20 Date Ideas in Northumberland (which don't involve alcohol)

This post was published in June 2023. Please always check details with venues direct for the most up to date information. 
20 Date Ideas in Northumberland (which don't involve alcohol)

If you're looking for an alternative date day idea, are celebrating a special occasion or are looking for something to do with a significant other in Northumberland which is different to the usual 'going out for drinks' then this post is for you. 

Where to Stay 

(ad - We worked with The Black Hut in May 2023) 

Outdoor Bath at The Black Hut in Northumberland

The Black Hut is a unique couples retreat in the heart of Northumberland. Situated on a working farm near Barrasford, this is somewhere you can really get away from it all and immerse yourself in the countryside surroundings and nature.

Yet you're only 8 miles from Hexham so perfectly located with lots of places to eat and things to do in the area. 

Highlights for us included the double outdoor bath (super romantic), the comfiest bed, watching the cows and swallows from our window, spotting an owl, hares and deers as we sat on our rocking chairs on the porch and stargazing with a campfire at night. It was blissful! 

If you aren't able to leave the kids at home, the Black Hut can also accommodate two children over the age of 7 on their mezzanine level.

As this is a working farm, pet dogs are not permitted. I will share a full review and discount code at the bottom of this post but if you'd like to see more, check out this video tour from our stay. 

20 Date Ideas in Northumberland

A Spa Day 

This is obviously a classic go-to idea for many but there's a reason for that. A spa day is the perfect way to relax and unwind with a loved one. Personally, I am over large spas and much prefer a smaller, exclusive vibe.

My favourite spa in Northumberland is Beau Monde in Lucker (check out my video review here) but I've also heard very good things about Walwick Hall. I've tried to book in there three times so far but they're always fully booked so I do recommend planning a spa day in advance if you can. 

I also wanted to mention Hadrian Therapy Spa on Hadrian's Wall. It looks lovely and their half day spa days are available from less than £35. Bargain! 

A Wellness Garden 

I absolutely love walking around a Wellness Garden - somewhere which has been specifically designed with your wellbeing in mind.

Dilston Physic Garden

My favourite is Dilston Physic Garden just outside of Corbridge which is a 2 acre site with over 800 medicinal plants. There are different trails to follow depending on what you'd like to get out of your visit (calm, happy or memory). It's a beautiful place with lots of quiet corners and surprises. 

A recent new addition to Wallington is their Wellness Wood. It's a brilliant place to go and take some time out with a love one and includes a self guided trail around various activities including forest bathing and yoga. 

Jewellery Making 

LollaMac create some of the most beautiful jewellery which has been inspired by their Northumberland surroundings. They also host various workshops across the year at Forge Studios in Allendale. What a lovely thing to do together. 

A Day in Corbridge 

Pele Tower Coffee in Corbridge

I love a mooch around Corbridge and it's a lush place to visit if you have a few hours child free and fancy some local shopping. The town is packed with local businesses including RE (best shop ever), Forum Books, Finale Shoes, Grants Bakery, Corbridge Cookshop, The Corbridge Larder, The Paper Shop, Vintage at the Tower, Corbridge Antique Centre and loads more! 

If you fancy a coffee stop, I recommend Pele Tower which was built in AD 1300! It's beautiful inside. You can then take a walk along the river or pop into Corbridge Roman Town or Dilston Physic Garden if you have time. 

Plan a Romantic Picnic 

Ingram Valley Picnic Spot

This was something we did a few times as we were coming out of lockdown and it's something I want to continue doing as it's low-key, you can do it on a whim and it's suitable for all budgets. 

You can either prepare something from home or sometimes we like to pre-order a meal deal from The Running Fox to takeout which is a real treat. 

Some of my favourite romantic picnic spots include Sycamore Gap, Kielder, Walltown Country Park, Ingram Valley, the Formal Gardens at Cragside, Belsay Hall in front of the Castle and Bolam Lake. 

Owl Experience Day 

Owl Experience Day in Northumberland

We booked an Owl Experience Day with Falconry Days recently and wow, it was genuinely one of the best days I've ever had and such a nice thing to do together. For £59 pp, you get a guided tour, learn so much about the birds and get to fly and feed some too. 

I left on cloud 9! A bonus with doing something like this together is it gives you loads to talk about on the journey home too. I thought this experience was really well priced / good value and it's definitely a day where we created lots of memories too. 

