Friday, 17 May 2019

Sunday Lunch at Bradley Gardens, Wylam

With the arrival of lighter days and gardens beginning to bloom with beautiful Spring flowers I thought it was about time we made a Sunday Lunch date at Bradley Gardens, it had been five years since my last visit and knowing that things have changed a little since my last trip (and that Simon had never been) we were long overdue a visit.

Sunday Lunch at Bradley Gardens, Wylam
If you're yet to visit Bradley Gardens then Spring is an ideal time to go as the walled gardens are beginning to come to life with brightly coloured flowers and as the weather continues to improve I'm already dreaming about long hot afternoons lounging about in the gardens, if you love food and Sunday wanders in pretty surroundings there really is no better place to go.

Sunday Lunch at Bradley Gardens
You'll find Bradley Gardens hidden down a little country lane in the Gateshead countryside, a tranquil oasis behind a beautiful red brick wall, stepping through the gates is a little bit like leaping into the pages of your favourite childhood book - I'm talking Mr McGregors meets the Secret Garden, it's a pretty special place.

Sunday Lunch - Bradley Gardens
If you're in the mood for a pre lunch mooch I recommend turning up a good 45 minutes early for a potter round the gardens, although not huge it's nice to have the time for a slow amble. Spring sees a lovely display of daffodils and a very fine collection of tulips in a rainbow of colours. There are a few benches dotted around the gardens so if you're lucky enough to visit on a sunny day it's a really lovely way to enjoy some peace and quiet in the sunshine.

Bradley Gardens
If gardens aren't really your thing there are also a couple of lovely shops at Bradley Gardens to stroll round. The gift shop and ladies clothes and accessories store is ideal if you need to pick up any presents and if you're after some inspiration for your home the homeware shop is stunning. Just be warned, you will leave wanting a new country style kitchen, it's impossible not to!

Bradley Gardens Wylam

Of course, strolling round gardens and planning your dream home is hungry work so it's a good job that the main event at Bradley Gardens is, of course, their food. Served in the Glass House Cafe, they rustle up breakfasts, delicious afternoon teas (you need to see their cakes) and also run seasonal supper clubs. But the one thing that I've been hearing endless great things about is their Sunday Lunch offering. We couldn't wait to finally try it for ourselves.

Bradley Gardens Wylam Cafe

Bradley Gardens Wylam Cafe

If you love eating alfresco in the warmer months (it always reminds me of being a holiday which is never a bad thing!) then Bradley Gardens have a really lovely outdoor dining space with plenty of tables and the chance to enjoy your food with some perfect garden views. You'll definitely find me out there in the Summer.

Bradley Gardens Wylam Glasshouse Cafe

For the colder months, however, The Glass House Cafe is the most beautiful place to dine, split into four cosy sections the large glass house is simply decorated with fresh daffodils on all the tables, really comfy chairs (yep you can buy them in the homeware shop so beware, you will be wanting to go home with them!) and beautiful marble topped tables. Sitting in what is effectively a giant green house is a little warm - perfect if you feel the cold like me, but if you're a normal human being remember to wear layers, you may get a little hot if you're bundled up in a jumper!

Bradley Gardens - Glasshouse Cafe

The Sunday Lunch has loads to offer and if you're not really fancying a full on Sunday Roast it's worth knowing that they also have Traditional Sandwiches as part of the menu, perfect for family members with a smaller appetite or fussier eaters.  Of course, we decided to go for the Full Monty!

I had no intention to go for a Starter but as soon as I heard what the Homemade Soup (£5.75) was that day I just had to try it - Pea, Pear and Watercress - how good does that sound? Sounds a little daft but when it appeared in front of me the first thing I noticed was what a beautiful shade of light green it was, I sat there for a good while just shouting at Simon "look at the colour" before I'd even dunked my spoon in.

It was thick and creamy, served piping hot with a big chunk of fresh squishy bread and wow it was so good. Simon had decided against a Starter and so had to sit there watching as I slowly slurped my way through the never ending bowl of soup going on and on about how amazing it was. When more soup turned up for the next door table I seriously considered swiping theirs and having a second helping.

