Surrounding Area and Places to Visit

Northumberland is one of the largest counties in England. It has a total land area of almost 2,000 square miles but a population of only 300,000 people. With only 157 people per square mile, it is by far the least densely populated county in England. In fact - with 1.5 million - there are 5 times as many sheep as people living in Northumberland.


Northumberland is one of the most richly rewarding counties of England to visit. Situated at its northern corner, the Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed concentrates everything that is special about the country...wide open spaces, magnificent scenery, a breathtaking coastline and majestic castles.
Only a stone's throw away from the Scottish Borders it is also an excellent base for day trips to Edinburgh. This is an area of great natural beauty, enriched by a colourful and passionate past which today embraces an enthusiasm for the present.
Berwick upon Tweed homepage
The coastal village of St. Abbs
The coastal village of St. Abbs is situated about three miles from the main A1 road. At St. Abbs, there is a safe sandy beach within walking distance of the village via the cliffs overlooking the sea. For bird watchers, there is a wide variety of bird life. For those who like being active with their feet and binoculars, there are many superb walks in the immediate vicinity or in hills close by. The countryside and coastal views are spectacular. There are also good opportunities for sea or river fishing or boat trips from the crystal clear waters of the small harbour. It is a well known diving area. If you are less active, observe the cormorants going about their bird business, or see the waves crashing on the rocks, or watch the local fishermen mending their nets. Some residents and visitors have seen seals.
Explore the Farne Islands. There are 30 Farne Islands altogether and they are divided into two main groups. The inner group lies approximately two and a quarter miles from Seahouses and the largest is the Inner Farne, which is easily identified by the white lighthouse.
Apart from the Inner Farne Lighthouse, all the buildings on the island date from the monastic period. The "Fishhouse" situated beside the landing jetty is all that remains of the Guest House which was built by St Cuthbert for his visitors. In 1540 a Prior named Castell built the "Pele Tower" to house the monks who lived on the island.
Explore The Farne Islands
Explore the seals
Explore the lighthouse
Explore everything
Norham Castle by William Turner
Norham castle was built in the 12th century by the Bishop of Durham, Hugh de Puiset. This massive structure stands on a site of great natural strength. Lying close to the Scottish border Norham Castle has been besieged or captured by either the Scots or English on numerous occasions. In 1513 King James IV of Scotland besieged the castle and bombarded it with heavy artillery. After parts of the keep were destroyed the garrison surrendered. A few days later King James was killed at the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field.In the 16th century the curtain walls were rebuilt to withstand artillery bombardment. Standing out on its rocky outcrop in flat farm country, the pink sandstone walls and square keep were once a much-fought over border stronghold built by the Bishop of Durham in 1160. Some restoration took place in 1900. Today, although ruined, the castle is still an impressive sight with the keep rising to 90 feet in places.
St Cuthberts Way
Long Distance Walk approx 62 miles The route starts at the birth place of St. Cuthbert... Melrose in the Scottish Borders and ends at Holy Island (Lindisfarne) where St. Cuthbert became bishop and one of Englands most respected saints.
Go for St. Cuthbert!
The Benedictine Priory

"Come to me, all who are weary and whose load is heavy - I will give you rest." - Mathew 11-28.
There are many "Holy Islands" around the coast of Britain, but there is only one Lindisfarne. This is the ancient name for the Holy Island which lies just off the coast of Northumberland, in the north - east of England. The culmination of St Cuthbert's Way is the crossing on foot (only possible at low tide) of the causeway which links Lindisfarne with the mainland.
Holy Island has a very special place in history as the birthplace of the Lindisfarne Gospels, among the most celebrated illuminated books in the world.
According to an inscription added in the 10th century at the end of the original text, the manuscript was made in honour of God and of St. Cuthbert by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who died in 721.

Cragside, the country retreat of Lord Armstrong, built on a bare and rugged hillside above Rothbury. It became one of the most modern and surprising houses for its time in the country. In the 1880's, the house had hot and cold running water, central heating, fire alarms, telephones, a Turkish bath suite and a passenger lift - but most remarkable of all - it was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. No wonder it was described as 'The Palace of a Modern Magician' and even Royalty came to stay!

