Deborah Tate, Woodhorn, reveals places she loves: Northumberland’s diversity, Drake Stone, Rothbury, Edlingham
Deborah Tate is Marketing Officer at Woodhorn, a museum just outside Ashington in South East Northumberland. Woodhorn is based in original listed colliery buildings and featuring displays on the mining heritage of the area, the stunning Ashington Group (Pitmen Painters) Collection of art, and the Northumberland public archives. It is part of the Woodhorn Trust which also manages the Old Gaol in Hexham, the Bagpipe Museum in Morpeth, and Berwick Museum and Art Gallery.
How long have you lived/worked/visited in Northumberland or The Scottish Borders?: I was born in Northumberland and, apart from having student digs in Newcastle and Gateshead and a brief spell working in Devon after university, all of my life has been spent in our fabulous county.
What is it about the county that appeals to you?: I just love the variety of landscape. Every where you go there is something stunning to see: from the hills down to the coastline, it’s just beautiful.
What’s your favourite Northumberland/Borders beauty spot?: Now that’s a hard one: it has so many fantastic spots. I could choose one of the popular places, but I’m going to let you in on a secret. Just outside Harbottle you can take a walk up the hillside to Drake’s Stone where the view back over the village is lovely. But if you go up just a little further, you’ll find a hilltop tarn. It always feels quite sureal.
Tell us about your favourite view/walk/cycle route/town/nightspot?: If I’m up Alnwick way I just have to find an excuse to take the road out over towards Rothbury. It has some gorgeous views out over the village and ruins at Edlingham.
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 . . .: A visit to a castle. It’s the county of castles – more than 70 I believe.
Why is locally produced Northumbrian/Borders food the best?: You just can’t beat a Craster kipper. For me I guess it’s the fact that I know the guys have been producing them locally for generations in a small seaside village – not on a commercialised industrial estate.
Do you have a preferred place to eat out in the county and why?: I had a really good meal recently at the Duke of Wellington Inn in the village of Newton. And if the weather is good, they have a large raised patio area with lovely views of the Tyne Valley.
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?: Maybe it’s because life was always tough in the past so you needed each other.
Coast or country, and specifically which part?: All of it. How could I possibly choose?!
Your favourite market town?: I have to say I like Morpeth. It has a pretty riverside, some lovely buildings, good shopping (and still plenty of independent businesses), and a nice museum and craft centre in the middle.
Your favourite historical site?: I have to say Woodhorn where I work. Seeing as I’m fourth generation to work at the site, it’s just part of me. I’m so proud of my forefathers – they might have spent their days in the dark digging for coal, but their contribution hlped to make Britain great!
And the best road to take a leisurely and scenic drive along?: Almost any road in Northumberland as long as I’m driving – I’m not a good passenger.
What would be your perfect day out in Northumberland and The Scottish Borders?: The morning on the coast, perhaps a walk through Alnmouth and along the beach, a mooch around Alnwick (and a visit to Barter Books), then an afternoon in the Coquet Valley with a glass of something in a pub garden.
Category: Northumberland Best Kept Secrets