Bradley Gardens - Glasshouse Cafe Soup

We were off to an amazing start and I was very excited about what was to come next. There were three traditional roast dinners to choose from on our visit as well as a fish and veggie option. I barely glanced at anything else on the menu - I was there for a proper Roast and nothing could tempt me away from that.

Simon opted for the Roast Sirloin Beef (£13.50) and I decided on Roast Chicken Breast (£12.50) which was served on the bone and came with dry cured bacon and field mushrooms. Both our meals came with Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Greens, Broccoli and giant Yorkshire Puddings.

Bradley Gardens - Sunday Roast

I had been quite jealous when Simon ordered the Roast Beef as I'd quite fancied that myself (don't ask why I can never bring myself to order the same!) but when it appeared I was quite glad I hadn't gone for it. There was a fair amount of fat to cut off the meat which didn't really leave him a lot of beef to enjoy and it wasn't served pink. I sampled a bit off his plate and it was really delicious, just not quite to my taste.

My Chicken on the other hand was fantastic! It was really succulent and swimming in a gorgeous gravy that I really wish I knew the secret of because I've never seen gravy like it. It was a rich almost orange colour and tasted so good with the meat. The roasties weren't the traditional kind that you find on  most roast dinners and the little spuds tasted so buttery all wrapped up in their jackets - delicious. I loved the addition of the mushroom which made the dish a little different to other roasts I've tried and there was so much food on my plate I couldn't quite finish it off.

Bradley Gardens - Sunday Lunch
By this point we were both full to bursting so decided to indulge in a little bit of people watching whilst deciding if we were going to be able to make room for dessert. I enjoyed a quick glance round at the other tables. Every single seat in the Glass House Cafe was taken - large family groups were catching up, couples were enjoying romantic lunches for two and the baby shower in the corner were setting up with cute little gift bags and bunting. There was a really lovely atmosphere and although the place was full it still had a really calming buzz around it.

Having tried the cakes at Bradley Gardens before I knew that we had to indulge in a dessert. The menu included desserts or, alternatively, we also had the option to take a look at the cake counter and go for one of those instead.

Simon opted for a dessert off the Sunday Lunch Menu - Soft Brown Sugar Meringue (£6.50) served with berries and thick cream. When it showed up we couldn't believe how huge it was and as he started attempting to demolish it we realised what a mammoth task it was. No matter how much he ate it seemed to never reduce in size, it was like a food eating challenge. The meringue was perfectly prepared - crispy on the outside, gooey in the middle and absolutely swimming in berries and cream. The perfect Sunday treat.

Bradley Gardens - Dessert

I had told myself I wasn't going to have dessert but as soon as I discovered there was a Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cake (£5.20) on the menu I knew I had to order it, cherries and chocolate are my weakness. I was so full that when the biggest slice of cake you've ever seen appeared in front of me I did wonder how on earth I was going to manage it. The portion size was huge! Thick layers of chocolate, delicious sponge and layers of cream and cherries, I'm going to be dreaming about that delicious cake for many weeks to come.

Bradley Gardens - Cake
Our first experience of Sunday Lunch at Bradley Gardens was really enjoyable - it was lovely eating in such a beautiful location and we were very impressed by the quality of the food and the generous portion sizes. We can't wait to go back!

Bradley Gardens Gateshead

What you need to know:
  • Bradley Gardens are open Tuesdays to Sundays 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • There is a huge amount of free parking spaces with a large overflow carpark
  • No Dogs (except Guide Dogs) are permitted at Bradley Gardens 
Find Bradley Gardens at:

Sled Lane
NE41 8JH

01661 852 176

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Date Night at The Gate Newcastle

This is a sponsored collaboration with The Gate

I am the first to admit that if Simon and I are planning a date night in Newcastle, The Gate is probably the last place that we'd think to visit. I can probably count the amount of times I've been to Newcastle's most famous entertainment complex on one hand, I've just always considered it "not very us". Despite having barely ever been in I've always thought of it as somewhere that's full of teenagers and perhaps not the best place in the Toon to enjoy a date night as a 30 something year old couple.

