Northumberland in itself is quintessentially English. Steeped in history, this humble corner of England is de up by a string of quaint little villages dotted between tree-lined country roads that whiff of farm air.
Relatively unspoiled by tourism and corporate development projects, Northumberland is one of the view places in Britain that has maintained its traditional charm. So what can you do to have a quintessential English experience in Northumberland?
Although tea is not grown in England the English have a world-wide association with “a cup of tea.” The connection caught on when Queen Victoria was photographed drinking a cup in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Ever since, tea and scones has been an English custom and whilst much of the country has been invaded by European and American café chains, Northumberland proudly treasures its traditional English tea rooms – and they sell fresh scones!
The English have a proud history, and a clutch of medieval castles in Northumberland serve as a reminder of how powerful and successful the countries elite were. Northumberland boasts some of the best castles in the country and among the highlights is Chillingham castle, said to be among the most haunted buildings in the British Isle. The 11th Century fortress of Alnwick Castle is on top of many people’s lists, and the view from the cliff-side location of Bamburgh castle was voted one of the best views in Britain.
In the last two hundred years, the British aristocracy had a reputation for building impressive stately homes and the tranquil setting and impressive landscapes of Northumberland was a favourite location for wealthy families. Many stately mansions are open to the public and exhibit the original furniture and décor from the halcyon days of the 18th and 19th Century. Some of the highlights in Northumberland include, Belsay Hall, Cragside House and Seaton Delaval Hall, hailed as one of the finest baroque buildings in the land.
Stay in a country cottage
One of the most quintessential images from England are the countryside cottages and Northumberland have holiday homes in abundance. An ideal accommodation choice for self-catering families or a group of weekenders, holiday cottages are the ideal base from which to explore the region but give you your own privacy and schedule. This unique experience gives you an idea of how the British used to live, and in many cases they still do.
Have Sunday lunch in a village pub
Britain does not have the best reputation when it comes to cuisine, but visitors to Northumberland will not want to pass up an opportunity to experience a traditional Sunday roast in a quintessentially English pub. Many of the larger establishments run a brasseries on evenings and Sundays where you can pick your choice of meat with a roast potatoes, vegetables and a Yorkshire pudding drenched in rich gravy most countries around the world do not have. This will be the best meal you experience in England!
Visitors to England see quintessential things in London like the black cabs and red pillow boxes, but it is only when you get out the capital and explore the real England in places like Northumberland that you have a quintessential English experience.