Things to do

There are so many things to do and places to visit nearby

There are plenty of castles in the local area. We’ve selected a few of our favourites, but you can get a short history, location and opening times of all the Northumberland castles here.

Alnwick Castle is now well known as the setting for many of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The privately owned castle dates from 1096, when the keep was built by the Normans. The castle is open to the public. For more information on Alnwick, click here

Bamburgh Castle stands on a site which has evidence of human occupation dating from the first century bc. The castle is in private ownership, and is open to the public. The castle occupies an imposing position on the sea cliffs, overlooking the Farne Islands and Holy Island.

The dungeons prove popular with adults and children alike. For more information on Bamburgh, click here

Norham Castle was build on the banks of the Tweed in 1121ad. Many times in its history, the castle has been under siege. The castle withstood each siege until 1513. In this year, King James IV stormed the castle after using a 6 ton cannon called Mons Meg, which fired stones weighing up to 150kg. The castle was largely destroyed. For more information, click here.

Lindisfarne Castle was build by the Tudors in 1570. The castle stands on a rocky outcrop called Beblowe Crag, and was constructed to protect the English warships which used the harbour. To find out more, click here

Two of the best climbing spots in the country are within 10 minutes drive of Spylaw. We look out over Bowden Doors and we are a couple of miles from Kyloe. For more information on the local climbing and news, link to the climbonline website.

Cycle Hire There are places locally where bikes can be hired from a half day to a full week. The nearest place is in Wooler, at the garage just south of the town on the A697.

To book your hire, contact the Haugh Head Garage on 01668 281 316.

Where to Ride Northumberland attracts the cycling visitor because it has a combination of beautiful scenery and the hills tend to be long and gentle rather than short and sharp.

Cycling routes can be planned using the Ordnance Survey maps (there are maps in the cottages) or you can obtain further cycling information and routes here.

There as a wide variety of fishing locations available in Northumberland. This link provides information on locations, permits and prices for river fishing.

This link provides information on fishing from the coast, and here you can find information on sea angling.

We’ve added some additional information on the fishing available very close to Spylaw.

Norham is reputed to be one of the best stretches of water on the border, where salmon, brown trout, sea trout and grayling can be caught.

The River Till, a Tweed tributary, provides an extended season (i.e. until the end of November). It has an excellent autumn run of salmon and regularly produces double figure sea trout. There is a sizeable head of grayling. Permits can be obtained locally for the river, which is just a mile from Spylaw.

Good runs of salmon and sea trout can be expected in the Coquet throughout the season. The river rises in Cheviots and enters the North Sea near Warkworth.

There are plenty of golf courses just a few miles from Spylaw. We’ve mentioned just a couple, but a detailed list and information on each one can be seen here.

Alnwick golf course is situated on mature parkland with an excellent layout and spectacular panoramic views of the Capability Brown designed local landscape. The golf course was extended to 18 holes in 1995, the extra holes occupying land on more open countryside with views out to the sea some five miles away.

The 12th hole, Lang Whang, is dog-legged to the left and uphill to the green built on a plateau. It is a Gents 573 yard, par 5 hole and an excellent test of golf. The Gents course is Par 70, and the Ladies a Par 73 course.

Berwick golf course is 7 miles south of Berwick-on-Tweed, and is located on the seaside, which provides some testing conditions for the golfer.

The 18 hole course is just over 6600 yards, and is divded into two halves. The outward nine holes is to the north of the clubhouse, and the inward nine holes is to the south. Visitors are welcome.

The beautiful and very challenging golf course at Bamburgh has wonderful views over the castle, the Cheviot Hills, Holy island and the Farne islands. Visitors are welcome.

Holy Island (Lindisfarne) is not only known for the castle. The monastery here was founded as a center of Christianity in ad635 by St Aiden. The monastery was in use until the Viking raids, which started in ad793, forced the monks to flee in ad875.

The monastery was rebuild between ad1082 and ad1120 by monks from Durham, and remained in use until the Dissolution by King Henry V111 in 1537.

Access to the island is by the same route as the monks originally used – across the sands at low tide. However a road has now been built, but it still disappears below the waves with the tide. You can only cross to the island at low tide – we keep the tide times on the information board in the cottages. For more information, click here.

Whilst you are on Holy Island, take some time out to see the unusual fishermens’ sheds on the beach (see left)

The Farne Islands comprise of 28 separate islands formed of volcanic rock, located between two and five miles off the Northumberland coast adjacent to Bamburgh. The islands are in the care of the National Trust, and are a haven for wildlife. You can take the 30 minute boat trip from Seahouses to watch the seabirds and Grey Seals.

The coast of Northumberland provides a variety of beaches, from long streches of golden sand, to rockpools and crags and cliffs. What you won’t find are crowds!

Not only do we have golden stretches of sand, but there are plenty of rock pools to poke around in.

The area around Spylaw is a haven for walkers. We are close to the end of the Pennine Way. St. Cuthbert’s Way ends about 12 miles from Spylaw, and passes within half a mile of us. We are also located in the foothills to the Cheviots, which can be seen in the background in some of the photos on this web site. St Cuthbert’s Way is a long distance walking route of some 62 miles (100km). The way runs from the Scottish Border town of Melrose, to Holy Island, and passes within half a mile of Spylaw. The walk is named after the 7th Century Saint Cuthbert, who started his ministry in Melrose, and became a Bishop. He died in Lindisfarne Abbey. The route is well marked in both directions.

The rounded hills of the Cheviots stand on the Borders, straddling England and Scotland. The highest point is the Cheviot itself, at 2674 feet (816m). The hill is often climbed from Wooler. Maps of the area are available in the cottages.

And when you have finished walking the beaches or the hills, relax back at Spylaw with your feet up in front of the fire – you deserve it!