With the weather getting warmer and summer fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your summer holiday. That brings with it a whole host of decisions to be made, none more so important than the destination. But why complicate things? Rather than spend hours giving yourself a headache about where to go, make it simple. The UK has a great range of places to visit that will give you everything you could want from a holiday.
While the UK has plenty of places to choose from, there are some that certainly stand out. A prime example of this is Northumberland. With the help of holidaycottages.co.uk, we look at 6 reasons you need to visit this vibrant and intriguing county this summer.
The unspoilt beaches
Northumberland plays host to some of the best beaches in the country. While perhaps not as popular as the beaches found in the likes of Devon and Cornwall, the county a selection of spectacular history, each with their own unique features and encompassing history. Bamburgh Beach embodies this more than the rest. Overlooked by Bamburgh Castle for the past 1,500 years, this dramatic beach looks out to the Farne Islands to the east. Voted as one of the UK’s best surf spots, dog walkers and horse riders are equally able to enjoy this incredible stretch of sand. Of course, further up and down the coast you will find more beaches that show off the beautiful coastline. There are plenty of cottages in Northumberland that are close to the beach as well so you can stay close to the action.
The cultural heritage
The county is steeped in history at every turn, providing fascinating insights into how our ancestors lived. From ancient ruins to impressive castles, Northumberland has a rich and intriguing heritage that is well worth exploring. Right at the top of the list of places to explore must be Hadrian’s Wall. Joining the likes of Yellowstone National Park and the Great Barrier Reef as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the UK’s greatest landmarks. Anyone who visits will tell you the wall leaves a lasting impression, even George RR Martin, who used the wall as inspiration for Game of Thrones. The surrounding countryside is equally as interesting, with Roman forts and temples decorating the countryside. Northumberland truly is a cultural gem.
The beautiful landscapes
For fans of exploring the outdoors, Northumberland is a fun-filled playground. At the centre of this is Northumberland National Park. Covering more than 400 square miles, it is the least populated National Park in the UK and one of its most tranquil locations. Stunning scenery is at every turn, especially when you come to College Valley. Secluded and peaceful, the dramatic valleys are filled with rugged moorland and wildlife, making it one of the best places for walkers in the county. West of the National Park you will find Kielder Water Forest Park. Home to northern Europe’s largest manmade lake and England’s largest forest, it’s perfect for every type of visitor, with plenty of activities and places to explore.
Although Northumberland is a stunning county, there a few places just off the coast that and equally worth exploring. Scattered a couple of miles off the coast near Seahouses, the Farne Islands are home to an abundance of wildlife. Declared the best place in the UK to see wildlife by David Attenborough, these group of islands are melting pot of animal activity. During summer, 150,000 breeding pairs of seabirds call the islands home, as well as 37,000 puffins. The islands also have a colony of grey seals, with around 1,000 pups being born each autumn. Just up the coast is Holy Island. Accessible by a causeway, this picturesque island has plenty of history for you to get your teeth into.
The natural beauty
There is no denying that Northumberland is beautiful. At every turn you will find stunning landscapes and sweeping views that provide the perfect photo opportunity. One of the most beautiful places, however, is the North Pennines. Found in south Northumberland, this designated Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) is full of vibrant natural beauty. Rich moorland and dramatic dales create unrivalled views of the county. Throughout Northumberland, you will find amazing spots where the landscape will leave you mesmerised.
If you are planning on staying in the UK for your summer holiday this year, whether heading north or south, consider Northumberland and you won’t be disappointed!
Written by guest blogger Lucy Wheater.