With more castles than any other county Northumberland is a magnet for those visitors keen to investigate the North’s history. The Cook and Barker’s nearest castle is, of course, Alnwick, (only 5 miles away), base of the ancient Percy family and, nowadays, home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Visit Alnwick itself, County town of Northumberland with a range of historical listed buildings, and find time to marvel at the Alnwick Garden – dreamed of and built through the hard work and dedication of the Duchess and now owned by a charitable trust, with its formal parterres and elaborate waterfall feature, it also features a tree-house complex.
For visitors with other sporting interests we will advise on, or arrange, all the traditional country pursuits such as golf, hunting, shooting’, fishing – whether sea or river – and can point out the direction for National Trust properties together with other stately homes, historical monuments and sites, and the best features of the wild and rugged Northumberland National Park.
Beyond Alnwick are the interesting farmers markets in the nearby towns of Amble and Morpeth, with Amble and Seahouses also having the added attraction of fishing fleets (however small). The local seashore and sands are truly magnificent and have featured in countless films (often those with historical content and usually with the giant Bamburgh Castle as a backdrop); use the sands to walk or ride on, or visit the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Druridge Bay. Note the nearness of the Northumberland National Park and the Cheviot Hills with the start/end point of the famous Pennine Way; walking, hiking, climbing, orienteering are all possible using the Cook and Barker as your home base.
Micro lighting and/or flying can be arranged at our local airfield and sea trips to the Farne Islands will provide a view of seals and puffins. The Border towns of Hawick, Jedburgh and Kelso with their history of lawless ‘Reivers’ are within easy reach of us as is Cragside – now a National Trust property but once the home of the Armstrongs and the first house in the world to be lit by electricity.
Newcastle, too, is famed: in part, for its reputation as a vibrant, lively ‘party’ city and, in part, for its success with its neighbour, Gateshead, in establishing and promoting a multitude of artistic and cultural venues and events.