Top Ways to Get Active on a Trip to Northumberland

By on February 13, 2015

If you are organising a break in the UK and are searching for somewhere that gives you a variety of activity options, I think Northumberland is a fantastic place to choose. Perched on the border between England and Scotland, this county is home to some of the UK’s most dramatic landscapes – and there are loads of great ways to explore them.

1) Horse riding

Horse riding

When it comes to horse riding, I think Northumberland is one of the most exciting spots in the country. This is because its stunning landscape is crisscrossed with countless bridleways and pretty country lanes – not to mention the fact that there is plenty of gorgeous, rugged coastline to canter along.

I’d say it’s the beaches that make for the most exhilarating trips, considering that even regular riders probably don’t get frequent opportunities to ride along areas like this – unless they live somewhere similar! Kielder Water & Forest Park is a particularly excellent place to try coastal riding, since there is over 40 km of shoreline to explore.

If you fancy trotting along scenic bridleways, though, it is worth heading into the North Pennines, where there are a lot of these. In terms of the stables you can go riding with, Go Active Breaks and Shipley Lane Equestrian Centre are two you should consider.

2) Coasteering

Coasteering

Should you be a bit of a daredevil or simply want to try a new and exciting sport, give coasteering a go. Invented in Pembrokeshire in Wales, this unusual activity involves scrambling along the coastline in pretty much any way you can – including swimming, climbing and hauling yourself over boulders.

As Northumberland’s coastline is so rugged and extensive, it’s a perfect place to try this sport for the first time. Several companies offer tours (you should never attempt it on your own!), including Adventure Northumberland and Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre – both are based in Alnwick.

3) Walking

Walking

I always think walking is a lovely thing to do on holiday; it lets you see parts of the countryside you’d otherwise miss, as well as take things at your own pace, rather than just hurtling from one landmark to the next in a car. Northumberland is, as you may have guessed, really well suited to walking, thanks to its extensive footpaths.

The great thing about hiking here is that there are routes to suit every kind of rambler, whether you fancy something that’s going to put your endurance to the test, or you just want a short afternoon stroll. At 84 miles long, Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is great for keen hikers. You can opt to walk just a section or two of it or, if you’d like to focus the bulk of your holiday tackling it, you can complete the whole thing in around seven days.

4) Cycling

Cycling Northumberland

I’m also quite a fan of cycling – though I much prefer routes that are well away from heavy traffic. Having plenty of quiet trails, Northumberland sounds like it would be the ideal spot for me and, thanks to its several cycling hubs and plethora of great tracks, it’s popular with plenty of other people too.

The two newest cycling hubs here are Haltwhistle and Wooler, offering seven trails apiece. If you’re looking for an easy-to-moderate ride, try out the Vallum Loop at Haltwhistle; this’ll take you through some gorgeous countryside scenery.

Been on holiday to the north of England recently? If you can recommend any cottages in Northumberland, leave a comment to help give fellow travellers some ideas of places to stay.

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