A warm welcome awaits you in the shadow of Hadrian's Wall

What To Do in Northumberland on a Rainy Day?


Although we all look forward to our holidays being sunny and warm, out of season can be a great time to visit remote counties like Northumberland when there are less crowds and the days are shorter. Check out our Autumn blog for other benefits of travelling out of season. At Our campsite in Northumberland is open all year round so you can visit us for a short camping or glamping break on Hadrian’s Wall any time of the year. We are child and dog friendly too.

But what if it’s raining? Waking up on a rainy day in Northumberland need not put a dampener on the enjoyment of your camping or glamping trip at Herding Hill Farm. There are still plenty of indoor activities that can keep the youngsters and, the not so young, entertained on the soggiest of days.

But don’t forget that Rainy Days don’t have to be dull, boring or expensive - just taking a walk in the beautiful Northumberland countryside in wellies and waterproof coats can be an exciting and enjoyable adventure for everyone, especially for youngsters. Playing and splashing in puddles, getting muddy, listening to the rain, or watching for rainbows can be an experience we often don’t get to enjoy, especially if we live in a town. Walking in the rain can be great fun as well as having proven benefits for our health. There is nothing we like more at Herding Hill Farm than donning our wellies and our waterproofs and heading for a walk on Hadrian’s Wall in the rain.

But if that’s not your thing, what else does Herding Hill Farm and Northumberland have to offer if the weather is not so great? 

Luxury lodges and Wigwam cabins with hot tubs

Friends in hot tub

There can be no more pleasurable an experience than sitting in the luxury of your own private outdoor hot tub when it’s raining. Our Luxury Lodge and several of our Running Water Wigwams all have their private outdoor hot tubs. Our luxury lodge and glamping pods in Northumberland provide the perfect cosy base for exploring the area.

Market Towns

Haltwhistle Viaduct

If you’re looking for things to do in Northumberland in the rain, the county is blessed with plenty of lovely market towns and independent galleries, cafes and stores if you fancy a touch of retail therapy or even a nice cuppa and a slice of cake. Haltwhistle is just a short stroll from the site or you could visit Hexham or Corbridge, a short drive away. Hexham has a lovely town centre filled with many eclectic independent shops, cafes, pubs. The imposing Hexham Abbey is an ideal place to visit on a rainy day. Pay a visit to Hexham’s Old Gaol – an imposing stone cube, built in 1333 as England’s first purpose-built prison. The building’s history and that of its infamous inhabitants including the Border Reivers is told in gruesome glory. 

Hexham Town Northumberland

Hexham enjoys a buzzing arts and cultural scene. Catch a performance at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, a magnificent Victorian building which attracts great international and national artists from music, drama and dance. Or enjoy a relaxing, nostalgic few hours at the splendid Forum Art Deco cinema which first opened its doors to the public in 1937.

Up towards the coast are Alnwick, Warkworth and Rothbury. Barter Books in Alnwick, is one of Britain’s largest second hand and antiquarian bookshops and well worth a browse on a wet or windy day. Located in the magnificent old Victorian railway station, there are open fires in the original waiting rooms and the ‘Station Buffet’ café. There is also a model railway running through the store.

Hadrian's Wall Museums

Hadrian's Wall Museum

Our Hadrian’s Wall campsite is just 1 mile from Hadrian’s Wall meaning you can enjoy all that this wonderful location has to offer. Whilst the charm of Hadrian’s Wall is its majestic sight amongst the rolling landscapes there are a number of museums with indoor exhibitions to enjoy when the weather is poor.

At Birdoswald Roman Fort you can see the remains of Hadrian’s Wall's on the longest remaining stretch of the Wall and explore the ruins of the Roman fort, a turret and milecastle. Or find out what life was like at Chesters Roman Fort, one the Roman Empire's most northern outposts and the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain. You can wander around the well-preserved baths and steam room, and the officers' quarters.  

Housesteads Roman Fort will take you back to the Roman Empire as you wander the barrack blocks and the hospital, peer into the oldest toilets you'll ever see, and admire the stunning panoramic views. There are also several excellent walks from here.

Housesteads Roman Fort

Vindolanda is one of Europe's most important Roman archaeological sites and comprises nine forts built on top of each other. The on-site museum provides a magnificent display of the many stunning objects found during excavations including wooden artefacts, leather shoes, military equipment, tools, jewellery and pottery, as well as the Vindolanda writing tablets which recorded the daily life of the people who used to live at the fort, including letters from soldiers asking for socks and underwear and a birthday party invitation to the Commanding Officer’s wife.

Step into the life of a Roman soldier at the Roman Army Museum and experience life on the front line of Emperor Hadrian’s formidable British frontier. The interpretative 3D film Edge of Empire immerses you in what life was like for soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall and there are plenty of interactive displays telling the Roman story.

