Rachel Recommends… A Northumberland Staycation
Our country has been experiencing a staycation boom in recent years, some suggest it’s due to the economic downturn but if you ask me it’s because more and more people are realising that Britain really is GREAT! So I thought I would share with you one of my favourite places for a holiday at home, Northumberland. It might not have the warmest climate but who needs sun bathing when you’ve got stunning castles, miles of unspoilt coast line, wonderful wildlife and a sense of adventure?
I’m very lucky indeed because the following are some of the unique places I can visit just a short drive from home…
Warkworth Castle is one of many English Heritage sites in the North East. The magnificent hill top castle is home to a wealth of local history but what I really love about Warkworth Castle is how accessible it is, kids can run around freely and make as much noise as they want. The friendly staff will happily feed their imaginations with medieval stories, like how women were not allowed in the castle kitchens because all the men were naked in there on account of it being so hot!
The Farne Islands
As well as being the most famous Sea Bird Sanctuary in the British Isles the Farne Islands also have a large colony of Grey Seals so it’s the perfect place for wildlife spotting. There are many boat trips on offer from the harbour in Seahouses and as soon as you step on board one of the lovely vessels, you’ll feel like you’re on a real adventure!
The most rewarding months to visit the Farne Islands are late May, June and early July when tens of thousands of birds are roosting including the beautiful puffins. A few words of advice though… wear a hat as you are likely to get pecked and pack a picnic because there are no refreshments available. A family membership to the National Trust will also make this and many more sites a much more affordable day out!
Bamburgh Beach and Castle
If I had to choose what I love most about Northumberland I would have to say its beautiful beaches. The views are simply stunning, the sand is among the most perfect in the world and if you time you right, you can get a whole beach to yourself! As you can see by my photo, it doesn’t need to be hot to head to the beach, just wrap up warm and take your pick from unspoilt locations like Dunstanburgh, Embleton and Druridge Bay. My particular favourite is Bamburgh with its iconic castle as a dramatic backdrop and the wonderful Wyndenwell shop nearby where you can enjoy another Northumbrian treat, Vallum Farm ice-cream!
I have loads more suggestions for great days out so keep your eyes peeled for future posts. In the meantime why not tell me about your favourite places in Northumberland below or follow me on twitter @rachmotormouth
All images by Rachel Kershaw
Rachel Kershaw is 31 and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne but is originally from Rochdale. With parents who have never even owned passports, it was inevitable that Rachel would fall in love with holidays in Britain. It was her genuine passion that saw her win the opportunity to be VisitEngland’s Fan in a Van in summer 2012 – an adventure that involved ten weeks on the road in a vintage VW camper blogging about everything from bungee jumping, hot air ballooning and surfing to visiting museums, zoos and numerous British eateries! What a lucky lady!