So when The Gate got in touch and asked us if we wanted to plan a date night I was a little nervous, a bit intrigued and very keen to share our experience with you guys so we could all decide if Date Night at The Gate can really be a thing?

Date Night at The Gate Newcastle
Dining at The Gate

We are big foodies and love dining out in Newcastle's many varied restaurants so it's not too often you'll find us in a chain, another reason that we've perhaps never really visited The Gate on an evening out. One thing I had forgotten though is that The Gate is home to Nando's and if there's one restaurant we absolutely love (no shame or food snobbery here) it's Nando's. We are so addicted we actually went through a phase of going multiple times a week and had to put ourselves on a Nando's ban.

If you're a regular to Nando's you'll probably have your very own order, those of us who go more times than we like to admit know the menu without ever having to open it and have managed to find the perfect combination of dishes and sides to make the perfect chicken feast. For me it's all about the Mushroom and Halloumi Wrap with some Pineapple thrown in, a portion of Perinaise and half and half with the spicy rice and peri peri chips! Lush!

Date Night at The Gate Newcastle - Nandos
Another reason why we go a little bit crazy for Nando's is that there are some slightly healthier options on the menu that allow you to really enjoy an evening out without having to compromise. I really don't enjoy eating out when I'm trying to be "good" and Nando's is one of the few restaurants where I enjoy making healthier decisions because everything is so delicious.

Perhaps date night dining shouldn't be about being sensible but for our visit to The Gate Simon and I decided to put our sensible heads and not go too crazy. Sunset Burger with Spicy Rice for me and a Double Chicken Wrap and Supergrain for him. I still can't believe we managed to resist the halloumi sticks and garlic bread!

I don't know how I'd never realised that there's a Nando's is in the Gate but now it's on my radar we have the perfect spot to dine if we are wanting to enjoy a date night at The Gate.

Date Night at The Gate Newcastle - Nando's

Superscreen at Cineworld

Simon and I are THE biggest movie fans. We go to the cinema every week without fail, we always check the new releases as soon as they come out, we've seen every film trailer and it's probably our biggest shared passion.

Most of our date nights take place at the movies, we just love the excitement of watching something on the big screen and wow do we love a good debate about the film on the way home. We get so annoyed when people chatter through movies, love sharing a bag of sweets and somehow Simon always knows when I'm getting emotional in a film and will grab for my hand just as the first tear has rolled down my face.

If you hadn't already guessed we take our movie going very seriously so seeing The Avengers Endgame on the Superscreen at Cineworld in the Gate was something new for us and, in all honesty, it was going to take a lot to impress us. We are the harshest critics when it comes to our cinema experience.

For those who haven't heard of Superscreen before, it's a wall to wall, ceiling high mega screen with laser 4k projection and Dolby Atmos sound, promising a more vivid, clearer screen and the chance to really appreciate the beauty of the big screen as you've never seen it before.

If I'm being brutally honest I feel that cinemas have been trying for years to enhance the experience and we've always felt that it's fell a little short, so I am very excited to tell you that we LOVED Superscreen. It didn't feel like a gimmick and the size of the screen really did make our movie so much better. Having already seen The Avengers on a standard sized screen the difference in the quality was outstanding - we felt like we were in the movie and the fantastic sound and picture quality made us notice things we'd missed first time round. We will definitely be back!

We were very impressed by the brand new Cineworld at The Gate, it's a huge improvement on what was there before and really is something that Newcastle can feel proud of - if you've not been yet I'd highly recommend you go and take a look.

Date Night at The Gate Newcastle - Cineworld

Extending Date Night at The Gate

After a three hour very emotional journey through Avengers Endgame (don't worry, no spoilers here!) we were more than ready for bed by the time our film finished so date night was over for us. However if you did want to extend your date night at The Gate there are plenty of other things to enjoy.