Around the house is one of Europe's largest rock gardens, which tumbles down the valley towards the Debdon Burn. Across the valley, hidden amongst the trees is the clock tower. This clock not only struck the hours, but also used to chime the starting, finishing and meal times of the estate workers. Seven million trees and bushes were planted to cover the bare hillside and create the wooded estate you can explore today. Over 30 miles of footpaths and lakeside walks lead you through the woods to the estate's secret hide-aways.
Europe's largest rock gardens The Palace of a Modern Magician
The Palace of a Modern Magician Europe's largest rock gardens
Bamburgh Castle is probably the finest castle in England.
Bamburgh Castle is probably the finest castle in England. It is perched on a basalt outcrop on the very edge of the North Sea at Bamburgh, Northumberland. It commands stunning views of the Farne Islands, Holy Island and landward to the Cheviot hills. The castle has been extensively restored, first by Lord Crewe in the 1750's and more recently by the first Lord Armstrong at the end of the 19th century. The Armstrong Museum and Bamburgh Castle Aviation Artefacts Museum (BCAAM) are housed in the old laundry building in the north ward of the castle. The Armstrong museum details the life of the first Baron Armstrong, through his work as an engineer. Hydraulics, ships, aircraft and arms were some of the many engineering fields in which Lord Armstrong excelled.
At Kimmerston, one of the best known horse riding centres and stables in the North East of England you can experience exhilarating horse riding you will never forget. Lessons for beginners, or those who are a little rusty. From meandering along the banks of the nearby River Till to galloping in the heather on the stunning Cheviot Hills and cantering along the clean, white beaches of Holy Island they have a full range of rides and instruction to excite those of all skill levels. This is a much more enjoyable way for you to learn and they believe it also makes for a happier horse. Enjoy the panoramic views of the coast to the east and the Cheviots to the west, as you ride across bracken moors, streams and through woods. Interesting flora and fauna are to be seen throughout the year. A 2 to 3 hour ride which begins with a short trip taking you to the Cheviot Hills where you ride up to the top and see a never-to-be-forgotten view of the landscape of Northumberland, then gallop along the springy heather, descend through valleys and wander alongside the streams.
Kimmerston Riding Centre

The Chillingham Wild Cattle are one of the original herds of emparked wild cattle and still roam in their natural surroundings over about 300 acres of Chillingham Park in Northumberland.
Though their origin is uncertain, the existing herd is thought to have been at Chillingham for at least the past 700 years. Before that, it is probable that they roamed the great forest which extended from the North Sea coast to the Clyde estuary; and it is presumed that when, some time in the 13th century, the King of England gave permission for Chillingham Castle to be "castellated and crenolated" and for a park wall to be built, the herd was corralled for purposes of food.
With regard to the care of these animals, the fact that they are wild renders normal agricultural practices inappropriate. They will eat only meadow hay and occasionally straw, and they will refuse grain and concentrates. They nevergo under cover or seek any shelter other than the lee side of a wood, except when searching for food.
The cows have their calves away from the herd, and for the first week or so, the calves are hidden. Sometimes one will come across one of these lying in the bracken, quite still and with its chin on the ground, in a kind of 'form' rather like that of a hare.

The Cheviot Hills, from which the breed of sheep gets its name, and where its improvement has been so long and carefully studied, form the Border line between England and Scotland.
From the date of Bannockburn, or earlier, to that of the Union, there is no reliable information further than that sheep were in 1372 "a small, but very hardy race over large tracts of the Cheviot Hills".
During the next four centuries any effort at improvement would most likely relate to the wool. As the church owned considerable portions of land in the hills, and as cattle were the chief plunder of Border Reivers, the care of the best class of sheep may have been with the Monks. Attonburn - attached to Kelso Abbey - may have been distinguished for its sheep in those days, as it is now.
Merino sheep were brought from the Continent in considerable numbers, and as Berwick was a shipping port of importance, an infusion of foreign blood would be easy. Three thousand Merinos were brought to England in 1480 and a similar consignment arrived in the time of Mary and her Spanish husband in 1560.
The Cheviot Hills

Alnwick castle is only 21 miles away from here. The 'Windsor of the North' is a medieval castle with stunning State Rooms which contain fine furniture and paintings by Canaletto, Van Dyck and Titian.

It is not just in the beauty and history of the castle but the world famous garden project, the country walks in wonderful scenery.

Further a location for the Harry Potter films and the Black Adder series.


Explore the surroundings from a comfortable cottage here...

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Email Mrs Alison Pryde | Tel 01289 388234

Brownridge, Lowick, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2UQ