Mocktails & Rowing Boats in Morpeth 

Morpeth Rowing Boats

Morpeth is a lovely town and place to spend a few hours with a loved one. There are plenty of romantic activities to choose from including strolls along the river, hiring a rowing boat, feeding the ducks or visiting the brand new spa in the Leisure Centre which is a bargain at £10 pp (book via the Active Northumberland app). 

If you're looking for somewhere to stop for a drink, I highly recommend Sober in the Garden who specialise in non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails. They're so delicious and beautifully presented. 

Mocktails at Sober in the Garden, Morpeth


Dark Skies in Northumberland

Northumberland is officially home to the darkest and most pristine dark skies in England and there are plenty of opportunities to go stargazing. This list of Dark Sky Discovery Sites is a good place to get started.

You don't need any specialist equipment, just pop a torch, a couple of blankets and camping chairs and maybe a hot drink into your car and head off. You can download free apps to your phone if you'd like help identifying the stars above. Nothing is more peaceful and romantic. 

Or if you'd prefer a guided session, check out the events at Battlesteads Observatory , Kielder Observatory or Twice Brewed Inn. 

Sunset Cruise 

Serenity Boat Tours offer special sunset cruises to the Farne Islands between May and September. If you're lucky, you may get to see a magical sunset over Bamburgh Castle from the water. What a treat. 

Osprey Cruise 

Or if you're looking for something inland, Wild Intrigue offer Osprey Watching Cruises at Kielder which look fantastic. 

A Quirky Afternoon Tea 

A Quirky Afternoon Tea in Carriages Tea Room

If you are looking to book a nice Afternoon Tea with a twist, Northumberland has a few options. How about Afternoon Tea in a Train Carriage at Bellingham? Or in an Airfield at Felton? You can also enjoy Afternoon Tea in a Vintage Caravan in Amble. 

Bats & Pizza Nights 

Bats and Pizza Night in Northumberland

We did this a few years ago and it was such a good night! You get to make your own pizza (and eat it!) then go off on a guided walk with bat detectors where you will find and learn how to identify different bats before finishing off with hot drinks around a campfire. It's a brilliant experience and a night out with a difference. Find out more here. 

Book an Extra Special Restaurant 

Restaurant Hjem
Restaurant Hjem 

Did you know, Northumberland is now home to two Michelin Star Restaurants? Choose from Restaurant Hjem or Restaurant Pine for an unforgettable dining experience. 

Afternoon Tea at Walwick Hall
Walwick Hall 

Or if you're looking for a special afternoon tea, they don't come much better than Walwick Hall or The Running Fox. 

Other special places for food in Northumberland include Creel & Reel, The Potted Lobster, Bouchon Bistrot and The Rat Inn. We are spoilt really! 

Take a Pottery Tour

New Girl In Toon recently shared a pottery tour at Errington Reay Pottery in Bardon Mill. Tours are FREE and last 35 minutes. You get the chance to see a pot being made on the wheel and can step inside their kiln as well as ask lots of questions along the way. Check out their upcoming dates here. 

Alpaca Encounters 

If you've not met an Alpaca before, it's something you must try. They are so full of personality and spending time with them is always lots of fun. There are a few companies offering Alpaca Encounters in Northumberland including Barnacre Alpacas and Ferny Rigg Alpaca Walks. 

Get Crafty 

Why not book into the Canny Crafty Studio on Wheelbirks Farm and indulge in some pottery painting together? Followed by an ice cream from the parlour next door of course.

Or take a look at the upcoming events in Northumberland National Park, they often host adult craft workshops which look really interesting and are great for trying a new skill together. 

Go Foraging Together 

This is something I wouldn't recommend doing without guidance but luckily for us, there are a number of ways you can try foraging with an experienced guide. Forage and Feast host a calendar of events based on specific areas including seaside foraging and wild mushroom foraging or The Cramlington Forager hosts different foraging events across the year in Cramlington. 

Book a Cookery Course 

Heatherslaw Corn Mill Bread Making Course

Over the years we have tried a couple of cookery courses together and they're always interesting and lots of fun plus you get to learn something new together.

In Northumberland you could try Linnels Farm who offer a range of courses from sourdough starters to plot to plate and a French Macaron Masterclass. They also offer a range of gardening workshops if that's more up your street.

