howick Hall Gardens).
Escape to the city
Shops, restaurants, cinema, theatre – Edinburgh and Newcastle have them in abundance. At just a train journey from our Retreats, you can easily enjoy a day trip to either of these cities regardless of the weather.
Retreat to your Retreat
Let the rain be your excuse just to unwind and enjoy some of the simple pleasures in life at your Retreat. Our gorgeous cottages are meant to be enjoyed, so light the log burning stove, fire up the coffee maker and just chill. If you’re staying in one of our sea view properties, the entertainment will come to you in the guise of one of Northumberland’s spectacular weather shows of dramatic skies and crashing waves. Elsewhere, pull out the board games or settle down to a movie. Don’t forget to end your day with a fabulously cooked meal and a glass of wine.