My Top 5 days out in the North East | Lara from Cross House Cottages

Our mini series and I'm handing the reins over to Lara Mellor from Cross House Cottages. Laura owns 2 dog friendly studio apartment holiday lets in heart of Historic Warkworth and loves being able to help visitors to decide what attractions in the area they will visit during their stay.  Both apartments still contain period features and are ideally situated for all the area has to offer.  

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Having moved to Northumberland in December 2016 I am new to the area but have been on holiday to the North East for many years.  During that time my husband and I with various hangers on such as dogs, friends and family have explored much of what this beautiful area has to offer.  So let me share with you some of my favourites.

1 - Warkworth
For variety you can’t miss Warkworth.  There cannot be many villages in any part of the UK that can boast a castle, river and a beach within a 15 minute walk.  I would start my day at Warkworth Castle the home, for a while, of Harry Hotspur.  There are great views from the top down the river to the fishing port of Amble.  I would then walk along the river and take the rowing boat to the Hermitage.  This is a religious building carved out of rock and like nothing I have ever seen anywhere else.  Walk back to the village, past St Lawrence’s Church and have lunch in one of the great cafes or pubs (most are dog friendly).  Have a potter around the unique gift shops before taking a stroll to the stunning beach.  It never ceases to amaze me that every day the beach is different depending on the tide and the weather. Then walk home (I live in Warkworth) and have a barbeque in the garden to round off a perfect day.

2 - Alnwick Castle and Gardens

No visit to area could be complete without visiting one of the most popular attractions in the area.  Starting with the gardens you are greeted by the impressive cascade.  Many smaller fascinating water features are intriguing to see too but my favourite part is the poison gardens.  Everything in the garden is poisonous and it is kept under lock and key.  Join one of the guided tours to find out about the plants.  A short walk away is Alnwick Castle.  It is still home to the Duke of Northumberland and his family for part of the year.  There are normally a couple of tours to join, one which covers the history of the castle, the other where it has been used in film and TV – most famously in the Harry Potter movies.  You can visit the state rooms and other exhibitions.  In addition there are other special events that go on throughout the year.  An added bonus is your ticket to the castle is for a full year so you can come back as often as you like.  Finish off with a bite to eat and a drink at the Treehouse, a unique restaurant set on the edge of Alnwick gardens.

3 - The Beamish Museum.  

This open air museum transports you back to an bygone era with exhibits ranging from 1820’s to 1940’s.  There is a huge variety of things to see and do.  With a town, pit village, colliery, farm, wagonway and trams to see you are going to have a busy day.  There are often special events happening particularly at weekends.  Riding on the tram was great fun and an easy way to travel around the site (much more fun than walking).  My best part was the colliery where you have to put on hard hats and go into the mine.  And then they turn the lights out!!

4 - Embleton, Craster and Dunstanburgh Castle

For a more active day park up at Embleton and walk through the sand dunes to the beautiful crescent of Embleton Bay.  This must be my favourite beach in the North East.  The view is dominated by the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance.  It is a lovely walk along the beach, or on the top of the dunes, passing a golf course to get to the Castle.  Unlike Warkworth and Alnwick castles there is not much left of this one but it’s still worth a visit.  Continue along the coast to the little fishing port of Craster to have lunch in the pub or one of the tea rooms and potter round the art gallery.  If you’re lucky they will be smoking the kippers in the smokehouses.  In the afternoon retrace your steps back to Embleton.  You may even see the little terns as they are nesting in the dunes.

5 - Seahouses and the Farne Islands

 My favourite trip in the area has to be the boat ride to the Farne Islands to see all the sea birds and seals.  Depending on the time of year will depend on what you see.  In the summer, if you time it right, you will see the puffins and arctic terns nesting.  This is an amazing experience.  But don’t forget your hat.  The terns dive bomb you to protect their young.  You can get some amazing images even with your mobile, you are that close.  Return to Seahouses to sample fish and chips overlooking the harbour.  There are arcades and crazy golf if that’s your thing but back to the beach for me with glorious views along the coast to Bamburgh Castle.

I think you have probably guessed that beaches and castles are my thing as I normally have 2 little dogs in tow!  But there is such a variety of things to do for a day out in this wonderful part of the country.

Thanks Lara! We really are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. If you're interested in sharing your Top 5 North East Days Out, please email 


  1. I'm yet to visit Warkworth and I can't believe that I STILL haven't been to see the puffins yet - that's definitely my mission for next year!

  2. Love all of these places, I haven't been to warkworth for years! I used to spend so much time there as a child in the summer, really should revisit X


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