Ford and Etal Railway, Northumberland
Links to this site from other sites are always welcome.
Please contact us if you know of a site that might appropriately be added to this section, preferably on a
Here are some website resources that you may find of interest or that might assist you in planning your self-catering cottage holiday in Northumberland.
- Donkey Sanctuary - Scottish Borders
Animal lovers won't be able to resist visiting these 64 lucky donkeys who have fallen on their feet! Keeping them company are a Clydesdale horse, a selection of bristly pigs and three llamas. Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 2-3pm, you can meet the donkeys and help feed them. Free entry, donations requested.
- Belford - local village with all amenties
Belford is about a 10/15 minute drive from us. It has a Co-op (open 7am-10pm), 4 pubs, the excellent John Dory fish and chip shop (open Thursday, Friday, Saturday - other days in summer, tel: 01668 213161), Well House Coffee shop and Sunnyhills Farm shop.
- Bird Club - Local Sightings
Keen birdwatchers should check the North Northumberland Bird Club's site to see postings of recent sightings in the area. Visitors are welcome to join meetings and field trips.
- Bird watching - Natural Born Birder
Julian Bell is a talented photographer of birdlife, his website has some beautiful shots of birds and scenes local to us.
- Cafe & Garden - The Garden Station
A good hour's drive away, but worth it for garden lovers who will enjoy this unusual woodland garden and cafe set along an old railway track. There's an eclectic choice of day courses to whet your appetite.
- Chainbridge Honey Farm
Everything you ever needed to know about honey - and more! Honey, furniture polish, candles and skin products are all for sale from this interesting family run business. See a live bee colony and finish off your trip off with a visit to the cafe that's located in an old red Routemaster bus! Just a short drive away. Free entry.
- Cinema and Theatre - Alnwick
Alnwick's Playhouse is a local arts centre offering both theatre and cinema.
- Cinema and Theatre - Berwick
Nearby Berwick has an excellent theatre / cinema in The Maltings.
- Clay Shooting - Otterburn Sporting Clays
A scenic ride through the Cheviots and National Park will bring you to Otterburn Sporting Clays.
- Cookery Demonstrations - Jane Lovett
After a leisurely drive across the hills, enjoy a cookery demonstration (with plenty of tasting!) at Hetton House, the beautfully situated home of Jane Lovett.
- Cycling - Coast and Castle Cycleway
On the Bamburgh to Berwick leg of the Coast and Castles Cycleway ( Newcastle to Edinburgh), you'll find our part of the route relatively flat and easy going. We can accomodate your cycles in our bike shed (please bring your bike locks). See the bike hire link if you would like to hire bikes.
- Diving - Farne Islands
The farne Islands are a real treat for divers. The seabed is scattered with wrecks (inculding dive wrecks), the waters are clear, there's an abundance of sea life, and of course, the many seals. Boats and trips available from Seahouses. On the website click on Visitor Attractions, then Things to Do, then Watersports.
- Diving - St Abbs
The clear coastal waters of St.Abbs and Eyemouth are amongst the most famous diving locations in the world.
'MV Tiger Lilly' is owned by St Abbs born and bred Paul Crowe who is also helmsman and mechanic on the St Abbs RNLI inshore lifeboat.
- Farne Islands - Billy Shiel's boat trips
If you do nothing else during your holiday with us, do this! It's a pretty 20 drive from our cottages.
The Farne Islands lie off the Northumberland coast midway between the fishing village of Seahouses and Bamburgh. Besides being the most famous sea bird sanctuary in Britain, they also have a large colony of seals (up to 1500 seal pups can be seen in October) . Boat trips from Seahouses can be booked via this website. This really is an irresistible and exhilarating day out, you will be amazed at your proximity to the puffins, kittiwakes and many other bird colonies, not to mention the seals. Land on Staple Island or Inner Farne and step amongst the nesting terns and see the puffins diving down their burrows with their beaks full of sand eels (June is best for this). At Longstone Island you can see where Grace Darling made her courageous rowing boat rescue in 1838.
Brilliant fun for all ages. Trips, weather permitting, run from April to October and on special request outside these times. Finish (or start!) your trip with fish and chips on the seafront and pay a visit to Swallow Fish shop to buy some freshly smoked kippers...
- Fishing - Chatton Trout Fishery
A short drive west of us will bring you to Chatton Trout Fishery which offers two trout lakes in a rural setting.
- Fishing - Day Rods, Tiptoe Farm, River Till
Till-Fishing at Tiptoe Farm near Cornhill-on-Tweed offer a one mile bank with salmon, sea trout, grayling and brown trout. Instruction available.
- Fishing and Diving Trips - Alan Dawson
Go out on to the North Sea from Seahouses with Alan Dawson on his boat MFV Guide Me for a 3,4 or 6 hour fishing trip or private charter. He also arranges diving trips.
