Tag: Northumberland

Autumn walks

Isn’t Autumn just the most glorious time of the year? Crunchy leaves, misty mornings, crispy air and with a myriad of colours sweeping over our trees, woodlands, gardens, hedgerows, fields and even across our skies. Autumn is definitely not the time to hibernate.

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Early morning at St Oswald’s Farm

Northumberland is renowned for its walks and trails right across the County from coast to country, from remote moorlands to river walks, Northumberland offers the very best in walking opportunities. For hardened walkers Autumn brings a new dimension to each walk with a kaleidoscope of colours to indulge in and for those who enjoy more of a gentle stroll there’s no better time than Autumn to breathe in the great outdoors. Whatever your walking level or experience we can guarantee Northumberland has a walk for you.

You don’t need to travel far from our back door to enjoy the River Tyne. One of Hexham’s nicest green spaces is Tyne Green and it is the most tranquil of places to enjoy, this long river walk at any time of the year is lovely but bathed in Autumn glory it’s nothing short of beautiful.

Further east, the River Tyne takes you to Wylam and to Hagg Bank which is dominated by an impressive single span arch bridge, this former railway bridge is now a footbridge only. The walk East, Keelman’s Way (cycle route 141), stretches from Wylam to Newburn and can be accessed from either end or you may wish to explore the river stretch from Prudhoe to Wylam taking in sights such as George Stephenson’s Cottage and Prudhoe Castle along the way. A copy of this handy guide of the walks along this river stretch is also available in the cottage.

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Hagg Bank at Wylam

The walks at Allen Banks & Staward Gorge are a must-see in Autumn. The gardens and woodlands are owned by the National Trust and are the largest area of ancient semi-natural woodland in Northumberland. This beautiful wooded gorge that follows the River Allen has many different walks to enjoy with miles of paths, most are signed, however some are fairly steep and in places can be a little uneven. Amongst this ancient and ornamental woodland not only will you discover wildife and fauna but also ancient monuments and perhaps even a summer house! Make sure to grab a map available from the car park to keep you on the right path. For current opening times and to check on any restrictions please check their website before visiting. Top tip – afterwards head to Bardon Mill Village Store & Tearoom for hot drinks, light lunches and cake!

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Allen Banks & Staward Gorge in Autumn

The Simonside Hills in Northumberland National Park are perhaps the most recognisable hills in the County and as the Autumn months approach they bring just an expanse of purple beauty across the heather moorland. There is a circular 7km walk to the summit and although the route across the woodlands and moor are classed as moderate it is oh so worth it. At the summit you will encounter 360 degree view and be able to take in the Cheviot Hills, Coquetdale and over to the North Sea coastline. You will find details of parking and route guidance on the National Park website.

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Simonside Hills

It’s hard to choose our favourite place to visit in Autumn, Gibside with its long tree lined avenue or the charm of Belsay Hall and the colours that appear across the gardens and surrounding woodlands at this time of year. Or perhaps our favourite is Cragside House & Gardens which despite the many evergreens amongst their 7 million trees they just seem to highlight and compliment the display of Autumn colours. Talkin’ Tarn is lovely for a gentle walk around a lake but then so is Bolam Lake and there’s Blanchland …if only Autumn lasted longer. There’s always next year when nature will do it for us all again!

Whatever or wherever you choose to walk during your Autumn stay we can guarantee you will ‘fall’ for the charm of Northumberland.

Heavenfield Cottage is the perfect base for all your Autumn days out and just perfect to return back to following a day in the great outdoors. With underfloor heating, a log burning stove, a deep double ended bath, walk-in rainforest shower, fluffy bathrobes, the biggest most comfortable bed with luxury bedding, oh and there’s even somewhere to dry your boots! Sound good? All our Autumn availability for this year and next year can be found here.

We look forward to welcoming you to St Oswald’s Farm.

King of Castles

So, where is the King of Castles? Well without doubt it has to be Northumberland which boasts more castles than any other county in England, a clear legacy of its turbulent past including the infamous Border wars which raged from the 14th to 16th centuries. Northumberland is home to over 70 castle sites and although some of the buildings have now gone many remain, some in all their grandeur yet some only in ruin, leaving only a hint of what once was.

No trip to England’s northernmost County would be complete without a visit to at least one of these remarkable reminders of the history which Northumberland lays claim to. No matter where you stay or where your days out take you, you can rest assured there will be a castle just around the corner.

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Alnwick Castle – image D Bartlett

A trip to the North of Northumberland brings delights such as Alnwick Castle which is the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle and is home to the 12th Duke of Northumberland. This historical and impressive monument stands inland and holds guard over the River Aln with the impressive grounds surrounding the castle landscaped by none other than Lancelot “Capability” Brown. The castle itself has featured in over 40 films and TV shows including two of the Harry Potter films. Visit the lavish state rooms, enjoy the exhibitions or take up the chance to have a guide with one of the daily talks and tours or there’s always the opportunity for a spot of broomstick training for those would be wizards!

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Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sights on the North East coastline with the unmistakable fortress which has stood guard high on its rocky plateau for over 1400 years, it is quite the the formidable structure sitting above the small and very beautiful village of Bamburgh. A vast history ensures there is plenty to enjoy from the state rooms to the keep, and from the armoury to the museums, halls and even the stables, it’s a treasure trove of delights.

North Northumberland is home to many magnificent castles, Warkworth Castle is just off the coast and with it’s cross shaped keep it sits proudly above the River Coquet and has it’s own Hermitage & Chapel with can be visited but accessible only by boat. The ruins of the once dominating Dunstanburgh Castle stand on a remote headland between Embleton and Craster and can be reached by taking the short coastal walk from Craster village.

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Warkworth Castle

As you would expect with over 70 sites there are castles to be found all over the County and St Oswald’s Farm is within a very short drive of some really lovely castles. Aydon Castle is a real treat and quite literally 10 minutes from us, this fortified manor house is almost intact and is set in secluded woodland and with it’s own walled garden it’s the perfect spot for a picnic. A short drive further east along the picturesque Tyne Valley you will find Prudhoe Castle which was built in the late 11th century can be found on the South bank of River Tyne, both are English Heritage properties and have good amenities.

The castles across the County are vastly different and all with their own unique story to tell, it’s easy to get lost in time and imagine a life long ago. So whether you visit the ruins of Belsay Castle or cross the water to Holy Island to discover Lindisfarne Castle or seek the thrill of ghost hunting at Chillingham Castle you will undoubtedly have an unforgettable day out as you explore our past.

Northumberland is looking forward to welcoming you back really soon and when it’s safe to do so. When planning your stay and days out please check with venues themselves for their opening times and new procedures for welcoming visitors.

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We can’t wait to welcome guests back to St Oswald’s Farm and will be putting everything in place to ensure you can book with confidence and enjoy a safe stay.

Why not book your stay now and start making your plans for 2021.

All our prices and availability can be found on our website and of course if you have any queries or there is anything we can help please just get in touch. We look forward to seeing you soon and until then stay safe!