If you like your Christmases traditional, cold and wintry, with hearty food, twinkling lights and dashes of festive magic, then Northumberland is for you.
Imagine a Narnia-esqe destination where you’ll wrap up warm and walk the wide sandy beaches with magnificent castles marking your way and find quaint pubs at the end of your journey with roaring fires.
Choose any of our Retreats and you’ll be immediately dazzled by the warmth of our welcome, the festive displays, and the comfort and finesse of your surroundings. Our food partner, Food Heaven, can also deliver all your festive food and drink to your Retreat and unpack it before your arrival so you don’t have the hassle of thinking about groceries when you are away. It may be hard to tear yourself away from home at this time of year, but with a Coastal Retreat you’ll find all the Christmas magic in a very glamorous package.
There’s a whole host of Christmas events across the region from festive markets (The Alnwick Garden one is particularly atmospheric) to concerts (we’d recommend Bamburgh Castle’s evening of festive music in the King’s Hall for a spectacular location) in the run up to the big day. For younger guests you’ll also find Santa popping in to say hello. For a true North Pole type experience it is worth taking the drive to Kielder Forest to see Father Christmas and his elves at the Kielder Winter Wonderland.
If Christmas doesn’t start for you until Christmas Eve then start as you mean to go on with lunch and ice skating at The Alnwick Garden. Book in advance for The Treehouse restaurant as it is hugely popular. Situated literally within a treehouse, it is so unique you really will feel you have been transported to another land.
In the evening, head down to Seahouses harbour to watch the fireworks before a festive drink at The Olde Ship Inn. If the weather is poor then the fireworks can be postponed, so it is advisable to check the Seahouses Development Trust website before going. For midnight mass services see St Ebba’s Church, Beadnell or St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh for times.
After the main event of eating, drinking, exchanging gifts and enjoying uninterrupted time with friends and family, you can’t beat a Boxing Day walk on one of Northumberland’s beautiful beaches. Whatever section you choose, there are places to eat or drink dotted along the route. To help you plan, check out our Northumberland walks guide.
But Northumberland’s secret to a Christmas to remember is the feeling of having escaped that you will get from coming here. Christmas can be a hectic time, but here you’ll truly begin to unwind. Take a trip to the spiritual Holy Island, only accessible via a causeway when the tide is out, visit one of Northumberland’s many castles and feel the royalty of this land of past kings first hand, or just simply enjoy the beauty of the landscape and its amazing skies. We’ve no doubt you will leave feeling raring to go for the year ahead.
Where to stay?
Here are just a few of our suggestions to help you find your perfect Christmas escape:
Bamburgh Five – a two-bedroom apartment with decadent furnishings and stunning views of Bamburgh Castle.
Craster Retreat – a gorgeous period cottage by Craster harbour, sleeping 8 with a fantastic kitchen to make gourmet dining at home easy.
Dairy Three – a three-bedroom family getaway with sea views all round and just metres from Embleton beach
Duneside House – an entertaining house for 10 by the beach and with a large open plan living area for socialising
Nook End – a country meets coast cottage hideaway for six with a log burning stove and an array of child friendly features
The Hemmel – a characterful barn conversion with three bedrooms, a country style kitchen and a feature log burner
Tweedswood – a cosy yet sophisticated 200-year-old Borders cottage for four where you can truly escape
View our Christmas page for more information about our flexible start dates over this period.