20 Free Things To Do in Northumberland : Budget-Friendly Fun

20 Free Things To Do in Northumberland : Budget-Friendly Fun

Northumberland is an incredibly beautiful part of the UK – it’s home to some stunning natural scenery and plenty of amazing sights, sounds, and experiences.

But for those on a budget, you might be wondering how you can stretch your travel pounds further in such a magnificent place.

Luckily, Northumberland has plenty to offer that won’t bust the bank: here is our ultimate guide to all the fantastic free things you can do whilst visiting this wonderful county!

In this blog post we list:

  • The best places to visit for no charge at all
  • Show all places on an interactive map to help you locate each place easily.
Free things to do
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    Updated and correct as of 12/03/24.

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    Museums and Galleries

    Mr George’s Museum of Time

    If you're looking to plan a perfect day out in Northumberland, then look no further than Mr George's Museum of Time.

    This hidden gem houses an impressive collection of watches, clocks, and other timekeeping devices from throughout history, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and timepiece enthusiasts alike.

    The museum is also family-friendly, with plenty of fun and interactive exhibits that are sure to captivate children.

    Take a journey through time and discover the evolution of timekeeping at Mr. George's Museum of Time. You won't regret it!

    Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum

    Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum in Northumberland offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages.

    Whether you're looking for something to do on a rainy day or planning a day trip as part of your itinerary, this museum is definitely worth the visit.

    With a vast collection of bagpipes from around the world, the exhibitions provide a fascinating insight into the history and diversity of these musical instruments.

    However, it's not just the comprehensive collection of pipes that makes this museum special.

    As a family-friendly day out, the museum also offers interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about the rich cultural heritage of the North East of England.

    So, take some time out of your day to explore the Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and discover something new today!

    RNLI Grace Darling Museum

    RNLI Grace Darling Museum

    A visit to the RNLI Grace Darling Museum is highly recommended on your next trip to the county.

    The museum is located on the very site where Grace Darling, a local hero, lived and carried out her courageous rescue mission in 1838.

    Not only does the museum offer a fascinating insight into the life of this extraordinary young woman and the role of the RNLI, but it also boasts a range of audio-visual interpretations that bring the story to life.

    A visit to the RNLI Grace Darling Museum is a perfect family day out, suitable for all ages, with the added bonus of seeing family portraits of the heroine herself.

    So why not come and discover for yourself the fascinating history of this brave and inspiring woman and the vital role of the RNLI in saving lives at sea.

    Chain Bridge Honey Farm Visitor Centre

    Nestled away in the picturesque county of Northumberland lies a hidden treasure waiting for discovery - the Chain Bridge Honey Farm Visitor Centre.

    Not only does this charming attraction offer an impressive insight into the world of bees and honey production, but it's also surrounded by stunning landscapes that are brimming with wildlife, from red squirrels and otters to a mosaic of wildflowers that burst into life during the summer months.

    Visitors can explore the various routes the bees take to gather nectar from the beekeeper's garden, learning fascinating facts about hive life along the way.

    With an abundance of things to see and do, a visit to the Chain Bridge Honey Farm Visitor Centre promises to be an enriching experience that everyone will enjoy.

    History and Culture


    Northumberlandia - The Lady of the North

    Tucked away in the Northumberland countryside lies a unique landscape attraction that may not have made it onto your bucket list yet, but certainly deserves a visit.

    Northumberlandia, affectionately known as the "Lady of the North" due to its large landform depicting a reclining lady, offers an unparalleled experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

    This sculpture park and wildlife haven spans 19 acres and features winding paths perfect for a leisurely walk, expansive views of the surrounding countryside, and a number of historical sites dotted throughout the area.

    Whether you're a local seeking a relaxing escape or a visitor looking to explore the hidden gems of Northumberland, a trip to Northumberlandia is a must-do.

    Hexham Abbey

    Hexham Abbey is a historical site that is not to be missed. Its rich history dates back to the 7th century, making it one of the oldest Christian sites in the United Kingdom.

    Its impressive architecture is a testament to its long and fascinating history, and taking a walk around the abbey's grounds is sure to transport visitors back in time.

    The abbey also boasts an impressive collection of artefacts and relics, including a rare Saxon crypt.

    A visit to Hexham Abbey is a must for anyone interested in history, and architecture, or simply taking a peaceful walk in a beautiful and cultural setting.

    Walltown Crags - Hadrian’s Wall

    Discover ancient structures and historical sites at Walltown Crags – a must-visit destination that promises to leave you mesmerised.

