If the blistering heatwave is sending you in search of chilled-out beaches and cool green spaces, head to Northumberland in the North East. Spot seals, explore rock pools or pretend you’re in Harry Potter – it’s one of England’s best kept secrets.
Wander the coast
Located on the English-Scottish border, Northumberland boasts a North Sea coastline of Outstanding National Beauty that’s one of the most beautiful in the UK. Spittal Beach near Berwick-upon-Tweed is one of the best beaches in Northumberland and beloved among tourists and locals alike. It’s also dog-friendly – go for a relaxing coastal walk with your canine bud while enjoying the stunning scenery. Don’t forget to watch out for seals or, if you’re really lucky, dolphins.
Play quidditch at Alnwick Castle
Located as it is on the English-Scottish border, Northumberland has a rich history of battle and conflict and more castles than any other county in England. The cream of the castle crop is Alnwick Castle, one of the largest inhabited castles in Europe and the set of Hogwarts. Embrace their inner wizard by grabbing a broomstick on arrival and head to quidditch training on the same spot of Harry Potter learnt to fly.
Spot seals on the Farne Islands
Take a boat trip to the Farne Islands – this cluster of 28 wildlife havens off the Northumbrian coast is the most famous sea bird sanctuary in the British Isles and a spectacular sight in summer, when tens of thousands of birds flock to the islands to roost. The islands are also one of the most important seal colonies in Europe, making them one of the best places to spot them in their natural habitat. And if you look carefully you may even see a dolphin glide past your boat – they are regular visitors to the islands and in 2007 two basking sharks of 20 feet in length were even spotted.