Visit the inside of a castle

Alnwick Castle

For all Harry Potter fans, our most famous inhabited castle is Alnwick, with its broomstick classes, treehouse and famous gardens but the area is abound with other interesting historic castles you can visit inside on a dreary day. The majestic Bamburgh Castle, located next to a fabulous beach, perfect for a stroll in the rain, is worth a trip or why not go to see Chillingham Castle, reputedly Britain’s most haunted. Warkworth Castle and Dunstanburgh are all located amid stunning scenery.

Historic stately homes

Wallington Hall

We are blessed with historic homes and gardens that have something different to see whatever the weather. Cragside House is a beautiful Victorian house, the first house in the world to be lit by electricity derived from waterpower. Wallington Hall has a beautifully furnished interior. Both are operated by the National Trust.

Children's Activities

Please note that some attractions may be closed or operating under Covid restrictions so we would always recommend you check directly with the venue before travelling.

Bowling in Northumberland

If you have younger guests with you why not visit Walby Farm Park, open all year round and with plenty of indoor activities and attractions including Milecastle 62, a three-level Roman wooden fort with turrets, ropes and slopes, trunk beams, slides, poles and tunnels to tire out the younger generation.

There are a wide range of options including Ten Pin bowling at the Hollywood Bowl in Carlisle or Namco Funscape at Gateshead. With state-of-the art bowling lanes, the whole family can have fun together. Children can also run, jump, slide and explore in Pacman Play, the ultimate in kids soft play.

To get wet but indoors the area has several leisure and activity centres which offer swimming, fun pools, climbing walls and soft play areas. You can enjoy an hour’s private swimming session at the local Glendale Leisure private pool, located 5 minutes from Herding Hill Farm Campsite (you can either arrange the booking yourself or speak to Reception who can arrange it for you). There is also lane swimming at the Wentworth Leisure Centre in Hexham. If a mess around in a pool is what you are looking for Prudhoe Waterworld is the place for you to visit. Here you can ride the slide, plunge in the splash pool, go wild in the waves, paddle on the beach or battle the inflatables.  


Jump360 at Newcastle gives the opportunity to bounce your way across over 100 interconnected trampolines. From traditional trampolining to giant inflatables, there is also a Ninja Warrior assault course, bucking bronco and climbing wall. Inflata Nation Inflatable Theme Park, Newcastle is packed with unique, inflatable activities suitable for all ages. You can test your skills dashing across the Inflata Balls, go down the Inflata Giant Drop or enjoy bouncing on the Inflata Bubbles.

For the older young people in your group you may wish to explore the Laser Quest in Carlisle for the ultimate action-packed sci fi adventure. Or, if it’s something different that you are looking for then Whitley Bay Ice Rink or Lockerbie Ice Rink offers the chance to have some fun, get exercise and develop new or improve existing skills like ice skating or even curling!

Alternatively, why not bring along some Board games and relax in your tent, motorhome, caravan, Wigwam cabin or Lodge and have some good old-fashioned fun for all the family.

Science Museums

Aviation museum

Whether your interest lies in transport, the science or history there is plenty to investigate and learn about in Northumberland. The Solway Aviation Museum near Carlisle Airport has a collection of aircraft, artefacts and displays from WW2, the Cold War and space travel. Life Science Museum at Newcastle explores the weird world of science using hands-on and fun interactive activities. Also spend time finding planets and distant constellations in the North’s biggest planetarium. Want to know how many of the televisions shows you know, and love are created and filmed take a tour at the BBC Newcastle Studios. You can dress with props, explore the host of interactive elements in creating a tv or radio programme or try vision mixing or sound effects.


Cinemas in Northumberland

After all the talk of exercise it may just be a relaxing, dry couple of hours you are looking for and what could be better than catching up on the latest Movies at one of the cinemas in the area? The Odeon at The Metro Centre, Cineworld in Newcastle, Vue at Gateshead and at Carlisle all offer a wide range of different films giving movie magic for all the family.

Gateshead Metro Centre

An ideal location for spending a wet miserable day is the Metrocentre and the Metro Retail Park in Gateshead. This shopping centre and entertainment complex has lots of big named shops, smaller independent shops, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. The centre's leisure facilities consist of a 12 screen Odeon cinema, with VIP lounge and IMAX screen, as well as Namco Funscape, an indoor amusement arcade and ten-pin bowling alley. Clip ‘n Climb is an all-weather space with 26 individual climbing wall challenges of varying design and difficulty, testing agility and courage in different ways.

Enjoy the comfort of your own accommodation

Board Games

Fancy a day of cosy relaxation from the comfort of your Wigwam cabin, lodge, tent, campervan or motorhome? There is no better indoor activity than wrapping up warm and getting the board games out. Make sure you stock up on plenty of drinks and snacks! We think a hot chocolate makes the perfect accompaniment to a rainy day in Northumberland.

Book your camping or glamping trip in the North East today!

Please note opening times and terms may vary on account of Covid-19 so please check the websites of the individual attractions before travelling.