The Gate is also home to Escape Newcastle which has two exclusive Predator themed escape rooms, Opera Piano Bar & Lounge for a cheeky tipple or two and, if you're after a slightly quieter end to your evening you'll now find Starbucks (which is open until 10:00 pm each night!) and some ping pong tables and oversized games dotted around The Gate to enjoy

The CTRL Pad will earn you some serious date points if your other half is a gamer! Newcastle's very own Video Game Lounge its packed with retro and modern games to enjoy on consoles including Snes, Sega Dreamcast and PS1.

Date Night at The Gate in Newcastle

What you need to know:
  • The Gate is open from 9:00 am Monday to Saturday (from 10:00 am on Sundays) and is open until late. 
  • The Gate is well served by public transport but if you are bringing your car they have their own underground carpark.  If you dine at a participating restaurant at The Gate the same day you visit Cineworld you qualify for free parking 
  • There are plenty of special offers available at The Gate - check out the website for more details.
Find The Gate

Newgate Street

We were provided with complimentary food and cinema experience as well as a sponsored collaboration in exchange for this review.

Monday, 13 May 2019

The Late Shows 2019 - Exploring Gateshead After Hours

This is a sponsored collaboration with The Late Shows

The Late Shows are back! This weekend explore Newcastle Gateshead after hours with a celebration of culture, performance, art and history in some of the most iconic buildings and venues across the city. It's our yearly chance to access some of our favourite places at night and perhaps join in with some unique experiences along the way.

Considering how passionate I am about the city I can't believe I'm about to admit to you that I have never actually been to The Late Shows. Every year I say "this is the year" and for some reason it never is. So we've decided that 2019 is finally our time, we've blocked out the diary and I am so excited to enjoy the ultimate weekend of after-hours culture.

The Late Shows 2019 - Exploring Gateshead After Hours

Having managed to bag myself a Late Shows brochure on one of my many leaflet hoarding sessions (honestly, Simon is so fed up with me collecting local booklets and magazines every time we go out) I've loved having a good look through everything that's happening this year and I have a plan ready to go!

We've decided for our first ever experience of the Late Shows we're going to focus our attention on Gateshead, there are some really fantastic offerings and here are just a few of the highlights that we're excited about!

The Late Shows 2019 - Gateshead After Hours

Gateshead Central Library

Gateshead Central Library are throwing a massive party, the theme is "celebrate Gateshead" and we're all invited!

There's a bar for me and a LEGO pit for him! Yep, I'm yet to tell my husband about this (it's going to be the best surprise), but there will be a lego pit and I can't wait to see his face when he discovers it.  I'm also planning on a little peruse of the pop up arts market and a go at the GemArts Bollywood dance workshop.

Perhaps the part I'm most excited about getting involved in is "Because Gateshead Rocks My World" - inspired by the Tyneside Rocks craze (remember that?) - you can personalise your own rock with plenty of glow in the dark paint and then leave it somewhere in town for others to find!  If you fancy a go at that yourself make sure you get to the Library early - rocks are going to be handed out first come first served until they run out!

There's going to be a real family friendly vibe at The Gateshead Central Library and If you arrive earlier Twi-Lates will start at the Library at 4:00 pm with a free drama workshop with Mortal Fools for 12 - 17 year olds - find out more here and make sure you book in advance (book here)

There's so much going on under one roof during The Late Shows at Gateshead Central Library I think it's going to be hard to leave and move on to another location!

Find Gateshead Central Library at Prince Consort Road, NE8 4LN

The Late Shows 2019 - Gateshead Central Library

Gateway Studio Project

Join Gateway Studio Project, Side by Side Arts and Drummed Up at the Trinity Centre for a night of live performances and workshops. There'll be exclusive performances from Gateway Studio Project's youth dance groups as well as offering free taster sessions in dance fit and adult contemporary dance.

Being a huge movie buff I am really looking forward to seeing Stuart from Side by Side Arts accompanying the silent horror classic Frankenstine live on piano - that's going to be a very special moment.

I also quite fancy taking part in a percussion workshop run by Drummed Up and have been practicing my drumming skills using various tubs and saucepans in our kitchen over the last week (yes, I'm driving my husband mad!)