- Fishing for Rainbow Trout - Potadoodledo
Available in the lake at popular nearby attraction Potadoodledo.
- Fishing on the River Till
The Till is the Tweed's only tributary and the four beats offer sea-trout, salmon, grilse and grayling in season. Night fishing in summer. On the Ford and Etal website click on Activities, then Fishing.
- Golf - Alnmouth Golf Club
About 25 minutes away, Alnmouth Golf Club overlooks the splendours of both Foxton and Alnmouth Bay on the Northumberland coastline in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. It is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the North East of England. 18 holes.
- Golf - Alnwick Castle
20 minutes from Lindisfarne Bay Cottages. Within a stone's throw of stunning Alnwick Castle and wonderful sea views 5 miles distant, this is a beautifully located golf course.
The club prides itself on giving all visitors a warm welcome to let them savour and enjoy the atmosphere of one of Northumberland's friendliest golf clubs. Attractive packages are available for societies of any size. Visitors are welcome throughout the week. 18 holes.
- Golf - Bamburgh Castle Golf Club
10/15 minutes from us. Its stunning location has often seen the club quoted as one of the most scenic in Britain, and with views such as those above it is little wonder why. Offering views of Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands, the Cheviots and of course Bamburgh Castle, the course is one of the truest links experiences to be had in England. The course is lined by gorse, heather, whinstone and rare fauna and has a unique series of opening holes with back to back par 3s followed by two excellent par 5s. While not the longest course, amounting to just over 5,600 yards, it is a demanding par 68 although there are birdie opportunities especially on the way home with three par 4s under 300 yards for you to savour.
With a friendly clubhouse serving good food, Bamburgh Castle is a perfect getaway for societies and casual visitors, testing golfers of every level.
- Golf - Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club
Approx 20/25 minutes from us. Dunstanburgh Castle nestles in Embleton Bay near Alnwick and boasts of being one of the finest courses in the area. There are holes to challenge golfers of all skill levels and ages. It is a traditional links course, created by the great golf course architect, James Braid. Set amongst beautiful scenery on the North-East coast of Northumberland's Heritage Coastline, you will enjoy a visit which will stay with you forever.
The course itself is an 18 hole, 6298 yard, par 70 test of your golfing skills. Founded in 1900 and updated in 1922. A true links course which lies in the shadow of the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle
- Golf - Goswick Links, Bamburgh
Just 10-15 minutes away (6 miles south of Berwick), Goswick is acknowledged as an outstanding links course and is open all year. Tel: 01289 387256
- Golf - Seahouses Golf Club
20 minutes from us. Golfing on this flat links course offers spectacular views of the coastline from Bamburgh to Beadnell and out to The Farne Islands of Longstone Lighthouse and Grace Darling fame. They are regularly visited by golf holiday parties who are always warmly welcomed. 18 holes.
- Golf - Warkworth Golf Club
25/30 minutes from us. Warkworth is a seaside links course designed by Old Tom Morris in 1891. The course is without a doubt one of Northumberlands truly hidden gems. It is a very interesting and testing course in idyllic surroundings offering stunning beauty with outstanding views of the Northumberland coastline and countryside. Warkworth Castle can be seen from the course as well as the Carr Rocks and Coquet Island. A development sponsored by the Environment Agency has created a wetland bird habitat enabling the club to feature a large pond behind the first green, adding to the attractive views across the old river bed.
The course has 9 greens, but the construction of 18 tees means a varied and a different challenge at each hole. There is a practice area available to members and visitors.
- Golf - Wooler Golf Club
One of the most scenic and best value golf courses in the country. 9 holes, 18 tees, par 72 course.
- Hire a Bike - Pedal Power
If you can't bring your own bikes you can hire them locally from Pedal Power (free delivery if hiring over three days, otherwise it's a £20 delivery and collection charge for up to 4 bikes,). The bikes come with helmets, bike locks and repair kits. You can store them in our bike shed but please note you must use the bike locks at night (just to be on the safe side!).
- Holy Island
A visit to Holy Island is an absolute must when you stay with us.
Enjoy the excitement of crossing the causeway (always check the tides first!), discover the history of the islands - the founding of the priory in 635, the story of St. Cuthbert, the Lindisfarne Gospels and Viking raids on the island. Visit Lindisfarne Castle (run by the National Trust), the Priory (run by English Heritage) and Lindisfarne Heritage Centre to see a facsimile of the gospels.
Explore the rocky shore and the dunes, enjoy the birdlife and of course stop off for a cup of tea or a drop of something stronger in the various hostelries!
This weblink has a useful list of up to date events on the island.
- Holy Island causeway crossing times
Crossing the causeway to Holy Island always sends a little tingle of excitement down the spine, but please, always check the crossing times carefully before you go!
