Falling in Love with Northumberland: Romantic Getaways to Warm your Heart
England’s northernmost county is a heart stealer. Visit once and you can be damned sure you’ll be coming back for more.
From rugged coastlines and ruinous castles, to the dazzling, star-studded skies, England’s last great wilderness offers the perfect ingredients for romance. Add a dash of Northumberland charm and you’ll be hooked.
To the moon and back
Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is Europe’s largest area of protected night sky, making Northumberland officially the best place in England for star gazing. Head outdoors after sunset and enjoy front row seats to a show of magnificent constellations, meteor showers and the Milky Way, a whopping 2.5 million light years away. Northumberland is also one of the best places to spot the beautiful dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights).
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Northumberland Coastline and the multi-award-winning Northumberland National Park offer a rich heritage and jaw dropping views. Think windswept walks framed by a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, mighty mediaeval castles and deserted golden beaches. Active duos may relish a challenging long-range coastal walk (there are 64 miles of way-marked trails) or you can pick from any number of circular routes, punctuated by pit stops for a hearty lunch.
We recommend heading to Craster, home to the famous smoked kippers and some very fine art galleries. From here you can enjoy a stunning beach walk across National Trust land taking in the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, before dropping down onto the white sands of Embleton Bay. Head towards Low Newton and The Ship Inn for a restorative lunch.
Take a look at some other recommended walks to enjoy as a couple.
Northumberland is a veritable treasure trove of native wildlife and a must-go destination for nature lovers. Few places in the UK can compare with the Farne Islands, home to colonies of puffins, terns and kittiwakes and the largest breeding colony of grey seals in England. Head to Seahouses for boat trips to the Farne Islands for the best sightings.
Then there’s the red squirrels, the fallow and roe deer, ospreys and otters. We could go on.
While Northumberland’s iconic castles may represent a colourful past, they are certainly in keeping with our childhood notions of fairytale romance. And there’s no shortage of mighty fortresses to be viewed. Potter around the castles of Alnwick, Bamburgh, Warkworth, Belsay and Chillingham and let yourself be enchanted by spiral staircases, battlements and towers where damsels in distress were once rescued by brave knights (perhaps).
The Food of Love
Northumberland is the perfect spot to enjoy a foodie love affair. With a local larder bursting with flavours from the fields and shorelines, you’ll be dining handsomely. Local specialities include brown crab and oysters (nature’s aphrodisiacs), smoked kippers, premium grass-fed lamb and beef and full-fat dairy ice cream. Combine soft candlelight with exceptional cuisine and friendly service and you have a recipe for romance.
The Love of a Good Book
Avid readers will delight in a stop at Barter Books in Alnwick. Housed within the town’s old Victorian railway station, it contains one of the biggest collections of antiquarian books in the UK and with real fires in the winter, a model railway and station buffet its appeal isn’t just reserved for bookworms. Pick up a romantic novel and find a cosy corner to escape for a while.