Find Gateway Studio Project at Trinity Centre, NE8 1EP

Dynamix Skatepark

I used to walk past Dymanix every morning on my way to work and I was always nosing through the gates wondering what was going on inside the building so the Late Shows will be my opportunity to finally have a look.

Now I'm not going to pretend that I'll be getting involved in any of the free short taster sessions - I can't imagine I'd be terribly good at skateboarding, bmx-ing or aerial circus but if you're more adventurous than me you really MUST have a go - it's not every day you can learn such unique new skills. Booking is essential if you want to partake and you can find all the booking information here.

I'm planning on going to watch, enjoy the live music and, if I'm being honest, pig out on some of the food that will be available to buy on the night!

Find Dynamix Skatepark at Albany Road, NE8 3AT

The Late Shows 2019 - Dynamix Skatepark

Dunston Staithes

I am the biggest fan of Dunston Staithes, it's probably my favourite part of Gateshead and if you're yet to see the River Tyne from the iconic Staithes please make a plan to go during the Late Shows! It's a truly stunning structure and I'm so excited about the unique opportunity to experience it in the evening. It will be open until 9:30 pm and if you don't fancy the beautiful walk along the Tyne to get there, there will also be a shuttle bus running down to the site, so no excuses!

Find Dunston Staithes at: Staithes Road, NE11 9DR

The Late Shows 2019 - Dunston Staithes

By The River Brew Co

I have to say, this is one of my favourite plans of the night because not only will By The River Brew Co be hosting work by some of the best world-renowned street artists at their pop up interactive exhibition in the Backyard Bike Shop, it is, of course, also home to some of the greatest street food in the region at their HWKRMRKT.

The perfect stop off in your itinerary to refuel during your Late Show trail round Gateshead.

Find By The River Brew Co at: Hillgate Quays, NE8 2BH 

The Late Shows 2019 - By The River Brewco

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

I am so excited about the opportunity of getting to stroll around The Baltic late at night and I will definitely be heading up to their viewing platform for the special opportunity to enjoy my favourite view of the Gateshead Quayside in a different light.

There will be heritage tours of the building and the Quayside to enjoy as well as some special presentations about The Baltic's resident Kittiwakes and, if you get thirsty, I've heard whispers there'll be a pop up bar to enjoy!

Find The Baltic at: South Shore Road, NE8 3BA

We can't wait to visit The Late Shows this year and if you want to see what we're up to make sure you're following me on Instagram ( - we will be sharing our evening of adventures on my Stories!

The Late Shows 2019 - The Baltic

What you need to know: 

  • The Late Shows starts this Friday (17 May) across Ouseburn before continuing in NewcastleGateshead on Saturday. 
  • This year for the first time celebrations start earlier in the evening with Twi-Lates, events for 12-17 year olds running between 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm before the Late Shows kick off from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm.
  • The Late Shows are FREE, however some tours and activities require booking in advance so be sure to check the website before visiting
  • Free buses will be running between some venues. Hop onboard the CitySightseeing NewcastleGateshead tour bus or take the Gateshead shuttle bus which will be running between Shipley Art Gallery, Bensham Grove, Dunston Staithes and Dynamix Skatepark.
This blog is a sponsored collaboration with The Late Shows

Friday, 10 May 2019

A Day Trip to Corbridge, Northumberland

One of the best things about having a blog is that when you are having a debate about how long it's been since you last visited somewhere it's very easy to settle the argument. That's how I know that it had been five years since our last visit to the beautiful Northumberland village of Corbridge, yes FIVE YEARS! A day trip to Corbridge was definitely long overdue.

A Day Trip to Corbridge, Northumberland
Ask me why it had been so long since our last visit and I really don't know the answer. Corbridge ticks every box I have when it comes to day trip requirements - cake shops aplenty, beautiful Northumberland scenery, plenty of windows to nose through, idyllic walks and pretty streets to photograph.

How on earth had we forgotten about this gem for so long?

Day Trip to Corbridge, Northumberland

Travelling to Corbridge

Corbridge is very easy to reach direct by train from Newcastle, the very first time we visited was long before we had a car and we were so happy we could visit somewhere so lovely without having our own wheels.   Trains run every hour, take around 35 minutes and, at the time of writing this, tickets cost from around £6.50 for a return. The centre of the village is an easy walk from the station and takes you over the most beautiful bridge into Corbridge.

