We’re sometimes asked when is the best time of year to visit Northumberland, and well the honest answer is absolutely anytime. There really isn’t a best time of year to enjoy all that this County has to offer, each season and month is beautiful for it’s own very special reason. As the seasons come and go Northumberland changes, sometimes dramatically and sometimes even just a small and subtle change in light means we witness a new and spectacular beauty.
Let’s begin with Winter, probably the most dramatic of seasons and a one that really shouldn’t not be missed. A visit during our darkest months will bring you an experience that is second to none. You may not be aware that you’re looking for a great ‘night-life’ but perhaps you’re one of the 85% of the population that have never witnessed a truly dark sky. The winter months are the best time of the year to go star gazing, to look up and be in awe of the stars above you.
Northumberland has an International Dark Sky Park status and is home to fantastic observatories where you can book to hear from the experts who will help you navigate the dark skies and leave you in awe of what lies above. If you prefer to explore on your own then there are various dark sky viewpoints across the County or you can of course just grab a cosy blanket, head out onto the patio and look up! The winter months however aren’t just about stars, you might encounter some of the most dramatic skies imaginable, from dark and moody to blue and crystal clear, no two days are the same.
The winter brings fantastic walking opportunities, just as summer walks are gift wrapped in lush green leaves, winter walks take on a whole new dimension as the naked trees and hedgerows expose the vastness of our landscape. If you’re one of those people who like to get wrapped up and enjoy a fresh or bracing winter walk and then head back to the comfort of a log fire and a long deep soak then look no further!
As Winter morphs into Spring Northumberland wakes up and puts on it’s best dress. From as early as February when the snowdrops appear, to the colourful riot of purple and yellow and the sight of newborn lambs right through to the soft fragrant blossom in May, Spring is the time to witness nature just doing it’s thing! Springtime is all about new beginnings, new life on the farms, new buds appearing, the chatter of birds and fresh brand new colours across our fields and hedgerows. Spring is well and truly celebrated across the region with many of our visitor attractions, our towns and villages and gardens putting on a real showcase for you to enjoy. Look out for Spring updates on the snowdrop woodlands and the crocus lawn at Wallington Hall or keep your eye on Alnwick Garden‘s Blossom Watch!
When the Summer months arrive Northumberland just keeps dong what it does best and looks spectacular! Our wide open spaces, our unspoilt landscapes, the rugged moorlands and our rolling hills and farmland become a patchwork of colour. The walks you enjoyed in the sleepy winter months take on a whole new dynamic and our views and big summer skies will once again take your breath away. If you really want to be in awe of our skies then we recommend taking an evening walk right here at St Oswald’s to watch the sunset …it’s nothing short of magical!
As the seasons change and Summer morphs into Autumn and just when you thought Northumberland couldn’t get any prettier mother nature turns everything up a notch. Misty mornings, lower lazy sunrises, the green shades darken, the air turns crisp, the landscapes begins to change and every colour imaginable begins to appear, from the brightest red to shades of orange and gold. The walks become crunchy, the hedgerows become laden with berries and everything begins to feel a bit, well, cosy! The days shorten, the evenings become darker and before we know we’re looking up at the night skies to see our 2000 stars get bigger and brighter.
Northumberland is definitely not just somewhere for your Summer holidays, each of the seasons is spectacular and when each one arrives we always think ‘this is our favourite season’ but then the next one arrives and we find ourselves saying the same thing! Our recommendation is simple – try them all and enjoy Northumberland in all it’s guises! Book your long or short stay in glorious Northumberland, we promise it really doesn’t matter what time of year you choose.