- Horse Riding - Swinhoe Riding Centre
Lessons and scenic offroad hacks to St Cutherts Cave with spectacular views over to Holy Island. Shorter woodland Hacks also available. Rubber floored arena.
- Horse Riding Holy Island/ Cheviots - Kimmerston
Horse riders will love the opportunity to gallop along the vast expanses of Holy Island's beaches, or to savour the incredible views up in the Cheviot Hills, both are nearby options and available from Kimmerston Riding Centre. All skill levels catered for.
- Kite Surfing - KA Kite Surfing
KA-Kite Surfing offer exciting kite surfing opportunities on North Northumberland's expansive beaches. Also stand up paddle boarding and coasteering.
- Northern Experience Wildlifetours
This established company offers regular escorted trips to Lindisfarne. You can also book an otter safari (there is a good chance of a sighting) or a pelagic trip where you might be lucky enough to see dolphins, porpoises or whales.
- Outdoor Adventure - Active4seasons
North Northumberland offers fantastic opportunities for 'outdoorsy' adventurers. Active4seasons offer sea and river kayaking, open canoeing and rock climbing.
Great on a rainy day to entertain the children - a range of craft activities including decorating your own ceramics. On a sunny day it's even better, there's a playground, quad biking, rainbow trout fishing and pony trekking.
- Stately Homes - Floors Castle
45 minutes away. Still a family home, the magnificent 18th century Floors Castle just over the border in Kelso, is steeped in history and has a beautiful walled garden with adventure playground, woodland walks, a restaurant and cafe.
- Stately Homes - Mellerstain
Just over 30 miunutes away. The jewel of stately homes in the scottish borders (on the scottish side of the border!).
- Stately Homes - Paxton House
30/40 minutes from us. Built in 1757, Paxton House is one of the finest examples of palladian architecture in Scotland.
- Surfing - Surf Guru
Bamburgh Beach is our nearest recommended beach for good surfing. The Seahouses website says: There is a multitude of shifting sand bars along its length, providing great left and right-handed beach breaks throughout the tide. Further up the beach to the north, pointing straight out to Holy Island, is a spur of rock that creates a great right hand reef break, which can produce fantastic walling waves.
You'll also find a couple of excellent reef breaks starting at Seahouses just before the start of the beach close to the harbour. More good spots are to be found at Beadnell, Low Newton and Embleton beaches. The SufGuru website has detailed information on surf spots in the area.
- The Northumberland Coast
The Northumberland Coast AONB is among the finest landscapes in the country.
It was designated in 1958 and covers 39 miles of coast from Berwick to the Coquet estuary. Within this stretch of coastline is some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Europe and we are delighted to be located within it.
The area is best known for its sweeping sandy beaches, rolling dunes, rocky cliffs and isolated islands. Amidst this striking landscape is the evidence of an area steeped in history, covering 7000 years of human activity. A host of conservation sites, including two National Nature Reserves, testify to the great variety of wildlife and habitats also found in the AONB.
- Walks - Northumberland Coastal Path
The Northumberland Path offers some of the finest coastal walking in Europe, it stretches for 103 km along the Northumberland Coast AONB from Cresswell in the South to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the North.
The Fenwick to Berwick upon Tweed section (19.5km/12miles) passes extremely close to our cottages.
- Walks - Shepherds Walks
Full time northumbrian hill shepherd Jon Monks has been featured on BBC's Countryfile. You can join him on one of his walks, or alternatively his walks are available to buy online.
- Walks - St Cuthberts Way
This is a 100km (62.5 mile) long distance walking route across the Scottish Borders to the Northumberland Coast following in the footsteps of St Cuthbert.
The final Wooler to Lindisfarne section (28km - 6/7 hours walking) passes very near to our cottages and finishes with the optional Pilgrims Path which leads from the mainlaind over to Lindisfarne (the alternative is to cross over using Beal Causeway). Always check the tides first!
- Walks - St Oswald's Way
This is a 97 mile (155 km) long distance walking route in Northumberland
Linking between St Cuthbert's Way at Holy Island and the Hadrian's Wall Path at Heavenfield, this route recalls the life and importance of King Oswald / Saint Oswald who ruled and travelled this countryside in the 7th century
The Holy Island to Bamburgh section (30.5km/19 miles) passes very close to our cottages.
- Walks - Walk Northumbria Guided Walks
Peter McEwen from Walk Northumbria offers guided tours throughout the area, either as part of a group or as bespoke walks.
- Windsurfing - Northumbrian Windsurfing Club
We are blessed with fantastic wind surfing beaches along the whole northumbrian coastline but the nearest to our cottages, Budle Bay, is just a short drive away. Bamburgh beach is also highly recommended. All the local top spots are on the Northumbrian Windsurfing Club website.