Looking for things to do with kids this summer? Lucky for you, Northumberland is full of action-packed family days out. From brand new attraction Lilidorei, to boarding the steam train at Ford and Etal, there is so much to do as a family here in Northumberland.
1) A DAY OF MAGIC IN ALNWICK
Visiting spellbinding Alnwick is guaranteed to make for a magical family day out. Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick’s newest family attraction, is a magical village where woodland creatures prepare for Christmas all year round. Home to the world’s largest play structure, is it an absolutely unmissable attraction for families in Northumberland.
Make sure to admire the Grand Cascade, mysterious Poison Garden and romantic Rose Garden at The Alnwick Garden too. Then, enjoy lunch in the twinkling treetops of The Alnwick Treehouse before heading to Alnwick Castle, known for its starring role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Don’t miss Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery, which holds over 10,000 years of history in its charming stone walls, before heading to The Hogs Head Inn for a delicious homemade evening meal.
Make it an overnight stay at Village Farm Cottages, a superb self-catering holiday cottage accommodation with an on-site Health Club equipped with a swimming pool and spa.
2) A DAY OF TIME TRAVEL IN FORD AND ETAL
Stepping out of your car at Ford and Etal Estates is like stepping out of Marty Mcfly’s DeLorean Time Machine. Start your day by visiting Heatherslaw Cornmill, the traditional, 700 year old corn mill that is still a working mill today. Take a bag of freshly ground flour with you and head to Boes Café for coffee and cake, before boarding the steam train at Heatherslaw Light Railway to Etal.
Visit beautiful Etal Castle, currently offering free entry. Then, grab a bite to eat at the only thatched pub in Northumberland, The Black Bull. Take the perfect post-lunch walk down to the banks of The River Till and watch canoeists glide by on the sparkling water.
Head to Ford and pop into Lady Waterford Hall to admire Pre-Raphaelite artwork, then end your day by walking or driving to Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre to see the adorable horses, foals and piglets.
Extend your stay at Till River Fishing Holiday cottages, which lie only 200 yards away from the River Till, offering a large lawn area, a path leading down to the river, an apple and plum tree, and even a tennis court closeby.
3) A DAY TO ROAM LIKE THE ROMANS IN HEXHAM
Visit Hexham on a Tuesday and start your morning with a mosey around Hexham Market. Freshly baked bread, organic fruit and veg, and locally sourced meats are just a few of the exquisite culinary offerings.
Otherwise, head straight to Hexham Old Gaol, the prison that dates back to the 1300s, before heading into Hexham Abbey to admire the striking architecture. The monastery-turned-abbey was built in 674 AD using ancient stones from Hadrian’s Wall. Then go for a wander around the idyllic Tyne Green’s lush green spaces, passing trickling streams and views of Hexham Bridge.
Make your way to Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum to see live excavations taking place by expert archaeologists (during summer only), then enter The Roman Army Museum to learn about the history of the site and see collections of incredible ancient finds that were dug up onsite.
Extend your stay at Carraw Farm, just a ten minute drive from Vindolanda. Their two luxury, self-catering holiday homes sit quite literally on Hadrian’s Wall and within easy reach of Hexham.
4) A DAY TO AL-PACA YOUR WETSUITS IN KIELDER
Fill your day with activities and adventures in Kielder. Start with much-needed coffees and hot chocolates to fuel up for the day ahead at The Forest Bar and Kitchen.
Northumbrian Water’s newest activity offering means you can admire Kielder reservoir from the water itself. Test dad’s balance on a stand up paddleboarding session, or discover the reservoir on a guided canoe tour.
Having surely worked up an appetite, drive to The Pheasant Inn for a delicious lunch and beautiful countryside views. Then, continue the adventure with a visit to Ferny Rigg, who run Alpaca Walks through Northumberland National Park.
If the kids have enough energy after a day of exploring, take them to a fascinating dark skies event at Kielder Observatory. They offfer a number of family events, even in the summer months.
Make it a staycation at Clear Sky Lodge Park in Kielder is set in 45 acres with views of the North Tyne in the peaceful Ravenshill Forest.
5) A DAY OUT FOR THE TENS AND OVER IN CORBRIDGE
Have a day filled with history and hair-raising activities in the beautiful market town of Corbridge. We highly recommend starting your day by exploring the town, perhaps picking up a pastry from Corbridge Larder and checking out The Pele Tower in Corbridge Market Place.
Then, it’s time for the history portion of the day, as you visit Corbridge Roman Town. Just a short walk from Corbridge centre, the site was once a bustling town and supply base where Roman civilians would pick up food and provisions.
If your kids are 10 and over, make your way to Matfen Hall’s Go Ape course for a Treetop Challenge. You are guaranteed to have an amazing day out with the family here and have the added bonus of admiring the grounds of stunning country house hotel Matfen Hall. *The minimum age for Tree Top Challenge is 10 as long as they are over 1.4 meters high and supervised by participating adults over 18.
Extend your time at Matfen Hall by booking your stay here. Rich in heritage, the estate provides a 5 star, unequalled paradise to stay, spa and golf in, nestled away in the heart of historic Northumberland.