Cragside House and Gardens
Cragside House and Gardens is well worth a visit for it's unique place in History. This National Trust property, the revolutionary home of Lord Armstrong, was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity and was a wonder of it's age. It is built on a rocky crag high above the Debdon Burn, Cragside is crammed with ingenious gadgets and surrounded on all sides by one of the largest rock gardens in Europe.
If you are National Trust members, entry to the Grounds and the House is free with your membership. However, the cost for non-members is not cheap and I would therefore suggest that non-members plan ahead and make a full day of their visit in order to get full value for money.
Postcode for your SatNav: NE65 7PX Visit their Website
Brinkburn Priory is a beautiful 12th century Church, the Augustinian Priory of Brinkburn lies approximately four and a half miles East of Rothbury on the B6344. It was founded in 1130 and 1135 by William Bertram and the setting is very picturesque, accessed via a ten minute sloped walk from the car parking area. The Priory is managed by English Heritage and along with the neighbouring manor house has been recently restored. I actually did my two weeks work experience here as a fifteen year old so I can vouch for the peaceful setting on the banks of the River Coquet and the beauty of the Church. I can also vouch for the fact that there are a huge number of rare breeds of bats that live in the Church roof. The guardian wrote an article about them, but my persisting memory is just of cleaning up the mess each morning!
The Priory is also home to the annual Brinkburn Music Festival, three days of wonderful music and entertainment set in the grounds for the public to enjoy. The Festival is run by a charitable body and more information can be found at their website.
Postcode for your SatNav: NE65 8AR
Goats on the Roof Fontburn, Morpeth, Northumberland - 01669 621 896
We are very sad to report that the wonderful Goats on the Roof won't be re-opening in 2012. While they will be sorely missed as we loved visiting when we were in the area, the Cafe is up for lease so it may well be opening again under a different guise. We'll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything. Fontburn Reservoir remains a wonderful spot for a peaceful walk and an excellent fishing location (see below).
A Rothbury base is simply ideal for fishing. First of all there is the River Coquet that runs through the Village itself and the surrounding areas, with parts of the Coquet being considered a fishery of National importance. With runs of Salmon and Sea Trout the Coquet is a very popular, and beautiful, place to fish. The season for Salmon is the 1st February to the 31st October each year but a 'catch and release' bylaw means that you must release any Salmon caught before the 16th June. Fishing licenses can be bought in Rothbury from the Red Grouse Gallery (15 Bridge Street, Rothbury) and rod licenses from the Post Office.
Just a few miles West of Rothbury is Caiston Trout Fishery, a beautiful 50 acre fishing lake, spring fed and stocked with Rainbow, Blue and Wild Brown Trout. They welcome everybody to the lake, whether a seasoned fisherman or a novice, the lake offers the opportunity to catch Trout from 2 to 15 pounds! Amenities here include a 40 acre fly fishing lake, an 8 acre worm fishing lake, boat and tackle hire, tuition and Salmon fishing on a two mile stretch of the River Coquet. Rainbow Trout fishing is available here all year round (subject to weather in winter) and the Brown Trout season is 22nd March to 30th September annually. For more information and tuition prices visit the Caiston Trout Fishery Website.
Postcode for your SatNav: NE65 7LG
Fontburn Fishery's Website for more information and pricing.
Postcode for your SatNav: NE61 4PL
There is fantastic circular walk from Rothbury's main car park that is approximately 5 miles long (8km) and takes in stunning views of the Coquetdale Countryside and moorlands. A route for this walk can be downloaded from the Visit Northumberland website page, or directly by using this link. A personal short walk favourite, also from the main car park is simply to cross the river using the footbridge and walk West along the river side. This is a pleasant riverside walk, with views of the golf course and countryside, on a stable surface and you can go as far as you feel comfortable before heading back to the car.
Not far from Rothbury, about two miles to the South, is Simonside, also known as the Sacred Mountain. The Simonside Hills are within the Northumberland National Park and are a huge draw to walkers and cyclists alike. The views from the top of Simonside is one of the most spectacular in the Country, on a clear day you can see right to the coast. To get to Simonside on foot from Rothbury you need to head out of the Village on the public footpaths via Whitton and Hillhead Lane.
The Forests around Rothbury cover a huge area, almost 26,000 acres! This provides some glorious walking opportunities. A 'Forest's of Rothbury' leaflet is available from the Tourist Information Centre that gives details of walking routes See the Forestry Commission's Website for more information.
Northumberland has a fine selection of Golf Courses and Rothbury is one of them. While the coast offers some fantastic links courses, the clubs like Rothbury further inland offer spectacular views of the Northumberland National Park and the Cheviot Hills. This relatively new 18 hole golf course has a par of 71 and offers excellent amenities such as a clubhouse, bar and function room. The club welcomes visitors and groups and packages can be arranged with the secretary. For more information about the course and green fees, visit their Website. Remember to visit our Golf page to check out all the other stunning golf courses nearby.
Postcode for your SatNav: NE65 7RX
Art, Crafts and Galleries
There is a good mix of art, crafts and galleries in Rothbury. Crown Studio Gallery is located on Bridge Street and is owned and run by painter Lynda Taylor and ceramic artist Graham Taylor. The Gallery has a constantly changing display of fine art pottery, paintings, jewellery, craft works, prints and cards by their resident artists. Lynda's paintings, especially for me, her landscape work is absolutely stunning and we are proud to have one of her finest adorn our wall at home.
The Red Grouse Gallery on Bridge Street is known as an 'aladdins cave' of model kits, models, toys and games. Other services on offer are engraving and taxidermy of birds and mammals (not pets). You can also buy your fishing tackle here along with fishing permits for river trout. Also on Bridge Street is Coccuveda Gifts and Crafts, home to a unique collection of original arts and crafts made by local 'crafters'. The shop is also a workshop for owner Loraine Lawson who makes handmade fascinators, headpieces, tiaras amongst other things. It's definitely worth popping in for a browse in this unique shop, there's always complimentary tea and coffee too!
The Coqetdale Arts Centre is a charitable organisation that was set up in 1975 to showcase local artists. They have a large gallery that exhibits more than 100 local artists, all of which are available to purchase. They also run classes throughout the year for all levels and abilities. Their website has an online gallery and lots of information about the artists that are currently showing. The centre is in the Court Buildings on Front Street and is manned by volunteers and is open from Easter to Christmas 6 days a week. Lastly we have Rothbury's newest addition to the arts scene, The Congregational Art Gallery and Cafe. They show original paintings, prints and other works in a Grade II listed building setting with a cafe, sofas and a big log fire. The Congregational is located on the West end of High Street.
Have we missed something? Can you recommend an attraction, restaurant or accommodation? Or maybe you have a business you would like to be included? Let us know.