Heatherslaw Corn Mill also offer regular bread making workshops. 

Axe Throwing at Slaley Hall 

Axe Thowing at Slaley Hall

Allout Adventures organise a range of outdoor activities on the Slaley Hall Estate in Northumberland. Ideal if you're looking for an adrenaline filled date day. Choose from Segway, Axe & Knife Throwing, Archery, Power Turns, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Quad Biking and Crackshot. 

Outdoor Theatre or Cinema 

Over the summer months, a number of venues offer pop-up outdoor theatre and cinema events across Northumberland. Events this year include: 

The Black Hut Review 

The Black Hut with Sycamore Glamping Review

Ad - we worked with Sycamore Glamping in May 2023. 

As promised, here is a more in-depth look at The Black Hut which is located on a farm in Northumberland near Hexham and part of Sycamore Glamping. 

Our stay here felt like absolute luxury with every last detail taken care of from soft and cosy robes hanging up for us on arrival to our own pot of luxury hand cream and lip balm plus a basket of board games and treats to enjoy throughout our stay. 

Honestly, sharing an open air bath together with nothing but swallows in the skies above and the cows and sheep in the fields nearby for company is absolute bliss. So peaceful and romantic. The water stays nice and hot and I bet it's a memorable spot to star gaze from. 

The Black Hut Review

The Black Hut is finished to a high standard and the large windows really make the most of the wonderful wildlife and countryside views. Our bed was super comfortable and there are modern touches including a TV (not that we needed it), fridge, dishwasher, hob, oven, kettle and more. 

You also have your own en-suite shower room and toilet. The shower is nice and modern and super powerful. Everything you need is here. You won't want to leave. 

Steve and I spent the day playing Jenga and Scrabble, looking out for birds and wildlife with the binoculars provided, relaxing in the tub, laughng at the cows in the field next to us (they're so interesting - I could watch them for hours) and just generally enjoying a much slower pace of life. 

I absolutely loved the two rocking chairs and wood burning stove on the porch, cleverly positioned to make the most of the views. I felt like I was in a movie! 

Owner Debbie sends out comprehensive information before your stay with ideas for places to eat or things to do / walks nearby. We just wanted to make the most of our stay though so brought a little picnic tea from Grants Bakery with us which was lush! 

The Black Hut Northumberland Interior

We couldn't believe our eyes when we spotted a wild owl hunting in the fields in front of us. It flew really close to the Black Hut and we watched it for ages. It's a memorable moment I won't forget. Our wildlife encounters continued as we watched hares and deer graze on the hills around us as the sun was setting. 

Wild Owl in Northumberland

Our evening was just as special as we sat around the firepit, toasting marshmallows with a glass of wine in hand watching the sunset and then later the stars appear. We had a really good view of Venus on the night of our stay. It was so bright! 

The Black Hut is an ideal adults-only retreat which I would wholeheartedly recommend and this hut can accommodate and additional two children aged 7+ (on a mezzanine level). If you struggle to get any time to yourselves, popping the kids to bed after a day of adventures in Northumberland and then enjoying an al fresco bath for 2 seems like a workable way around. 

Or you could check out the farm's other two pods - Willow and Cedar which are in the field next door and offer the same beautiful views and standard of accommodation but have more of a family vibe.

It's worth mentioning that Cedar Pod can sleep up to 2 adults and 4 children. It's rare I have found a glamping pod that can accommodate families as large as this. 

Special Offers: 

1 - Sign up to Sycamore Glamping's Mailing List at the bottom of this page for last minute offers and discount vouchers. 

2 - Summer Pod Offer - Stay 3 nights for the price of 2 when you book a break between Monday to Friday in Cedar or Willow Pod from now until 20 July. Discount is automatically applied on booking. 

3 - Use code  'NEFF10' at checkout which gives a 10% discount on any mid-week break in 2023 (includes all accommodation, not just The Black Hut). 

It is valid on full rates only and not redeemable with any other offer. Bookings are to be made before 30th June. Minimum stay 2 nights, seasonal minimum stays may vary (i.e. minimum stays in school holidays are different to 2 nights). Find out more, check prices and book here: https://www.sycamorecottage.org/

20 Date Ideas in Northumberland (which don't involve alcohol)

20 Date Ideas in Northumberland (which don't involve alcohol)


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