Stay for the Weekend: Northumberland National Park

Immerse yourself in this award-winning National Park!

Northumberland National Park is not a place that is shouted about often, which is why I was so happy to hear that it had recently won the National Park of the Year award from the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

In the years that I’ve spent living in Bardon Mill I’ve popped up to visit Northumberland National Park many times, it’s a great place for long walks and also offers visitors the opportunity to walk alongside Hadrian’s Wall. Not only is the water and air cleaner here than any other part of England, this park is also the least populated of all the National Parks making it a real sanctuary for families and couples alike.

The first time I dropped in through this area was on the way back from a skiing trip in the Highlands. I thought that I’d been treated to a week of holiday in one of the most scenic parts of the UK, a friend of mine owned a number of lodges in Perthshire at the time and I remember feeling elated at staying somewhere to so stunning for next to nothing. On a whim I decided to drive through the Northumberland National Park on my way back, it was a little out of my way but I had time on my side and was eager for my holiday to continue in some way. I can still remember my jaw dropping as I drove through the Park for the first time. After a breathless half an hour drive through the park I’d decided to return as soon as possible, but this time for much longer.

I often like to equate visiting a place like Northumberland Park with going somewhere like Disneyland in Florida: you simply can’t do it all in one day. In order to get the most out of these places you need to get right in amongst them and stay for at least a few days, ideally a week. I’ve done exactly that a number of times over the years and stayed in a variety of different accommodations all of which have their various charms.

In no particular order I present to you the places to stay in and around the Northumberland National Park that I keep on returning to:

Barrowburn Farm

There’s a reason why Northumberland is such a peaceful place to visit: the lack of people. There aren’t many folks who are lucky enough to call this wonderful place their home but Scott and Catherine at Barrowburn are two of them and they’re kind enough to welcome a small number of visitors onto their farm land every year to stay. You can either choose to pitch up a tent, throw a roll mat down in their rustic camping barn or splash out for their self-catering accommodation, the Deer Hut.

Hethpool House B&B

Set on the outskirts of the fantastic College Valley (which is a haven for hikers and mountain bikers alike) Hethpool House is one of those rare places that truly takes your breath away. This Edwardian Country House feels like something out of a Studio Ghibli movie with its gorgeous turrets and expansive grounds ripe for exploration. If you’d rather not get the complete B&B experience then you can stay in their self-catering cottage for that extra bit of seclusion.

Clennell Hall Hotel

If you’ve set your heart on an opulent experience then Clennel Hall Hotel should be at the top of your agenda, this well kept hotel offers 10 unique rooms which come complete with king size beds and modern bathrooms. Prices start at £85 (including breakfast) so it’s not what you would call cheap, but if you’d prefer to save on cash you can always choose to stay in one of their hostel style ‘Bunk’ rooms for just £20 a night (Full English breakfast included with a £5 surcharge).

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