    Explore the breathtaking views and astonishing forts that are steeped in history. Witness the iconic Hadrian's Wall, a 73-mile ancient fortification built by Roman soldiers and standing strong since AD 122.

    With every step, you'll immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Britain. Don't miss the chance to witness it all while taking in stunning scenery.

    With such an incredible experience awaiting, it's no wonder Walltown Crags tops every traveller's must-visit list.

    Cawfields Roman Wall

    Experience the rich history of the Roman Empire while taking in stunning views of Northumberland's rolling hills at Cawfields Roman Wall.

    This unique outdoor destination offers a glimpse into the past and a chance to embrace your inner adventurer.

    Visit on your trip and discover why Cawfields Roman Wall is a must-see destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

    Check the English Heritage website for safety information before you travel as the area is steep and may not be suitable for everyone.

    Etal Castle

    Discover a history lover's dream and a nature enthusiast's paradise – Etal Castle.

    This mediaeval stronghold has stood the test of time since the 14th century, and now, it awaits your exploration.

    Stroll through the picturesque castle ruins, and relive its tales of battle and conflict with the English and Scottish Borders.

    Enjoy a peaceful picnic or leisurely stroll while taking in breathtaking countryside views.

    Whether you're a castle fanatic or want to soak up Northumberland charm, Etal Castle promises a memorable and unforgettable experience.

    Walks and Nature Trails

    Sycamore Gap

    The famous Sycamore Gap tree that once stood tall in the valley

    Sycamore Gap - Northumberland National Park

    Discover the stunning beauty of one of the most iconic and picturesque spots in the country- Sycamore Gap.

    Don't miss out on the chance to experience the breathtaking Northumberland National Park landscape firsthand.

    Known for its rugged natural beauty and unique terrain, Sycamore Gap is a must-visit location for those seeking outdoor adventure.

    Take in the incredible views and explore the park's array of activities, including hiking, cycling, birdwatching, and stargazing.

    It's no wonder Sycamore Gap is a favourite destination for both landscape photographers and filmmakers. Make Northumberland National Park and Sycamore Gap your next getaway and create unforgettable memories. Unfortunately the famous Sycamore Gap Tree was cut down in 2023 in an act of vandalism.

    The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Discover over 40 miles of The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Perfect for beach enthusiasts, this picturesque region boasts a variety of stunning beaches - from the serene coves of Dunstanburgh Castle to the picturesque sands of Bamburgh.

    But that's not all. You'll also get to explore quaint fishing villages, bustling harbours, and historic landmarks along the way.

    Leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature on an unforgettable journey.

    Get ready to pack your bags and capture unforgettable memories of this breathtaking coastline.

    Bamburgh Beach

    Bamburgh Beach

    Located along the picturesque coast of Northumberland, Bamburgh Beach is one of the most charming destinations for a beach trip in the UK.

    Known for its pristine beaches, clear waters, and being overlooked by Bamburgh Castle, the area offers visitors an array of activities to indulge in, including swimming, sunbathing, and sightseeing.

    From its long stretches of golden sands to the enchanting beauty of the rockpools, Bamburgh Beach has something for everyone.

    Whether you want to take a refreshing dip in the sea or simply lounge on the sand and soak up the sun, this coastal paradise is the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

    Druridge Bay - Cresswell Beach

    If you're looking for a serene escape to the coast, Cresswell Beach is an ideal destination.

    This stunning beach is tucked away in a charming village with a history dating back to Roman times. While there are plenty of sandy beaches scattered along the Northumberland coast, Cresswell stands out as a unique haven for both families and solo travellers.

    With a plethora of family-friendly amenities and activities available, visitors can indulge in beach sports or relax under the sun.

    Families visiting the beach can stroll along the clean sands, go rock pooling, or enjoy a picnic on the grassy hills, which provide a picturesque view of the impressive Druridge Bay.

    Few beaches rival Cresswell's unique location, natural beauty, and charm.

    Carlisle Park

    Carlisle Park

    Discover the natural wonderland of Carlisle Park - one of Northumberland's most enchanting locations!

    These picturesque gardens, located in the heart of Morpeth, are a splendid mixture of lush greenery, delightful flowers, and serene waterways that provide the perfect setting for a tranquil day out.

    But Carlisle Park offers more than just a breathtaking view of nature. It hosts a range of special events throughout the year, such as picnics in the park, local gatherings, and family-friendly activities that bring together visitors from across the region.

    Don't miss out on the chance to explore this magical destination!

