When staying at Herding Hill Farm there are a host of great National Trust Northumberland places to visit – from Hadrian’s Wall to the Northumberland coast. Whether it’s historic homes, gorgeous gardens, breathtaking landscapes or simply the chance to walk in the fresh air, there is something for everyone with the National Trust North East.
The Walled Garden and conservatory at the National Trust property Wallington are especially special in the Spring when the gardens come alive with white snowdrops and purple crocus. Take a tranquil walk along the banks of the River Wansbeck and brave the steppingstones, whilst keeping your eye out for wildlife such as red squirrels and the beautiful ornate bridge. Wallington National Trust is also dog-friendly and bike hire for family-friendly cycling in the North East is available. Wallington’s Clocktower Café is perfect for refreshments and a spot of shopping for a National Trust gift or keepsake to take home. Wallington Hall can also be visited.
The National Trust property of Gibside is close to the Metro Centre. This 18th-century Georgian landscape garden was forged in an industrial past and there are excellent Derwent valley views. Roe deer, otters and red kites can sometimes be seen and there are plenty of walks to choose from. The grand ruin of Gibside Hall offers a glimpse into the dramatic story of heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes. The Market Place Café and bookshop provide some retail distraction.
Cragside at Rothbury is famous for its rhododendrons in the Summer and was also the first place in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. The inventor and engineer Thomas Armstrong created the most technologically advanced house of its time and then filled it with quirky things which entertain visitors to this National Trust Northumberland house to this day. The gardens are dramatic with rocky crags and towering conifers. Children’s adventure play area. Tea rooms and gift shop.
George Stephenson’s Birthplace in Wylam was the start of this world-famous railway engineer.
Cherryburn was the birthplace of Thomas Bewick, Northumberland’s greatest artist and naturalist. Bewick developed a way of engraving wood that could rival the fine detail of metal engraving. There are regular print demonstrations.
The Farne Islands are a very special place indeed. Home to seals and almost 200,000 seabirds, including puffins, shags, kittiwakes, razorbills, eider ducks and guillemots. Regular boat trips run from the harbour at Seahouses. Puffins can normally be seen on the Farne Islands between April and mid-July.
Embleton and Newton Links is one of the most spectacular coastal walks in the North East. Set foot from the fishing village and harbour of Craster, famous for its smoked kippers, passing the impressive coastal ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, also a National Trust property, along the long golden sweep of Embleton Sands before reaching Low Newton by the Sea. There are amazing sand dunes, covered in wildflowers, along the way. Explore the many rock pools around the foot of the castle. If you have time enjoy a crab sandwich and a real ale from The Ship Inn, a beer garden with a view!!
If you want to head further north, National Trust Lindisfarne Castle on the tidal Holy Island is worth the drive, just keep an eye out for the tide times and don’t get caught on the tida causeway! Stunning coastal walks await as well and the other attractions of this tidal island including Lindisfarne Priory, Victorian lime kilns, the striking Lindisfarne boat sheds and a sample of the famous Lindisfarne Mead at St Aidan’s Winery. Lindisfarne is also the end point for the 77.5-mile St Cuthberts Way which starts in Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Lindisfarne Castle is now home to a contemporary art exhibition.
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge is the closest National Trust woodland to Herding Hill Farm and there are stunning walks along the River Allen, with great opportunities to spot a red squirrel.
It would be remiss of us not to mention Hadrian’s Wall, with Herding Hill Farm being on the doorstep of Hadrian’s Wall, just one mile from Cawfields Quarry. This Unesco World Heritage site has miles of stunning walks and landscapes. Housesteads Fort is managed by the National Trust North East and you can view the old Roman barracks, hospital and toilets!