A lovely new Air Bnb has opened up in Northumberland! Kerry and David Crellin are sharing their home -Newfield cottage in Catton – to lucky Northumberland visitors. The cottage has amazing views out over the spectacular West Allen Valley and is ideally placed for exploring this least visited of our English counties.
Catton is a rural Northumberland village, nestled on the edge of the North Pennines AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) on the outskirts of Allendale. It is about 7 miles to the South West of the market town of Hexham.
The Curlew room and the Lapwing room are both ensuite and newly decorated with king size beds and unique little touches such as paintings from local artists on the walls. Lots of fluffy towels and plenty of tea coffee and biscuits are also in evidence. Breakfast is continental, with fresh fruit and yoghurt, home-made bread and jam, croissants, pain au chocolat and lashings of coffee and tea.
There is lots to do around here. There are lovely walks which make the most of the stunning countryside hereabouts, and one I plan to try this summer is the Staward Gorge walk along the Allen Valley link. If you’re feeling ambitious, one of the famous walks is Isaac’s tea trail, which is a 36 mile circular walk which starts in Allendale at Isaac’s well and goes over Nenthead and Alston and returns by Ninebanks. The route is all way marked with distinctive Isaac signs. Isaac Holden was a legendary tea seller who walked these moors and dales using footpaths between the farms, selling his tea to local customers. He began life as a lead miner but was forced to find another way to make a living when his mine earnings fell and his health deteriorated. So tea it was!
Kerry and David are super friendly and are keen to help with any local advice from where to eat, where to go and what to do. The ‘C2C’ coast to coast route isn’t so far from here either and as qualified bike mechanic, David will come and pick you up from the route and even fix your bike while you stay at the B&B! There are lots of other cycle routes too including the Penrith to Berwick route. Check out the Allen valleys cycling routes here North Pennines Cycling
This area is also a favourite with bikers as there are some great motorbike roads around here – notably the A686. Newfield cottage has already welcomed quite a few bikers so you’d be very welcome – it’s a great stop off point.
Bird watching is very popular in Northumberland, and birds you may see include Curlews (you can certainly hear them!) Lapwing, Golden Plover, Kestrels and Buzzards. Owls are often spotted too. The Tawny Owl, the Short Eared Owl and the beautiful endangered Barn Owl live hereabouts. Close by is also a special site of scientific interest (SSSI) as the moorland here is a protected breeding ground for wading birds.
If you enjoy a tipple of real ale, then you may want to pay the Allendale brewery a visit. Set up as a local business in 2004, by a young Tom Hick, it is fast becoming a very successful independent brewery taking the names for their beers and lagers from local inspiration. Their first commercial beer was ‘Curlews Return’ but their most popular ale is ‘Golden Plover’ which was actually named by Kerry herself.
Catton is close to the World Heritage attraction of Hadrian’s Wall and you can even see the famous Robin Hood tree (from Prince of Thieves) in sycamore gap from the top of the hill in the distance!
Another place I need to go and visit is Silly Wrae farm, only a couple of miles from Newfield cottage. It is the last farm in England which is worked solely by heavy horses. A visit to Mr Dodd and his Clydesdales is definitely on the cards! Northumberland is well provided for in the country pub department and around here is no exception. You can pop into the Crown in Catton (but not on Sunday night!) and there a few in Allendale too, including the Golden Lion which does a top notch steak and ale pie and chips.
Northumberland is a fabulous destination and the bed and breakfast at Newfield cottage is a great base for exploring, doing outdoor activities or just relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous local countryside. Book up through Air bnb here!