Our suggestions for keeping the children entertained whatever the weather
Rosebud is a cottage of contrasts. It is surrounded by fields and hills, close to the Northumberland National Park and the country villages of Belford and Wooler, yet just 20 minutes from Bamburgh’s wide sandy beach and the coast. There’s a unique and distinct feel to this two-bedroom cottage at different times of the day; whether you’re soaking up the sun and playing games in the garden or looking up at those 360-degree starry night skies.
Make the most of your arrival day by stopping off for lunch at Sunnyhills Farmshop before the 4pm check-in at Rosebud (3pm in the winter months). Located just off the A1 at Belford, it is the kind of place parents and children both like – excellent, locally sourced, fresh food and an outdoor play area to keep the young ones happy while you linger over coffee.
Excitement levels will no doubt be high by the time you arrive at Rosebud. Let the kids soak up the surroundings – there’s plenty of toys and games for them to explore – while you unpack and uncork the complimentary wine. If you are staying in the colder months, get the log burner going, if it’s warm, choose which garden you’re going to position yourself in – the front garden is best for sunsets – and relax after a day of travelling.
Kick off your first full day with a walk to St Cuthbert’s Cave. From Rosebud you can pick up the trail that leads to the National Trust woods near to the cave, where it is said that the monks of Lindisfarne Priory brought this 7th century saint’s body to rest following Viking raids on Holy Island. It is an atmospheric spot and the views from the top are a real treat.
During school holidays, centuries old Heatherslaw Corn Mill, just outside of Ford, runs various baking events where you can try grinding your own flour, pizza and bread making. There’s also a light steam railway running alongside the River Till where you can take a trip to Etal and back spotting wildlife along the way and a lovely tearoom serving locally produced Doddington Dairy cheese and ice cream.
Holidays are all about trying new experiences and Northumberland is a great place to try some of your bucket list activities. Start the day with a supervised morning ride for beginners at Kimmerston Riding Centre on the Ford and Etal Country for one or two hours and you will be introduced to all the basics of riding while ambling through the fields near the Cheviot Hills. Have a well-earned rest afterwards back at Rosebud before packing a pair of binoculars, a deck chair and a hot drink and heading out to Northumberland’s dark sky zone. Nearby Wooler Common is a Dark Sky Discovery Site which is easy to access and is away from local light pollution. If you’d rather stay at the cottage, Rosebud is just at the edge of the dark sky zone and the views of the stars from the garden are just as wonderful.
No trip to Northumberland is complete without some time at the coast. Start the day at the less known Ross Back Sands, which is north of Bamburgh and around a mile’s walk across farmland to the shore. It’ll be worth it when you get there though, as this beach is rarely busy, has soft white sand and perfect views of Holy Island. Make sure you take a picnic though for lunch as there are no facilities nearby. If you can drag yourself from Ross, drive south to the unmissable Bamburgh Beach where you can take a journey through the dunes to wide sands overlooked by Bamburgh Castle. Feeling hungry? Bamburgh village has numerous eating options from seafood to pub grub. Alternatively, stop off at the butchers and buy some of its famous ‘Bamburgh Bangers’ for dinner.
For your last full day at Rosebud, take a trip further afield to Edinburgh – only an hour and half drive from the cottage. There are park and rides just off the A1 that take you directly into the city centre, so you don’t have to worry about the parking. Spend the day at the Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Castle, the excellent Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, hitting Princes Street shops or mooching around one of its many museums.
If you don’t have to rush home on your last day then make the most of your trip after checkout at 10am to explore the region. For those returning north, the Scottish Borders is worth a stop off, while for those going south there’s Newcastle and County Durham.
Rainy day ideas
If the weather thwarts your plans, here are a few alternative ideas to keep the fun going:
– Paint your own pottery creations at Pot-a-doodle-do
– Observe honeybees and find out more about these hardworking insects at Chain Bridge Honey Farm
– Swim at The Ocean Club in Seahouses – a private leisure club of which complimentary membership comes with your holiday at Rosebud. Small entry fee applies.
Many of these activities are also in easy reach of our other Retreats.