Northumberland scooped the Gold at the 2018 British Travel Awards for “Best UK Holiday County/Destination”. We have come close before now, but have been pipped to the post by Cornwall for the past four years. It is fantastic that we have experienced record visitor numbers to the region, and that so many people have enjoyed the hugely different landscapes and experiences that Northumberland has to offer.

Northumberland Gold

We are proud to announce that Layside has won a Bronze Award for “Bed and Breakfast of the Year 2018”. This announcement was made on 21st November at the North East England Tourism Awards, and it is fantastic to see that Northumberland has scored so highly across a number of categories!

With only 7 shopping weekends left until Christmas, why not purchase a stay at Layside? A perfect gift idea, we will supply you with a voucher in the name of the intended recipient which will be valid for 12 months, and can include just the accommodation or any of our “extras”. Please email us for details at info@layside.com.

A rare find has been unearthed at the Vindolanda Roman Fort near to Layside. Described by curator Barbara Birley as “incredibly rare”, this full set of iron hipposandals were recently dug up by a volunteer at an archaeological dig. Better known as horseshoes to many, they were apparently so well preserved that the tread on them, which is used to stop a horse from slipping, was still visible to researchers.

One of the 250 volunteers that help carry out digs at the Vindolanda fort every year was responsible for digging up these horseshoes. The horseshoes are estimated to be dated between 140AD and 180AD and since the Romans were in Britain between 400 and 500 years, it is possible that researchers and volunteers digging at the site could still unearth Roman treasures for the next 150 years!

The horseshoes will go on display in February 2019 at the Roman Army Museum in Greenhead.

Our astonishing set of Roman hippo sandals which were found last month are making the news on the @bbcnews website today. These protective ‘horseshoes’ will go on permanent public display at our Roman Army Museum in 2019. Remarkable. #Vindolanda #hipposandals #roman #Archaeology #hadrianswall #northumberland

Annual meteor showers arise when the Earth passes through streams of debris left behind by comets and asteroids, and the Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the most dramatic with up to 80 meteors visible per hour. The Northumberland National Park enjoys a “Dark Skies” status and can be enjoyed at Layside where we aim to keep light pollution to a minimum. Looking to the north with Sycamore Gap as a backdrop, August 13th/14th should be the best time to view the Perseid Meteor Shower (ideally between 11.00pm and 3.00am which are the darkest times of the night). Unfortunately having recently enjoyed great weather and clear skies, it is forecast to be overcast and raining, so perhaps we won’t be so lucky this year…

The local market town of Hexham holds a Spring Festival every year – to be held this year on Saturday 28th April in the beautiful Abbey grounds. Organised by the Hexham Community Partnership, this family-friendly outdoor event will feature live music, food and craft stalls, dog agility and a falconry display.

Closer to Layside, the Sill will be holding it’s first Spring Fair on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May. Starting at 1000, traders from all over Northumberland will be selling delicious cheese, preserves, chutneys, beer, spirits and unique crafts. There will also be entertainments and a host of activities for all the family to enjoy!

The charity “Birdlife International” put the curlew on its global “birds at risk” list for the first time in 2008. At Layside we are lucky enough to welcome the humble bird as it returns to the National Park every year to begin nesting and courting on the rough pasture. It is in fact one of the first signs of spring, and after a long winter it is fantastic to hear its distinctive call. More birds have arrived this week, hopefully indicating the end of winter! The natural historian George Bolam quoted: “A moor without a curlew is like a night without a moon, and he who has not eyes for one and an ear for the other is a mere body without a soul”. This bird which is once heard, never forgotten, is the emblem of the Northumberland National Park, and is celebrated by the local Allendale Brewery – the “Curlew’s Return” being the first beer brewed on St Valentine’s Day 2006 – and both can be enjoyed at Layside!

     

 

 

Haltwhistle is a small town in Tynedale, Northumberland, approximately 10 minutes drive from Layside. Walking festivals are organised by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who wish to share their love of the local area with others. All walks are guided by trained leaders who aim to provide interesting routes and good information about the area in a friendly and sociable atmosphere. The Spring Walking Festival runs from April 28th to May 7th, and there will be 24 guided walks over the 10 day period as well as 2 evening events.

For a full list of events and for bookings, please visit:

Haltwhistle Walking Festival 2018

We are currently snowed in at Layside with 3-4ft of drifting snow in places, however Northumberland National Park still looks stunning. On the menu tonight is one of our featured “stew for two” evening meals – a pigs cheek and chorizo casserole, hot from the aga, served with warm crusty bread. It’s not all doom and gloom!!

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed near Bardon Mill opened its doors in July last year following an extensive £14.8m construction project, and has now been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The area’s newest major visitor attraction is in the running for one of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) awards for planning excellence – an award which celebrates exceptional examples of planning.

Tony Gates, chief executive of the Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted among the outstanding projects in the heritage and culture category.”

Just a short distance from Layside, The Sill is a “must visit” attraction. Whether it be to view the permanent interactive exhibition which brings our landscape to life, or simply just to enjoy the spectacular views and wildflowers from the grassland roof, it is the perfect place to begin your Northumberland adventure!

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre on Hadrian’s Wall, at Once Brewed near Bardon Mill.