During the October half term and shortly before lock down 2.0 here in the UK, we made the very last minute decision to have a little family over night break up North – to stay in Newcastle and have a day in Northumberland. We had only been to Newcastle the weekend before for a kid free break, but were excited to show the kids it too and for them to grab a little glimpse of such a cool Northern City also.
We stayed in a hostel in Newcastle on the way (which was a lesson learnt in travel), enjoyed a walk along the river and then had a wonderful day at Bamburgh Castle and on the Northumberland coast.
As a family we have greatly missed travel this year and have felt a little disheartened that our plans to visit Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, were all suspended. Not to mention that with pregnancy sickness we also had to cancel the 5 days camping in Wales that we were also looking forward to. We love adventures and travelling together and it enriches life for us all.
It was nice (despite all the cancelled plans) to just grab this small window of opportunity to kick start the half term doing something a little fun and different, taking a mini adventure and seeing some new places. And we all loved it!
We found Sleeperdorm on Air Bnb – it was available last minute, cheap and fitted us all in! However, it was also one of those accommodation choices that looked better online than in the images and one that I misunderstood too! But, at the same time it was fine and the kids enjoyed the adventure and sleeping in bunks!
It was very basic, in a bit of a rough area but also comfortable and fine for one night for us all. I do not however think I will likely go back there as I felt a little edgy and didn’t really enjoy it as much as I have other places. The staff were really nice and the place was quite cool if you are single/couple travellers. It was in easy access to the city centre and a cheap nights stay! We didn’t order or take breakfast there, but rather the kids were excited to get breakfast at a bakery on the way to Bamburgh!
The highlight of our mini adventure was most definitely the time spent together in beautiful Bamburgh and going to Bamburgh Castle. We all love a good snoop round historical houses and castles and each one of the kids really loved it – be it the majesty of the building, or seeing the armouries, dungeons or little china pots and decor. They really enjoyed the day out and threw themselves into their imaginations as they played games on our wanders around and discussed all of the many possibilities that took place within it’s walls – it was lovely.
We booked online and it was only about £30 for us all (Alice was free as she is under 5). Parking is an additional £3 for the day, but well worth it as we also wandered into Bamburgh after seeing the Castle and grounds, and then played on the beach next to it.
Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country and has stood guard above the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1,400 years. It is great for all ages and offers a wonderful family day out.
Whilst there you can expect to see The kings Hall, artefacts and heirlooms throughout, The State Rooms, Dungeons, The Keep and The Armouries. Outside the grounds are lovely with panoramic coastal views and cannons, along with ruins of the old chapel and an Aviation museum too.
It has a lovely gift shop, toilets and tea rooms!
Grace Darling Museum and Grave
Following our exploration of the Castle, we wandered into Bamburgh (a 5 minute walk). I was keen to take the children to the Grace Darling Museum – a place I have fond memories of as a teen from one of our family trips. I enjoyed telling them of her heroic acts and seeing them explore and learn of her life, family and the inspiring woman she was. The RNLI Grace Darling Museum is FREE and rather small but a really special place to explore. It commemorates the life of Victorian Britain’s greatest heroine Grace Darling, who risked her life to rescue nine survivors from the wrecked SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838.
The kids really enjoyed her story and following the museum, we walked across the road to see where she was laid to rest and the memorial that was erected in her memory.
Following our museum and church visit, we played on the beach and in the sand dunes before jumping in the car to have a little visit to seahouses.
I had to stop off in Seahouses as it is another little place I remember from family holidays with fondness. We hoped to get some seaside treats, but we were a little late to the party on that one! Things were closing by the time we arrived, but we managed to have a look in a couple of gift shops and walk round the pretty little harbour. We then became very aware of how cold it was and jumped in the car to head home (via a carvery for some dinner of course!)
I am glad we had this little family adventure, it was really lovely and fun. We look forward to a day we can travel more together and tick some more UK and further afield places off our list. The Northumberland Coast is absolutely beautiful and full of gorgeous scenery, quaint little seaside towns and lots of history. I look forward to going on more adventures to this part of the country and would recommend it for a day trip, camping holiday or weekend break!