We are delighted to be working with Cottages in Northumberland this year as one of their recommended bloggers (check out our lovely new badge in our sidebar). Cottages in Northumberland provide a wide range of dog-friendly cottages, apartments, houses and even a Shepherd's hut. As we are hoping to add a four legged friend to our family next Summer, this is perfect for us. We are already huge advocates of the North East and our wonderful Countryside and Coastline and actually can't think of a better place in the UK for a family holiday.
Tynemouth is only up the road from us and it is somewhere I have always dreamed about living. With it's tapas bars, quirky boutiques, weekend markets, wine bars, welcoming pubs and beautiful blue flag beaches it really is one of my favourite places in the North East. Last week, I sort of had the chance to realise this dream as our family spent four nights staying in Longsands Lodge in the heart of the village.
Longsands Lodge is situated in the heart of Tynemouth on a quiet side street behind the main Front Street. It is only a 30 second walk to the beach (and the pub) from your front door. Tynemouth is a wonderful base for a North East holiday with a lot of attractions, walking routes, restaurants and cafes within walking distance and easy access to metro lines and bus routes to explore further afield. Tynemouth is less than 10 miles aways from Newcastle city centre but with it's beautiful sandy beaches and community feel you feel as if you are a lot further from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Longsands Lodge will comfortably sleep up to 10 people - there are 2 double bedrooms and 3 twin bedrooms spread across two floors plus 3 bathrooms (and an additional downstairs loo). The rooms are very spacious and I especially loved that the twin rooms had lots of available floor space for our children to play with their toys. Everything had been thought of and provided for from extension leads to hairdryers and even hair straighteners. I think we may be getting old as this never bothered us in our 20's but now we are in our 30's a comfortable mattress is very important to us! I'm pleased to report that our mattresses were of very good quality and we had no problems drifting into a good night's sleep.
Kitchen and Dining
We were welcomed with a huge basket full of homemade scones which had been freshly baked by the owners that morning plus a large bowl of fresh fruit and a handwritten note explaining how to contact someone if we needed any assistance and an up-to-date guide book with lots of recommendations of places to visit in the local area. We had been sent an email from Cottages in Northumberland featuring lots of discounts to local attractions including the Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth which again was a lovely touch.
The kitchen was quite possibly our dream kitchen! It was large, bright and sunny and the breakfast table by the window was the perfect spot for a cup of coffee and a spot of blogging. The kitchen is equipped with every appliance you could ever need and there is a large dining table which will comfortably seat up to 10 people. Most importantly - the kitchen has a dishwasher so you don't need to worry about the washing up either.
The lounge was lovely and cosy with three good quality sofas, bean bags and floor cushions and an original fireplace. There were lots of touches which made Longsands Lodge a real home from home including a selection of board games, recent magazines, a bookcase with a note saying you could take a book home and post it back if you hadn't finished plus card games, dominoes and much to our children's delight - a miniature Shaun the Sheep. There is an HD TV with Freeview, DVD player and WiFi throughout the property too. If I could describe Longsands Lodge in one word it would most definitely be 'homely'.
Need to Know
There isn't much outdoor space at Longsands Lodge - you have access to a shared yard (although it feels as though it is exclusively yours) however with the beach on your doorstep I am not sure a huge garden is needed. There is free parking for up to two vehicles.
There is WiFi throughout the property with a booster upstairs too. It was enough for our three children to simultaneously watch netflix on their iPads but I found my phone data to work better for my work needs.
A dishwasher and washing machine are provided, your beds are made up on arrival and there are plenty of fluffy towels in your bedrooms too. The showers and baths were powerful and hot and there was even enough hot water to run two baths at the same time for our children after a trip to the beach.
The only thing we had issue with was the tumble dryer which although is a hotpoint just does not seem to dry clothes. We put our clothes through four times and they were still damp - there is an airer and a washing line provided which worked better.
Out and About
I think there are probably 10+ restaurants, bars and pubs in Tynemouth village which is a 30 second walk from your front door. Almost everywhere in the village is dog and child friendly too. Tynemouth really is the perfect destination for the whole family. If you haven't guessed, I am in love with Tynemouth and will be blogging our ultimate guide to staying in Tynemouth next week. Here are a few teasers of the little gems you can find in the village for now.
Gareth James Chocolatier sell THE BEST chocolate brownies
Amazing Steak platters and sausage and chips at Lola Jeans (and Jungle Book was on the TV)
Traditional Fish and Chips from Marshall's
A brilliant value homemade carvery meal (2 for £10) with a sea view
You don't get amazing sea views when you stay a Longsands Lodge (but you can spot the sea from the kitchen window) however the award winning King Edward's Bay is just at the end of your street (please note - dogs are only allowed on this beach in the Winter months but there are lots of dog friendly beaches if you take a short walk towards Whitley Bay).
Tynemouth Priory overlooks King Edward's Bay (and you can see the flag from Longsands Lodge) and is definitely worth a visit with your family (read about our trip earlier this year here).
Tynemouth also has it's own popular market with lots of local crafts, antiques and food every Saturday and Sunday and is home to a boating lake, surf school and aquarium too - all within easy walking distance of Longsands lodge.
Longsands Lodge costs between £795-£1650 to hire for a week. Because there are 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms I think it is the perfect house for hen parties, work weekends, friends and family get togethers or somewhere to hire and stay as a group if you are attending a wedding at the nearby Grand Hotel or Crusoes on the beach (you can easily walk to both venues). If you fill the property and divide the cost per person per night it works out you could stay here from £11.50 to £23 per person per night which I think you'll agree is an AMAZING bargain!
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