5 Places to Visit in Northumberland in 2023

Thanks to our writer Bethanie for this post.

As we swiftly make our way out of 2022 and head towards the new year, I thought it might a nice idea to share a few places we have enjoyed in the last year across Northumberland.

As well as this there is also a brand new, exciting venture which has slowly been coming together the past few years and is nearly ready to be opened. Find out more in this blog post of 5 exciting places to visit in 2023 so you can start looking forward to the year ahead. 

These are all locations that we have enjoyed as a family, within Northumberland. 

Lilidorei: new play adventure at The Alnwick Garden 

The highly anticipated “Lilidorei” is set to be opening in Spring 2023. This brand new adventure playground has cost in the region of £15million so there are going to be some high expectations for it.

5 Places to Visit in Northumberland in 2023 - New Alnwick Gardens Playground
Credit : Monstrum 

However, from the photos that are currently being released it does look very impressive. You can also catch a glimpse of the progress when driving past the Alnwick Garden. 

It is said to be the “world’s largest play structure”, which I think sounds very exciting. 

Set in the grounds of the Alnwick Gardens, Lilidorei has been a project the Duchess of Northumberland has been working on for years. Definitely a spectacle you are going to want to see in 2023.  

Apparently, as part of The Alnwick Garden Charity, Lilidorei has committed to offering “Free Fridays” during term time to ensure that every schoolchild in Northumberland and the surrounding areas has the chance to visit the attraction for free during their primary years’ education.

Otherwise an annual pass will cost £75 (with 'day' visitor prices yet to be released). 

Check out our preview of Lilidorei here. 

You can sign up to receive updates via the brand new website designed just for Lilidorei. http://www.lilidoreinorthumberland.co.uk

Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick 

5 Places to Visit in Northumberland in 2023 - Bailiffgate Museum

We have visited Bailiffgate a few times now and find it is a great way to fill in a wet morning or simply something a bit different to do when in Alnwick. 

Have you been to this small museum in the heart of Alnwick before? 

Bailiffgate Museum was winner of “Best Small Museum” awarded by Family Friendly Museum awards 2021. 

We typically spend just over an hour here so I would combine it with a trip into Alnwick town centre to visit one of the town’s many cafes or pop into Barter Books or the Alnwick Garden.  

Set in an old church, the building itself is beautiful. If you make it up to the second floor, you will see the stain glass windows on the ceiling. 

Access is via stone steps to the front of the building, however there is also a lift access to the left-hand side. 

Upon entering the museum, you are welcomed at the reception desk which is also where the small gift shop is located. The shop sells local books and guides, soft toys, and Northumberland souvenirs. It also stocks a range of old-fashioned toys, which our children find fascinating whilst making me feel quite old. 

From here, you navigate your way around the first floor, passing through the Anglo Saxons, right up to the modern day. It showcases a collection of artefacts and collectables from Alnwick’s history and it is fascinating to see a town with so much history.

Our children love the old-fashioned classroom, which is equipped with desks, a colouring table and chairs. There is also a dressing up box and jigsaws for the toddlers. 

On the top floor you will find the gallery. This is where the various exhibitions are shown. Entry to this is included in the cost of your entry ticket.

Read our full review of Bailiffgate Museum here. 

Visit the website for up-to-date opening times and entry prices, as these are seasonal.  https://bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk/

Eshott Airfield 

5 Places to Visit in Northumberland in 2023 - Eshott Airfield

If you haven’t visited Eshott Airfield yet, then I suggest you add it to your list of places to visit in 2023. 

Located just off the A1 between the turn off for Felton and the Northumberland Country Zoo, you will find a track road that leads down to Eshott Airfield. 

There is a car park before you get to the runway, just behind the café. You may even get chance to say hello to the friendly alpacas over the fence. 

The café offers a menu of sandwiches, freshly baked cakes and bacon rolls, as well as your usual hot and cold drinks. The best part for me is the viewing platform from the café, where you can sit and watch the planes taking off and landing.

I was a bit dubious at first about how many planes we would actually see, but as it turns out Eshott is actually quite a busy airfield. There is plenty going on to watch: re-fuelling of planes, piolets tending to their planes, whilst the taking off and landing are all very exciting. 

Depending on staffing on the day of your visit, you may even be able to sit in one of the planes or have a tour of the airfield. We did this in October 2022 and it turns out the airfield has a lot of history to it, and the tour was very interesting. 

Read our full review of Eshott Airfiled here. 

I fully recommend a visit to Eshott Airfield in 2023. Keep an eye out on their social media pages for seasonal events. https://www.facebook.com/eshottaerodrome/

Howick Hall Sensory Garden

5 Places to Visit in Northumberland in 2023 - Howick Hall Sensory Garden

My favourite place to visit at the moment is Howick Hall and Gardens; in particular the sensory garden. I feel this is a real #hiddennorthumberland location. Howick Hall is home to Early Grey Teas which I think is a great “claim to fame” for Northumberland. 

The sensory garden is located within the Hall’s estate and was finished in 2018. The Sensory Garden was set up in partnership with the North Northumberland Branch of the National Autistic Society (NNBNAS) with the help of funding from the National Garden Scheme (NGS).

The aim of the sensory garden is to provide both children and adults with autism a safe and stimulating environment to explore their senses. It is also the perfect space for children to explore, with hidden toy mice, a wooden swing seat, and water play.

Before getting to the Sensory Garden, enjoy a walk through the grounds of the Arboretum with many different paths going in all directions, you can choose the length of your walk. 

Howick is beautiful all year round but you may want to visit in the spring for their show of snowdrops and daffodils, or in the autumn for the amazing colours on the trees. 

Read our full review of Howick Hall here. I recommend visiting in February for their Snowdrop Festival or March to see the Daffodils. 

There is a café at Howick Hall, however, from our personal experience I don’t really rate it as being child friendly. It is a lovely café if visiting with friends or as a couple, but I prefer to take a picnic to eat in the picnic area if visiting with the kids. 

Berwick Playpark

This has been a recent discovery for us, thanks to a friend’s recommendation. It is one of those playparks that keeps everyone happy. We have three children ranging in ages between 2 and 9, and they all love to play here, with decent equipment suitable for all ages. 

Flagstaff Playpark is accessed via steps and a gate that takes you under the wall. Use postcode TD15 1JG. 
You can see photos of Flagstaff Park on Instagram here. 

Tie in a visit to the playpark with a walk along the walls that surround the town. Head along for a swim at the newly refurbished leisure centre or the Berwick Museum. Perhaps combine with a visit to Pot-A-Doodle-Do for an afternoon of pottery painting (see here for more info and 20 things to do in Berwick). 

Or if you can't get enough playparks, why not pop along to Spittal Playpark? It's less than two miles away, right by the beach and also looks fantastic. 

5 Places to Visit in Northumberland in 2023 - Spittal Playground
Spittal Playpark - Credit Berwick Town Council 

These are a few places we have really enjoyed visiting in 2022, and I hope provides you with some inspiration for 2023. And remember to keep your eye out for the brand new adventure park coming to the Alnwick Garden in the spring. 


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