We decided to take the car to Corbridge on this visit and we were so happy to discover that the parking is pretty great with a decent sized free carpark just a few minutes walk away from the village centre.

Day Tripping to Corbridge, Northumberland

River Walks

Corbridge has to be one of the most beautiful places to admire the River Tyne, it's hard to believe this is the same river that runs through Newcastle - the peaceful banks in Northumberland's beautiful village is the perfect spot for a long leisurely walk with the dog or a picnic in the sunshine. Although we've never ventured far along the path there are miles of riverside to explore offering some great views across Northumberland and the chance to escape the hectic craziness of life.

Day Tripping to Corbridge

The River Tyne is the first part of Corbridge you'll reach whether you have travelled my road or rail and we decided to stop on our way into the village to admire the views and enjoy the sunshine at the water's edge. 

Day Trip to Corbridge
Discover RE

I don't think it's possible to visit Corbridge without popping into RE a huge homewear store quite unlike any other you'll ever visit.  The unusual shop is filled to the brim with quirky objects, fascinating treasures and the weird and wonderful - perfect talking points for your home.

We love to potter around the store and can get lost for hours searching the shelves for inspiration for our home and garden. On this visit I lost Simon for a good 15 minutes when I found myself hunting through a collection of magical looking keys which, for a moment, I convinced myself I really needed.

I discovered it's probably best not to wander off in separate directions when you're visiting RE.  That tends to be when the crazy purchases happen - you have been warned!

Day Trip to Corbridge - RE
Coffee and Cake

Of course no day trip for us is complete without a few stops for coffee and cake (let me tell you strolling around beautiful Northumbrian villages is hard work, the legs needed a rest!) and in Corbridge we were spoilt for choice.

Simon insisted on having a sit down more or less as soon as we arrived so we headed to Tea and Tipple for a quick morning coffee. He was happy to enjoy his first coffee of the day and I was over the moon to discover a nice collection of North East tourist leaflets to read. It doesn't matter how long I have lived here, I will never tire of reading brightly coloured leaflets and making adventure plans. Simon is fed up of clearing tourist leaflets out of our glove box!

Day Trip to Corbridge - Tea and Tipple
Another must stop place in Corbridge has to be Grants Bakery, an award winning handcrafted bakery right in the centre of the village that has a window display to be proud of. There are a huge number of treats to choose from including meringues the size of your head, massive slices of quiche, cream cakes and the famous White Chocolate and Raspberry Scones that we had to buy to take home for later. I promise you, it's impossible to walk out of that place without a brown paper bag full of treats!

Day Trip to Corbridge - Grants Bakery

As if that wasn't enough treats we also stopped for some afternoon tea and cake at Watling Coffee House where we shared a delicious Chocolate Orange Cake (complete with oozing orange marmalade!) and a pot of tea for two.

There are a fair few tea rooms and coffee shops to choose from in Corbridge so we already have some places picked out for our next visit.

Day Trip to Corbridge - Watling Coffee House

 Cottages and Shopping

We visited Corbridge on a Sunday which is an ideal time if you want to enjoy the village slightly quieter. The majority of the restaurants and cafes were open as well as the bakery and a few shops but the majority of independent stores are closed so if its a shopping experience you want it'd be best to visit Corbridge on another day. I quite enjoyed the experience of the pavements being a lot quieter than our previous visit and loved nosing through the windows - there really are some beautiful shops in Corbrige.

Day Trip to Corbridge - Shopping
When you're not looking round the shops I highly recommend just going for a little wander and getting lost down the streets of honey coloured cottages and houses. If you want to play "fantasy home" there really is no better spot than Corbridge.

Day Trip to Corbridge in Northumberland

Rows upon rows of stunning houses line the roads, with beautiful doors, pretty wreaths and plenty of colourful blooms. I find it impossible to walk more than a few steps without wanting to stop and admire the views.

