NORTHUMBERLAND CAMPERVAN GUIDE
Northumberland is an absolutely stunning part of the UK which is very often overlooked. It has endless miles of beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches where you can Dolphin and seal spot to your hearts content! It also has some wonderful historic castles and even some hills and forests to go for a wander in/on too.
You will find that it’s much quieter in high season than other hot spots like the Lakes or Scotland which is nice if you are looking for some peace and quiet!
General Northumberland Campervan Tips
To be honest- things are pretty easy and relaxed in the Northumberland so you don’t need to consider too much before going. Here are a few general tips:
- Park Considerately
Northumberland is relatively unspoilt and the locals are tolerant of campervans and we want to keep it that way. Please make sure you take any litter with you and if you choose to wild camp make sure you park considerately (not in front of houses and in a non invasive way)
- What are the roads like in Northumberland?
Generally very easy with just some of the smaller country lanes being a bit narrow, much like the rest of the UK. There are no scary mountain passes or very steep roads like the other national parks.
- Check the Forecast
The weather can be quite different more inland than on the coast so you travel to where the weather is best! We have often found Northumberland to have nicer weather generally than the west.
Northumberland 250 Road Trip
If you want to follow a route like the NC500 for Scotland then then look no further than the Northumberland 250. It takes in the best bits of the Northumberland coastline, castles, hills and forests.
Here is a digital map of the route which includes all the places of interest, things to do, places to eat, campsites and much more:
The Best Places to Visit in Northumberland
This impressive looking castle is just down the road from Lindisfarne so you can combine them both in a day. It’s been there for over 1400 years and is one the largest lived in castles in the UK. It sits high and mighty above the beach and is a very impressive place to go and visit.
Campsites near Bamburgh
Budle Farm Campsite – Basic campsite but cheap at £10-£15 per night and you can walk straight onto the beach from it with fab views of Budle Bay. We have had some lovely relaxed stays here.
Sunnyhills of Belford – A fantastic farm shop which is part of Britstops. Free to park if you buy something from the farm shop or eat in the restaurant. We can highly recommend the food in the restaurant!
Holy Island & Lindisfarne Castle
If you go to Northumberland this should be top of your list – There is a very special feeling at this place – it feels quite eerie as the spooky looking castle, which was formerly a monastery, gets cut off at high tide. You can only get to the island at low tide so be sure to check the tide times before going. There is plenty of (paid) parking and some quaint shops, coffee shops and pubs to explore as well as the castle.
Campsites & Park Up’s near Lindisfarne
See park ups for Bamburgh which is very close by
Alnwick is a lovely town to have a mooch around with lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. It's a medieval town with interesting buildings with plenty of history. It also has a castle (there are a few in Northumberland!) and is a great place to go if you like shopping or on a rainy day.
Campsites & Park Up’s near Alnwick
Alnwick Rugby Club – Approx £15/£20 per night which has hook up, water, toilets and hot showers. Walking distance to the town.
Alnwick Long Stay Car Park - We haven’t stopped here but apparently it’s a large car park within walking distance of the town which would be a cheaper option than the Rugby club if you don’t want the facilities.
If white sandy beaches, rockpools and a bit of dolphin spotting is your thing then this beach is a cracker! It’s huge so doesn't get particularly busy but parking can be limited at the weekends so get there early enough. I was once lay on the bed in the back of the van when a pod of dolphins swam past in the distance – it was a magnificent sight!
Unfortunately you cannot park overnight here so you will have to go back inland slightly for a park up or campsite.
Park up’s near Cocklawburn Beach
Unfortunately there are no overnight parking signs everywhere here so use the parking spots at Bamburgh or Berwick.
Photo by Bobmcp
Alnmouth is the Tobermory or Northumberland with lots of cute coloured houses and shops next to a gorgeous beach. There are a few lovely art galleries, excellent cafes and a beautiful coastline to go and explore.
If passing through Seahouses on your Northumberland trip you must stop at Neptunes Fish and Chip shop – they are the best around!! The beach at Seahouses is lovely too – but beware if eating your chips outside – the Starlings will steal them out of your hands!
The beach is lovely to walk along too!
Campsites and Park Up’s Near Seahouses
See park up’s for Bamburgh as it’s very close by
Amble is another seaside town with a lovely harbour and an interesting variety of shops. It’s a nice little stop off point one the way up the coast for a bit of a mooch.
Campsites and Park up’s near Amble
Walkmill Campsite – there is not any free parking in Amble that allows overnight stays so this is the best option if you want to stay in the area. This campsite has very good reviews and friendly owners.
Craster & Dunstanborough Castle
Photo by Wenzler Design
Craster is a lovely little fishing town which is famous for it’s kippers and is apparently very popular with the royal family. Here you can find the magnificent ruins of Dunstanborough Castle which are 14th century ruins now owned by English Heritage.
If a lovely beach walk followed by a pint and dinner in a traditional pub is your bag then head to Low Newton-by-the-Sea. Head along the beach to The Ship Inn, switch off and relax!
Another fabulous beach walk which often has seals on. Great place for dogs where they can run to their hearts content! We have stayed along the roadside next the beach overnight with no issues too.
Park Up’s near Druridge Bay
Druridge Bay Beach Parking – We have stopped overnight here a few times and not had any issues. Walk straight onto the beach.
Photo by aitoff
Berwick is the most northly town of Northumberland (and England) before you hit Scotland. It was the place where a lot of border wars took place and consequently has medieval town walls and a fantastic fortress to go and explore. There are also plenty of shops to look around and a photogenic border bridge!
Park up’s near Berwick
The Promenade Spittle – If you want to stay in the centre of Berwick this is the only place we know of. It’s right next to the beach and promenade and is £15 per night.
Photo by Forestry England
Kielder is the largest man-made woodland in England with ¾ of it’s 250sqm being covered in forest. It is a haven for wildlife and has some of the best darkest skies in England. There is also some amazing art and architecture there. It has the amazing Sky Den (as featured on amazing spaces) perfect for night time star gazing. It’s also a great place for walks and mountain biking.
Campsites & Park up’s near Kielder
Kielder Campsite – Lots of hard standing and walking distance to the forest and a pub. Approx £25 per night
The Anglers Arms – Pub stop which charges £10 per night. Might be worth phoning ahead to confirm a spot.
Photo By JohnArmagh
Although not strictly in Northumberland anymore -Tynemouth is a lovely little seaside town which has nice cafes, pubs and shops to explore. You can go through it on your way up to Northumberland it starts the lovely coastal road all the way up the Northumberland coastline. You can easily park next the harbour in a large car park and walk in.
There is also a lovely beach, lighthouse and the Tynemouth priory you can go and visit.
We hope you can see from this guide how enchanting Northumberland is. It amazes us how overlooked it is compared to other coastal resorts like Cornwall and Dorset - the beaches really do rival these places. It's really easy to tour in a campervan and is very relaxing. If you are looking for a scenic campervan tour without the crowds then come here!