    St Cuthbert’s Cave

    Nestled away in the craggy hills of Northumberland lies St Cuthbert’s Cave, a hidden gem for those looking to escape the stresses of everyday life.

    Reputedly the hiding place of a famous monk, St Cuthbert, this natural wonder is steeped in spirituality and offers a unique opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the region.

    At the end of a peaceful walk through the hills, visitors can delve into history and unwind in the tranquil beauty of the cave.

    For enthusiasts of the outdoors and history buffs alike, St Cuthbert’s Cave is a must-visit destination. So why not pack your walking boots and embark on an adventure filled with peaceful tranquillity and ancient history?

    The Cheviots

    If you're looking for a stunning, flourishing landscape to explore, The Cheviots in Northumberland should definitely be on your list.

    With hikes that take you through rolling hillsides and up to the peaks of steep mountains, this picturesque haven is perfect for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

    The area boasts many beautiful waterfalls, where the flowing water provides a soothing soundtrack to your journey.

    Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, The Cheviots has something to offer everyone.

    With endless opportunities to see incredible views and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, there's no better time to visit The Cheviots than now.

    free things to do in Northumberland

    Kielder Water and Forest Park

    If you're looking for a picturesque getaway that offers a unique experience, then Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland should be high on your list.

    With its status as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, it's the perfect destination for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts.

    The park provides stunning views of the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy, and visitors can see these wonders during their night walks. It's no surprise that this 580 square-mile location is home to the largest areas of protected night skies in Europe.

    However, it's not just for stargazers. The park is filled with hiking and biking trails, water sports activities, and stunning vistas that will leave you in awe.

    Visit Kielder Water and Forest Park and find your adventure today.

    Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve

    If you're looking for a nature reserve that's packed with history and natural wonder, then The Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve should definitely be on your list.

    This stunning spot is home to a diverse range of habitats, from sand dunes to mudflats, and boasts an array of incredible wildlife to spot.

    But what sets this nature reserve apart is its rich history. The iconic Lindisfarne Castle perches on Holy Island's rocky shores, offering stunning views out across the North Sea.

    Meanwhile, the nearby Lindisfarne Priory is steeped in legend and is said to have been the home of Saint Cuthbert.

    With all of this and more to discover, it's easy to see why The Lindisfarne ational Nature Reserve is such a popular choice for nature lovers and history buffs alike.

    Hulne Park

    Nestled in the heart of Northumberland lies Hulne Park, a wonderland of natural beauty and historical significance.

    With its rolling parkland and ancient woodlands, Hulne Park is the ideal destination for anyone seeking a peaceful escape on one of the many walking trails.

    Visitors can explore the park's peaceful routes on foot or by bike, taking in the stunning views and discovering landmarks such as Hulne Priory, Alnwick Castle, and Brizlee Tower along the way.

    Ford and Etal Estates

    Nestled in the picturesque Northumberland countryside, the Ford and Etal Estates offer a truly unique and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

    From the fascinating history of the Heatherslaw Corn Mill, one of the last working water mills in England, to the stunning Victorian architecture of Lady Waterford Hall and its Pre-Raphaelite murals, history buffs will be in their element.

    Nature lovers can explore the beautiful and historic woodland, home to an abundance of wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

    There truly is something for everyone at Ford and Etal Estates, whether you're looking for a peaceful day out with family or an educational adventure filled with history and culture.

    Other Great Things to Do That May Have an Entry Fee

    There are many other great things to see and do in Northumberland. Some of the best that charge an entry fee is Alnwick Castle, Vindolanda - The Roman Army Museum, Lindisfarne Castle, and the Bide-A-Wee Cottage Garden (nominal charge). Check their websites and keep an eye out for local deals for the best discounts before travelling.

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including forest walks involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the well known features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!

    Other Blog Posts From Northumberland

    We write lots of blog posts from each area of free activities to do. Have a look at our blog posts from the area of Northumberland by clicking the links below:


    Northumberland Blogs


    Cycling Routes around Northumberland


    Forest Walks in Northumberland


    Local Delicacies from Northumberland


    Northumberland is home to a multitude of unmissable experiences. From lush woodlands and charming seaside towns to museums, historic churches, and much more – no matter what your interests or the size of your budget, there’s something here for you. 

    By embarking on these free things to do in Northumberland alone or accompanied by a partner or friend, you’ll return with lifelong memories of wonderful sights and unforgettable moments that will last forever; inspiring stories of adventure that cannot fail but leave an unforgettable imprint upon the hearts and minds of all those who come to experience this hidden gem located at the very top of England.

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