Why Northumberland

Why Northumberland?

A blog post by Phil 

Last week saw the return to our screens of Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green (ITV1 8.00pm), a series which sees actor Robson Green return to his home turf tonight to lead viewers through a unique part of Britain that remains close to his heart. With this in mind, I thought I’d share my own thoughts on Northumberland and why I think that it is such a fantastic place to visit.

I’ll start with a bit of a confession. I’m not a native Northumbrian. I spent my early years in the suburbs of South Tyneside and, despite it being almost on my doorstep; Northumberland wasn’t a place I knew a great deal about. I associated it with farms and coal mines and strange accents and unpronounceable place names like Ulgham, Bellingham and Wark (pronounced Uffham, Bellinjum and Walk). I had an awareness that there was a big county up here, with open countryside, castles and a coastline; but it wasn’t until I moved up here in 2005 that I began to appreciate just how diverse and fascinating a place it actually is. It may sound like a cliché (and I try to avoid clichés like the plague), but there really is something here for everyone. 


Seahouses, Northumberland, glamping



There are all sorts of landscapes to take in, from the mountainous Cheviots to the forest of Kielder to the stunning 30 miles of beaches including the beautiful Druridge Bay. There are historic market towns such as Alnwick, Berwick, Rothbury, Hexham and Morpeth to visit. There are thousands of years of history encapsulated in features such as Hadrian’s Wall, Alnwick Castle (used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films) and Bamburgh Castle, the venue for our own wedding in 2012. Some of the darkest skies in the country at Kielder Observatory, or coastal nature reserves at like the Farne Islands, Coquet Island and (of course) Druridge Bay.


Druridge bay, Northumberland, sunrise, glamping

Druridge Bay, Northumberland


So whether you’re a cyclist or a stargazer, windsurfer or walker, whether you want an adventure or a relaxing escape, whether you’re a biologist or historian or if you just want a nice pint and some home cooked food in an old fashioned country pub there’s plenty of good reasons to come to Northumberland.


Bamburgh, castle, beach, Northumberland, camping

Bamburgh castle



I couldn’t even begin to list everything that there is to see and do in Northumberland in one blog, much as Robson Green couldn’t fit everything into one programme (or even series), so I’ll spend the next few weeks sharing my thoughts and experiences to help you all to realise that Northumberland is somewhere that you really must visit.

You can see a fantastic video of the Northumberland Spirit at www.druridgebay.com and can get more information about the county at Visit Northumberland.


#NECOASTHOUR Weekly networking for businesses on the Northumbrian Coast


You may have heard of #twitterhours, or you may not! To be honest Twitter is fairly new to me; it has taken me a while to get comfortable with it. Maybe because I like images and stories I am more of a Facebook fan.

What I’m not so keen on with Facebook is getting to know just too much about people’s rants, ramblings and the often queasy depths of the details of lives that are put in haste into the public domain. Twitter is more succinct I feel. It is easier to get a message across in a few more thought out words. I like it when businesses use it to let you know what they offer, in 140 more interesting characters.

I am also a Localite, if such a word exists (if not I will stick a # in front of it and claim it) and like to know what is going on around me, so the idea of Twitter Hours appeals to me. There are already highly successful Regional Hours out there, I’m a big fan of #northeasthour, and if you’ve not tried it I thoroughly recommend popping in.

The Northumbrian Coast is a unique place full of fabulous communities and entrepreneurial spirits who live and work there and towns like Amble are bursting with new eateries and fabulous little niche businesses and I want to know about them so we can connect our guests to those places to eat, shop and enjoy. I’ve wished for some time that someone would start a Twitter Hour for our coastal areas where guests can research a hashtag before they arrive and see what is going on, and where residents and businesses can connect and get to know each other. Nobody did, so I have.

I don’t know whether it will work or not, but on Tuesdays from 8-9pm we will have a chance to find out. So if you have an interest or a business offer in our coastal areas (and by coastal I include the surrounding towns) or if you are a guest or resident interested in what’s happening, just Tweet a Tweet using the #necoasthour hashtag, or just type that hashtag into search between 8-9pm on Tuesdays and see what’s happening. See you there.

You can follow #necoasthour on Twitter and Facebook as @necoasthour.

Blog by Alison, of Alison and Phil at The Bells of Hemscott.