Day Trip to Corbridge Northumberland

I also spent a fair amount of our trip to Corbridge making notes (yes, actual notes - I am that geeky!) about all of the restaurants and cafes that I want to visit on future trips. Recently opened Four and Twenty looks so cute (and having done some research it looks like their menu is mostly made up of pies - yes please!) and I really do want to try Duck House which just looks lovely.

Trip to Corbridge Northumberland

Forum Books

If books are your jam Forum Books is a must visit, it smells so good (something only true book lovers will get) and we loved wandering around the book shelves. I spent ages flicking through the local books and you should have seen the panicked look in Simon's eyes when he caught me with my nose buried in a book on Northumberland walks, he will never know how many new adventures I planned in those few minutes he left me on my own in Forum Books!

Trip to Corbridge Northumberland - Forum Books

The Pele Micro Pub

If you're lucky enough not to be the designated driver then a stop at The Pele, Corbridge's micro pub is the perfect way to end your day in Corbridge. You'll find it opposite Forum Books in a three story stone tower dating back to 1318 - with lights strung across the outside courtyard it's the prettiest pub you'll ever see and that's before you've even got through the front door.

Trip to Corbridge Northumberland - Pele Micro Pub
Buy your drink from the well stocked bar before carrying your drink up the narrow stone steps to the first floor where you'll be greeted to a cosy seating area with Game of Thrones style chairs, beer barrel tables and a fireplace that has already made me decide I need to return in the Winter months.

Trip to Corbridge Northumberland - Micro Pub

Corbridge Northumberland - Micro Pub
I loved enjoying my drink whilst watching the faces on the people coming up the stairs and seeing the place for the first time. It's impossible to reach the top step without saying "wow"! If you love really unique micro pubs then this is somewhere you really must visit, it's a very special place and the best way to finish your day trip to Corbridge.

Corbridge Northumberland - Micro Pub Pele

If you're planning a holiday to Hadrian's Wall any time soon then Corbridge is a "must visit", it's a great spot for the Northumbrian tourist and, if you're local like us, there really is no excuse if it's been a long time since your last visit!

Corbridge Northumberland Day Trip

We definitely won't be leaving it so long before our next visit and if you have any recommendations of places we should see on our next trip make sure you let me know, I'm ready to plan our next visit.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Cottages in Northumberland - Planning your Perfect Holiday in Northumberland

This is a collaboration with Cottages in Northumberland

If you're planning to holiday in the UK this year, you really can't go wrong with a short break with Cottages in Northumberland who have an impressive range of holiday homes in the most beautiful county in England.

Cottages in Northumberland - Planning your Perfect Holiday in Northumberland

I have lost count of the amount of people I know who plan UK breaks to the Lake District, Cornwall or the Cotswolds, all beautiful places I agree but it always baffles me a little that Northumberland isn't talked about as much as a holiday destination. Why? This beautiful county in the North East of England offers everything - miles of beautiful walks, hillside views, picture perfect beaches, quaint villages, delicious local produce and an impressive history - it ticks everything on my list for the perfect holiday getaway yet seems to fly somewhat under the radar!

Our Holiday Cottage for Two at Riding Mill 

We've just got home from a short break with Cottages in Northumberland where we spent a romantic night away for two in a cosy cottage in Riding Mill, the perfect spot to stay if you want to explore Hadrian's Wall and its surrounding villages.

Cottages in Northumberland - Riding Mill

Our home for the night was Courtyard Cottage at Riding Hills Farm, easily the tiniest holiday cottage we have ever stayed in, it was very very small but oh so cute and a great place to stay if you actually quite like being around your other half and fancy a countryside escape together.  The kitchen was so small it gave me the perfect excuse to settle myself down on the sofa watching Netflix allowing my husband to have all the space to prepare my dinner (I'm not daft!) and with only a "build your own" table available in the snug kitchen it meant having food on our laps which I was definitely not complaining about.

