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Amy Smith: Loves Northumberland castles, Hadrian’s Wall Country

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  January 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

Northumberland Best Kept Secrets

Amy Smith

Amy Smith

Amy Smith is the Conference and Events Sales Manager at Sage Gateshead, one of the North East’s most iconic venues. She loves the North East of England and shares here best-kept secrets with us.

How long have you lived/worked/visited in Newcastle?: I’ve lived in Newcastle for nearly four years. Originally from Carlisle, I grew up having family days out at the Northumberland Coast and a day’s shopping at the Metro Centre and Newcastle.  After living in Yorkshire, London and the Midlands for a number of years, I couldn’t wait to get back up North!

What is it about the city and Northumberland that appeals to you?: My fiancé is a Geordie and his Geordie pride has definitely rubbed off on me. The region has the best of everything! Stunning coastline, a fantastic cultural scene, great restaurants and nightlife, beautiful countryside – what more do you need!  But what really appeals to me is I just feel so at home here, it’s such a friendly place.

Bamburgh Castle Northumberland by Keith Moss

Bamburgh Castle Northumberland by Keith Moss

What’s your favourite Northumberland/Borders/Newcastle beauty spot?: Bamburgh Castle with its stunning beaches, great place for a brisk walk and sea air whatever the weather.

Tell us about your favourite view/walk/cycle route/town/nightspot?: Last year I organised a charity trek and we walked the first 33 miles of St Oswald’s Way from Holy Island to Craster. We passed through woodland, fields, little villages, beaches, golf courses and of course plenty of lovely little picnic spots. The walk is broken down into smaller stages, which are perfect for smaller weekend walks finishing in one of the very inviting pubs!

The list of places to visit is endless. But some are more special than others.  A trip to Northumberland/the Borders wouldn’t be complete without….: Getting lost down a country lane and finding a new spot with another stunning view.

Is locally produced Northumbrian/Borders food the best?: We are a region with a particular pride in our food heritage and throughout the year there are loads of festivals, markets and events all focused around food. Whether you fancy a bit of gooseberry picking at Brockbushes Farm, having a food adventure at EAT! Festival or attending a sausage making course, we really are spoilt for choice.

Do you have a preferred place to eat out in the county and why?: One of my favourite treats is stopping off Sea Houses (usually after a long brisk walk from Bamburgh Castle) and have fish and chips, while sat overlooking the harbour.

Geordies, Northumbrians and people from The Scottish Borders are renowned for the warm welcome they offer holidaymakers and day trippers alike. What do you think is the secret ingredient for this friendliness?: The friendliness just rubs off on everyone, people are just so passionate about the region – whether they were born and bred locally or have just found themselves here!

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle © Gail Johnson –

Coast or country?: One the main things about moving to the North East for me was the fact both coast and country are on the door step. That said, I’m a coastal girl at heart and love nothing more than dipping my toes in the sea and getting an ice cream (even on a freezing cold winter’s day).

Your favourite historical site?: The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle are such a dramatic sight overlooking Embleton bay and a short walk away from Craster.

And the best road to take a leisurely and scenic drive along?: The Old Military Road takes you up in to the heart of Northumberland, and offers loads of great little spots to stop off for lunch and ice cream and get thoroughly lost.

Military Road, Northumberland, by Les Hill

Military Road, Northumberland, by Les Hill

What would be your perfect day out in Northumberland or The Scottish Borders?: Setting off early morning, armed with my camera and a map, pin pointing new places to visit, while stopping off at a few of the galleries, tea rooms, book shops, pubs and always ending up at the coast for fish & chips.

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