Experience stunning views by day and dark skies by night
Kielder and Hexham
Depending on which cottage you start from, the stunning Kielder Water & Forest Park is just a twenty-minute drive away, or right on your doorstep if you’re staying in Otterstone.
Kielder is famous for its star-studded dark skies and is the largest protected dark sky park in Europe. Stargazing here is very often breathtaking, and a visit to the Kielder Observatory is highly recommended (we recommend booking well in advance).
Hexham is only a short drive to the south, with lots of shops, eating places, and a beautiful Abbey dating from the 7th century. Otterburn Woollen Mill is a fifteen-minute drive and well worth a visit.
Bamburgh, Seahouses, the Farne Islands and Holy Island (Lindisfarne), if you like the coast, are all a drivable distance away for a day trip. The coast itself is celebrated for its long unspoilt sandy beaches and its spectacular rocky shores.
The Northumberland landscape isn’t just about its rolling hills and rugged crags, its hidden valleys, its forests, tumbling streams or waterfalls.
All over Northumberland the landscape shows the scars of its turbulent history, from the Roman Wall itself and the numerous medieval castles, to the fortified (Pele) towers built for protection against the cross-border raids of the reivers.
But the visible evidence goes back still further, before England, before Scotland and most likely, before Rome. Just look at any Ordnance Survey map of the county and you will see marked hundreds of stone age settlements, some of the oldest in the UK. Then there are the mysterious ‘cup and ring’ marked rocks all around if you look.
Later, when the Romans had gone, Northumbria became the northern kingdom of England, stretching from the Forth to the Humber. Again, the evidence is in the landscape, if you can find it, not only of its fortifications, but also of its parliament.
The beginnings of christianity in Britain are found at Lindisfarne, and the ruins of its monasteries are scattered over the map.
A holiday in Northumberland is really more like time travel.