Easter 2017 – Our Guide to What’s On in Northumbria
With the Easter holidays a month away, now is the perfect time for you to start planning your next family trip to Northumbria – and with stacks of things to do in the region over the break, it might be that you need a little help breaking down the various possibilities. From ‘Easter Extravaganzas’ and Spring markets, to dawn chorus trails and stargazing, here is our guide to what’s on and where to go over Easter – should anywhere in particular take your fancy, feel free to browse our selection of holiday cottages and get planning in earnest!
Easter events across the region
Unsurprisingly, there are numerous Easter markets, Easter egg hunts and egg decorating events planned around the region. Situated on the edge of the Northumberland National Park, the village of Ingram kicks off the Easter celebrations early, with its ‘Early Easter Eggstravaganza’ taking place on the very first day of the holidays (Saturday, April 8). Wallington Hall has a daily egg hunt running from 11am throughout the holidays, while Bamburgh Castle has both egg hunt and egg decoration events on Easter Sunday itself (Sunday, April 16). If egg hunting isn’t your thing, then perhaps the Woodhorn Easter Egg Run may appeal instead – hundreds of bikers collect and deliver donated Easter eggs to children’s homes and hospital wards around the region. It’s a far cry from the Easter bunny but an impressive sight, and all for a good cause.
Alternatively, taking place at the same time (Easter Saturday) is Alnwick’s annual Easter Market – an abundance of locally produced food, crafts and jewelry, held in the centre of the historic market town. The market follows the annual Alnwick Spring Show, which is held a week prior, on the first weekend of the holidays.
Alternative events to consider
There are also plenty of events taking place in the Easter break that – while not Easter specific – are still well worth a look. Early risers may be interested in the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s ‘Dawn Chorus Walk’, held in the early hours of Sunday, April 9. A walk at dawn in Hauxley, visitors will be serenaded by the sound of birdsong as they take in their picturesque surroundings. At the other end of the spectrum – from the dawn chorus to the night sky – are the Easter Space Kids events at Kielder Observatory. Budding astronomers have the chance to see and touch rocks from the Moon, Mars and the asteroid belt, build their own rockets, and even take control of the observatory’s two big telescopes.
An interesting alternative event over the Easter weekend can be found at the small North Sea fishing town of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, which will host its seventh annual Kite Festival. Featuring international kite flyers and kite making workshops for children, the Festival is a hidden gem that provides a spectacular airshow for interested observers.
Explore the region’s crown jewels
Aside from the abundance of events being held over the Easter break, perhaps the biggest opportunity afforded to you by the Easter holidays is the time to reacquaint yourself with the best sights the region has to offer. We have cottages within the Northumberland National Park, along the Northumberland Coast – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and along the breadth of Hadrian’s Wall, so no matter what area you choose to visit, we can provide you with a fantastic base camp from which to go exploring.
Coinciding with the Easter holidays is the reopening of Alnwick Castle, which opens its doors to the public again on March 31. The Castle has doubled for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films – and more recently was in the 2014 and 2015 Downton Abbey Christmas Specials – but it has a rich and exciting history of its own, from gunpowder plot to one of England’s most celebrated knights.
The start of the Easter holidays also sees the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site launch a major new exhibition celebrating the famous Roman cavalry that once guarded the Northern frontier of the globe-spanning Empire. The exhibition stretches the full 150 miles of the Wall, running from the first day of the Easter break until September, with enough ornate armour, weaponry and live re-enactments to excite both young children and history buffs alike.
Further north, there is perhaps no better time to visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne than over the Easter period, as pilgrims from around the world descend on the island for the religious festival. We have several cottages available within very close driving distance of the Island, as well as the rest of the breathtaking Northumberland Coast.
Take in spectacular gardens
Winter has already turned to Spring, with shoots beginning to poke their way through, but by mid-April the region will be fully in bloom. This makes Easter the ideal time to visit the bevy of breathtaking gardens dotted throughout Northumbria.
The Alnwick Garden, dazzling all year round, really comes into its own in this season – look out in particular for the magnificent cherry blossom that will take over its cherry orchard. Howick Hall, to the East of Alnwick, is particularly impressive in Spring, boasting spectacular drifts of daffodils around the grounds, as well as rhododendrons, camelias and magnolias in the Woodland Garden. Belsay Hall, near Hexham, also has rhododendrons, as well as woodland walks and an 11 acre quarry featuring exotic and rare plants.
Alternatively, simply head to the Northumberland Coast and take in the fantastic wildflowers that will begin to bloom from spring through to late summer.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on: 01697 746777
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