With its perfect location close to Hexham and Corbridge and with plenty of pubs on the doorstep we could have dined out, but Courtyard Cottage was the kind of place where you actually just want to stay in. We settled ourselves down on the sofa for the night and watched movies before retiring to bed early, being asleep by 10:00 pm always feels like such a treat for me and definitely something I only ever enjoy when we're away and can't get myself distracted by the need to do housework and chores.

Cottages in Northumberland - Courtyard Cottage Riding Mill

The next morning I decided to get up early for a little wander outside the cottage, I shamefully strolled out still in my PJs, with a coat thrown over the top and wearing Simon's shoes and made my way over to our little outside space - our very own table and chairs overlooking the beautiful Northumberland countryside. Unfortunately it was a little too damp to enjoy an alfresco breakfast the  morning of our visit but if you were to stay in the Summer months it would be quite the treat to eat outside.
Cottages in Riding Mill Northumberland
Choosing your Own Cottage in Northumberland

Cottages in Northumberland don't just offer cosy cottages for two, they also have larger properties for families and dog friendly spaces for holidays with your pooch! So whether you're holidaying as a group of 11 or looking for a solo escape there'll be something to suit your needs.

They have Studio Apartments, Lodges, Cottages, Farmhouses, Shepherds Huts and Converted Barns - something to suit every taste and budget! All accommodation is self catering, great if you want to be completely in control of your budget and plans, and their website is really easy to use with so many helpful guides to Northumberland and holiday ideas.

Cottages in Northumberland - Corbridge

Planning your Perfect Holiday in Northumberland

You may not realise until you start planning your holiday in Northumberland, but the county is actually pretty big and varies a lot in what it can offer depending on whereabouts you stay.  Cottages in Northumberland offer you a coastal retreat, rural escape or city break so where do you even begin deciding which part of the county to explore?

For the Great Explorers

If you want a great adventure then there's lots to be found in Northumberland. Book yourself a cottage near Hadrian's Wall for a rich history, beautiful views and miles of walks to suit all abilities. Of course it's not all hill hiking and wall adventures, when you fancy a few days out to appreciate the  more leisurely side to Northumberland you'll love the towns of Hexham and Corbridge, both bursting with independent shops and cafes with plenty of charm and character.

To discover more check out:

Walking Hadrian's Wall - Sycamore Gap
A Day Trip to Hexham 

Cottages in Northumberland - Hadrians Wall

For the Sea Lovers

The Northumberland coastline is one of the best in the country, mainly because its our little secret and remains unspoilt. You can venture to the coast on a baking hot day in the Summer and still find miles of quiet sands to explore - the perfect place to get lost and enjoy a true slice of the simple life. With plenty of busier towns and villages along the way, we love driving the Northumberland Coastal Route and visiting the Puffins on the Farne Islands is a must!

To discover more check out: 

Our Northumberland Coastal Route Road Trip
Puffins on the Farne Islands

Cottages in Northumberland - Farne Islands

For the City Fans

Although Newcastle isn't exactly in Northumberland I can't really talk about a perfect holiday in Northumberland without mentioning the city. Newcastle may be portrayed in the press as a party city but if you're yet to visit I promise you will discover something quite different. Bustling streets bursting with independent restaurants, coffee shops and beautiful architecture. The world famous Quayside with its seven bridges over the River Tyne is perfect for an afternoon stroll and offers some great views of the city.

To discover more check out:

The Ultimate Newcastle City Guides
A Newcastle Food Guide

Cottages in Northumberland - Newcastle upon Tyne

For Stargazers

Did you know that Northumberland is home to the Dark Skies and is one of the best places in the country for stargazing? If you're very lucky, the chance to see the world famous Northern Lights. Pack yourself a flask and snuggle down for a night under the stars in some of Northumberland's most beautiful spots. Kielder is one of our favourite places for night skies and also offers some breathtaking walks - the scenery is spectacular!

To discover more check out:

A First Time Visitors Guide to Kielder

Book yourself a Holiday in Northumberland

To discover your perfect holiday in Northumberland - take a look at the Cottages in Northumberland website and book yourself a picture perfect break:

01665 661 273

Cottages in Northumberland - Coast

We were treated to a complimentary night's stay at Courtyard Cottage in exchange for this review.
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