North East England is truly picture perfect with a sparkling coastline, wild untamed countryside and villages, towns and cities successfully mixing the old with the new plus a wonderful selection of self-catering holiday cottages. Northumberland is the most northerly county in England with 64 miles of spectacular coastline with ruins standing watch over golden sandy beaches, as well as stunning countryside largely protected by the Northumberland National Park. The county has the highest count of castles in England, Dunstanburgh and Berwick Castles are impressive ruins whereas the magnificent Bamburgh Castle has been restored to its former glory. Alnwick has winding cobbled streets, unique shops as well as Alnwick Castle known as the ‘Windsor of the North.
There is so much to do for outdoor enthusiasts, wonderful coastal walks hugging the shore or long distance moorland trails, a network of quiet cycle routes or you can head off road. The coast offers water-sports and popular with scuba divers loving the crystal clear sea. A boat trip to the Farne Islands is perfect for calm sunny days where you will delight in seeing inquisitive seals and curious puffins. Time it right before driving across the tidal causeway to the historic Holy Island of Lindisfarne where you can walk to the castle and have a tasty pub lunch. There are also country homes, mining museums and lively market towns notably Hexham, all with a varied choice of holiday cottages. At night look to the stars which stand out in the famous ‘dark skies’.
County Durham is an amazing county with a dramatic Heritage coastline, the magnificent and timeless Durham Dales with a valley packed full of history. At its heart is the vibrant city of Durham with a skyline considered to be one of the most stunning in Europe. The Cathedral and Castle UNESCO World Heritage Sites dominate with fairy-tale like architecture. The whole city is a historical treasure trove with riverside parks with deer and museums show casing the rich industrial heritage.
Bring your map to get off the beaten track amongst the gorgeous Durham Dales or the North Pennines both AONB with miles of heather carpeted valleys to explore. The scenery provides a great backdrop for memorable days walking or cycling. The award winning open air museum of Beamish will more than satisfy the history buffs.