The best National Trust days out in Northumberland
Whether you are planning a holiday to Northumberland or already live here, you need to add a visit to at least one of these National Trust properties to your itinerary. As a family we make full use of our National Trust membership: you quickly get your monies worth and it makes for a free day out. There are always plenty of picnic spots if you want to take a picnic along with you, or you may prefer to visit one of the cafes for a hot drink, bite to eat or an ice cream.
Dogs are welcome and most properties are accessible so suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Our personal favourite from the list below is Cragside, located in Rothbury in the heart of Northumberland. If you are going to visit just one of the properties mentioned, please make sure it is Cragside as I promise you will not be disappointed. I like to think of it as a small Canada, with lakes set to a dramatic backdrop of trees and hills.
Read on to find out why we love it so much and what other National Trust days out in Northumberland are available…
Cragside House and Grounds
Even though Cragside is right on our doorstep, I always feel like I could be a million miles away and it provides the perfect escapism from the day-to-day stress of everyday life.
With over six miles of gardens, lakes and woodland to explore, you can see a different side to Cragside each time you visit! The footpaths around Cragside cover an impressive forty miles so you have plenty of choice where to walk.
Located just outside of Rothbury, Northumberland, to get here you will need to use postcode: NE65 7PX.
If it is your first time visiting, you will probably want to head to the main car park and visit the formal gardens and house. Because these are the most popular spots, it can get busy here.
Famous for being the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, the house was once home to Lord Armstrong: Victorian inventor and innovator. You can explore the house which is filled with some of the ingenious gadgets that are still in working order.
From here you will be able to explore the formal gardens, visit the inventors’ space and cafe. There are several walks, varying in length that you can do from this main car park, exploring woodland paths and the vast area cut out of the forest of rhododendrons.
Our favourite thing to do here however, is to head up the Carriage Drive to one of the car parks called Nelly’s Moss.
From here you can explore the Labyrinth, play area and lakes (this is the spot children will love).
Wallington Hall and Gardens
Found between Morpeth and Ponteland, in the quite village of Cambo, Wallington Hall also has a lot to offer families.
Initially, when we first started coming with the kids, we would head straight for the adventure play park. There is a hut which sells hot drinks and ice cream. There are three play areas in total, so you really are spoilt for choice. We also enjoy the grassy courtyard in the summer, where it is nice to sit with a picnic and to have a kick about.
Just in front of the main entrance to the house, there are a couple of trees that are low to the ground: brilliant for little legs to climb!
Wallington has a small, but lovely tearoom, walled gardens, lakes, woodland and a cycle path. You can hire bikes here too, to make the most of your day out. We have now discovered a few more of the walks available and there is plenty to explore.
A much-loved home to the Trevelyan family: Wallington Hall is also worth a visit. Each room of the house is unique (my favourite room being the “dolls house” room).
We have visited Wallington for a couple of events for families in the past. Meeting the Gruffalo, outdoor cinema and at Christmas meeting Santa himself!
It is worth checking their website before you go to see if there is anything of interest on.
In the Autumn, there are children’s wheelbarrows and garden tools so the children could help collect the leaves. Our kids LOVED doing this and it was something a little bit different to do.
Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall is located in the south of Northumberland, bordering with North Tyneside. Use postcode NE26 4QR to arrive here.
Once home to the larger than life Delaval family, who were well known for their sense of fun and theatrical mischief, the history of the Hall is fascinating. An invitation to one of the Delaval’s parties were the hottest in town, as notorious Georgian partygoers and pranksters.
If you are visiting the Hall today, you can expect to find formal gardens, a new adventure playground, a mirror maze, café and visiting inside the Hall itself. While it is currently undergoing a huge restoration project, Seaton Delaval Hall remains open to the public as they are keen for their visitors to be a part of the process.
Located at the very top of Northumberland, close to the border with Scotland, you will find Lindisfarne on Holy Island. Holy Island becomes inaccessible when the tide washes over its causeway. Once you are on the island, however, expect to find some charming cafes, an ancient priory and Lindisfarne Castle which is National Trust owned.
A drive across the causeway will bring you to the village centre and car parks. Leave your car here and enjoy a short walk up to the castle.
I recommend checking the website for opening times to the castle as this seems to vary and at the time of writing this post it is closed on a Friday.
There is much to explore on the island so you can make the most of your time here. Children will love playing on the small beach and looking at the old fishing boats, adults will want to visit Lindisfarne Mead, a brand that has found fame across the world for its bottles of gin, rum and mead. There are samples to taste at their tasting bar.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO CHECK THE SAFE CROSSING TIMES FOR GETTING ONTO AND OFF HOLY ISLAND!
As you head out and about in Northumberland, add a visit a National Trust day out for a fun filled day that young and old will enjoy. Take a look at their membership as this is worth having, especially if you are holidaying across the UK and can be used for days out.
Gibside - Tyne & Wear
Stepping out of Northumberland slightly for this recommendation but Gibside is only a short drive past Newcastle and makes for a great day out for the whole family.
Gibside describes itself as being a “Georgian landscaped garden forged in an industrial past”.
With many different walking routes around the grounds, you are sure to find space to walk, play and explore whatever your age or ability. The kids will love the large adventure play park, which can be reached by taking a short stroll from the main entrance. Or extend the walk, by taking a circular route that passes the play area as well as a high ropes course and frisbee golf.