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Free things to do

credit to sue_gabbatis

in Northumberland.

Everyone’s feeling the pinch, but a trip to Northumberland doesn’t have to break the bank. From free attractions to activities that cost less than £10 per person, use this guide for your next budget break.

Explore Northumberland’s beaches

A Northumberland beach trip is one of the best ways to spend a free day out in Northumberland and you can expect nothing less than pristine beaches perfect for a family day out, picnic, sunbathe or sea dip (if you’re brave). Quiet bays, the Northumberland Coast Path and incredible castles are all there to admire, from the tranquil beach at Druridge Bay to the coastal walks and imposing castle at Warkworth.

Discover Bamburgh’s hidden gems

Beautiful Bamburgh is a firm favourite for Northumberland visitors, but did you know about the fantastic RNLI Grace Darling Museum that is tucked away just one street behind the picturesque high street? Entry is completely free and the museum commemorates the life of Victorian Britain’s greatest heroine, who risked her life to rescue nine survivors from the wrecked SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838. Head here before your trip to Bamburgh Beach, where you can get a spectacular view of Bamburgh Castle.

Do the Magic Bottles Adventure in Alnwick

Take a virtual tour of Alnwick with The Escape Key’s Magic Bottles Adventure. Inspired by the cursed bottles that hang in the window of The Dirty Bottles pub, you will use your skills to solve clues and win ingredients for the spell to save the town. It’s a fantastic family activity, costs less than £10 per person and you can admire amazing Alnwick Castle en-route. Then, pop into Barter Books (free entry) to browse through their secondhand book selection, enjoy the warmth of the roaring fireplace and grab a bite to eat or drink.

Discover ancient history

Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most spectacular remaining ancient structures in the world and it is completely free to pull on your hiking boots and explore it. There are a number of car parks available depending on which section of the wall you would like to explore, and if you are travelling car-free you can take the AD122 bus service in the summer which stops at all of the main sites along the wall. There are also attractions, forts and museums you can visit if you would like to learn more about Northumberland’s history that cost £10 per person or less, including Vindolanda, The Roman Army Museum and Sycamore Gap.

Walk all over the lady of the north

Northumberlandia, otherwise known as The Lady of the North, is a fantastic, free spot to spend the day in Northumberland. The site is the world’s largest human landform sculpture and this landmark feature resembles a woman who is carved out of the landscape, rising around 34m high and 400m in length. This country park is free to access, dogs are welcome (but must be kept on leads) and the site boasts magnificent views across the Northumberland countryside.

Explore Ford and Etal

Ford and Etal is an incredibly picturesque, quirky hidden treasure in Northumberland and is completely open to the public. Step back in time and stroll along the quintessentially British, old-fashioned streets, browse the Pre-Raphaelite paintings in Lady Waterford Hall, and explore the grounds of Etal Castle. Then, pick a picturesque spot to enjoy your pre-packed picnic, or enjoy a bite to eat in the Lavender Tea Rooms. Be sure to visit Heatherslaw Corn Mill and browse the gift shop for locally sourced sweet treats and souvenirs, and have a tour of the corn mill for a small cost.


Northumberland’s Dark Sky Discovery Sites are designated sites that have been awarded special status due to the outstanding quality of their dark skies. Positioned beneath the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, which includes the whole of Northumberland National Park and most of Kielder Water & Forest Park, they are completely free to access and offer a breathtaking evening of solitary stargazing. You can see thousands of stars, the Milky Way, and the Andromeda Galaxy (2.5 million light years away) with the naked eye.

Try a waterfall walk

Wandering to a waterfall is a magical experience that doesn’t cost a penny. Linhope Spout, Hareshaw Linn, Harthope Linn and Hindhope Linn are just a few examples of Northumberland’s stunning waterfalls that can be reached on foot, with amazing scenery to admire along the way. With varying levels of difficulty, length and terrain, be sure to do your research prior to your adventure by looking on specific walking route websites, such as Northumberland National Park.

Head to Holy Island

The journey across the causeway to Northumberland’s tidal island is an experience in itself. You will feel like you are heading into the world’s best-kept secret, and once you’re there you can enjoy breathtaking sea views, a beautiful beach, a spectacular view of Lindisfarne Castle and free samples of Lindisfarne Mead from St Aidan’s Winery. If you do want to visit some of the island’s attractions, explore Lindisfarne Priory for less than £10 per adult and less than £5 per child, or head into Lindisfarne Castle for similar pricing. Make sure to check safe tide times before you visit.

Now you are set to discover Northumberland and enjoy a budget friendly day out without compromising on experience, enjoyment or adventure.

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