English Heritage is encouraging people to avoid the crowds this October half term and begin an extra special autumn adventure at one of its spectacular sites along the dramatic Northumberland coast.
As the weather turns colder, it’s the ideal time to blow away the cobwebs in the great outdoors.
Set in awe-inspiring countryside and close to spectacular beaches, destinations to choose from include striking Dunstanburgh Castle, near Alnwick, and the now peaceful ruins of Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island.
Caroline Sinclair, of English Heritage, said: “The stresses and strains of everyday life can soon catch up with us all and English Heritage is appealing to people to take some time out and pay a visit to one of its coastal delights.
“On a fresh autumn day with bright blue skies, you can see the coastal Northumberland properties at their most beautiful and take in the surrounding countryside and beaches.
“We are encouraging people to combine a day at the seaside with a crisp outdoor walk and a visit to an English Heritage property, such as Warkworth Castle or Tynemouth Priory and Castle.”
Lindisfarne Priory is at its most magical at this time of year. With its ornate carvings on the extensive ruins and stunning views over Holy Island and the surrounding area, it’s easy to see what first drew the monks to the spot.
Dunstanburgh Castle offers the chance to step out on an energetic and refreshing walk along the coast from the picturesque fishing village of Craster. Built on a remote headland, the now ruined fortress offers unbeatable views along this stretch of the north Northumberland coast.
It’s not hard to see why it has inspired so many great artists and poets over the centuries, including Turner whose unique 1797 pencil and watercolour sketch on paper of the castle’s Lilburn Tower at Sunrise is in the Tate Collection.
Meanwhile Warkworth Castle perched above the River Coquet was once home to Harry Hotspur, the hero of many Border ballads who earned himself a place in Shakespeare’s Henry IV.
With its extensive ruins, great hall, circuit of towered walls and dark and spooky underground chambers, it’s the sort of castle children love. The site also offers the perfect opportunity to take youngsters on a walk to see wildlife along the river and the gorgeous autumnal colours in all their glory.