December 1, 2014#

Kielder Winter Wonderland

Imagine walking with your children through an enchanted forest before meeting Santa? This year the Kielder Winter Wonderland offers you that very opportunity!


Kielder Winter Wonderland is a unique, theatrical event held in the stunning forest and lakeside setting of the award winning Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland. Families enjoy a full day experience of activities and surprises to delight the children with the anticipation of Christmas.

The highlight of your day is the visit to Father Christmas in his secret woodland home. Who will you meet as the elves guide you through the twinkling enchanted forest? It’s a mystery how Father Christmas knows so much about you and you will be delighted with his special gift for you to cherish.

For ticket information and opening times, visit the Kielder Winter Wonderland site, here.


Given its remote location, the Kielder Winter Wonderland is definitely a full family day out.

Sand and Castle are delighted to bring you two properties located approximately a 60 minute drive from Kielder Winter Wonderland.

Foxhole House in Haltwhistle and Swallows End in Longframlington are fantastic family properties, both being ideally located to explore Kielder and the wider Northumberland region.

August 29, 2014#

Featuring our new 5 star luxury cottage – Foxhole House

Foxhole House

With a professionally designed interior and the stunning grounds that Foxhole House has on offer this is a beautiful 5 star property in Northumberland. With its close proximity to Hadrians Wall and Vindolanda you can enjoy the countryside and some wonderful history too. This unique property sleeps 12 and is available to book now.

July 29, 2014#

Focus on: Craster


In a new series of blog posts we uncover some of the gems of Northumberland, starting this week with a look at the key attractions in and around Craster.

We also feature two Sand & Castle properties, perfectly located to explore this picturesque harbour village.

The Jolly Fisherman

The Jolly Fisherman was established by Charles Archbold in 1847. Over the past 165 years the building has grown in both size and reputation and is popular with locals, coastal ramblers and day-trippers alike.

Following a full refurbishment in 2012, publican David Whitehead has established a fantastic new menu introducing classic seafood dishes with a modern twist.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle was built around 1313 by Earl Thomas of Lancaster at a time when relations between King Edward II and Earl Thomas had become openly hostile. The castle was particularly grand and competed in style with the latest royal castles being built by the king in Wales at the time.

Ironically the Earl’s rebellion was defeated in 1322 when he was taken prisoner before reaching the sanctuary of the castle and he was executed. The castle passed to John of Guant who used it as a place of strength against the Scots and converted the twin towered gate house into a keep.

It was the focus of fierce fighting during the war of the roses and was twice beseiged and captured by Yorkist forces, subsequently falling into disrepair.

It now stands on the coastline as an imposing reminder of Northumberland’s dramatic history. It is also a key place of interest in the wonderful coastal walk from Craster to Low Newton – voted by The Guardian as one the UK’s top ten walks.

Mick Oxley Gallery

Inspired by the constantly changing coastal landscape, artist Mick Oxley creates artwork reflecting the moods, light and textures of this unique Northumbrian location.

The Mick Oxley Gallery is a purpose designed space giving visitors the opportunity to see Mick at work and also to purchase original works, limited edition prints and cards.The gallery also houses a wide selection of objets d’art and gifts, with work from noted artists from throughout the country.

This includes photography, jewellery, blacksmith’s art, woodwork, pottery, glass, textiles and driftwood furniture.

Howick Hall & Gardens

The gardens at Howick are deliberately aimed at garden lovers with the extensive grounds offering a wide variety of plants throughout the year and are open from early February until mid November. They are open daily between 10.30am – 6pm.

Restoration work has recently been completed in the original entrance hall of Howick Hall to create a Visitor Centre where detailed information about Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum is displayed.

Arnold Memorial Nature Reserve

The reserve lies on an outcrop of the Whin Sill; it is an old quarry with scrub and woodland. The woodland and scrub includes ash, elm, Scots pine, elder and gorse with willow fringing the stream.

The reserve, an old quarry, is within Craster Heugh, an outcrop of the Whin Sill that provides an important habitat for both migrant and breeding birds. The Sill tracks north from here to provide the vantage point for Dunstanburgh Castle a mile up the coast.


Sand & Castle Recommends…


  • Luxurious, double fronted, stone fisherman’s cottage with beautiful views of the harbour
  • 5 star accommodation, sleeps 8
  • Stylish contemporary interiors with a coastal flavour
  • Great coastal holiday cottage for group or family get-togethers

Bedroom 2

  • Beautiful stone fisherman’s cottage with wonderful views of the harbour
  • 4 star accommodation, sleeps 6
  • Cosy and comfortable, with fresh and pretty cottage decor
  • A perfect base for exploring the Northumberland coast.
  • Perfect for couples or smaller families
March 25, 2014#

Spring in Northumberland


Daffodils at Warkworth

Northumberland is a wonderful place to stay in Spring. We thought this lovely picture of some daffodils at Warkworth Castle would brighten up your day.

March 25, 2014#

Dog Friendly Cottages


We have lots of dog friendly cottages on offer up and down the coast of Northumberland. Sea Cottage in Beadnell backs on to the dunes so you are straight on to the beach. Perfect for dog owners and children.

November 12, 2013#

Staying in Northumberland this Christmas


There are many reasons to choose a break in Northumberland this winter. From Christmas markets to musical treats, there’s an array of festive events to choose from.

Here we’ve picked out our top three along with our perfect cottage recommendation to use as a base…


8th – 24th November

Northumberland Music Festival

The third Northumberland Music Festival returns this autumn to three of Northumberland’s finest country houses: Guyzance Hall, Doxford Hall and Eshott Hall. This year’s programme features full performances of La Boheme, and choral, traditional music, jazz and the classic Broadway of Rogers and Hammerstein.

All performances take place over three weekends with tickets and further information available from: www.northumberlandmusicfestival.com


22nd November

Alnwick Christmas Lights Switch On

The Duchess of Northumberland switches on this years Alnwick Christmas lights. entertainment starts in the market square from 6pm with the decorating of the tree. With sideshows, live music and Santa Claus this is an event for the whole family.

23rd November – 24th December

Alnwick Garden Christmas Market

Traditional Christmas markets have been a key fixture of the festive season for hundreds of years, and this year is no different; The Alnwick Garden is hosting its very own Christmas Market for the first time this year. Whether you are looking for local hand-made gifts, festive stocking fillers or just want to soak up the atmosphere, The Alnwick Garden’s Christmas Market will have plenty of choice with an abundance of classic and contemporary decorations and gifts.

Our recommendation:

Coast Cottage

Situated in Longhoughton, this four bedroom, five star property is ideally located for Alnwick (just four miles away) and all the major Northumberland Christmas events.

Enjoy a crisp morning walk along Sugar Sands beach, cosy up for the afternoon inside the former Victorian village reading room (now the cottages sitting room complete with roaring open fire) and use this cottage in order to explore both Alnwick and the bracing Northumbrian coastline.

Sleeping eight this luxurious property (which now also allows one well behaved dog) is the perfect venue for a Winter, Christmas or New Year family get together.

Find out more about Coast Cottage here.

October 2, 2013#

What’s On in Northumberland October 2013

Autumn at Belsay Castle

As Autumn takes hold and half term week is approaching there are still lots of things to do around Northumberland in October if you are staying in a cottage nearby. Alnwick Castle closes its doors for the winter on October 30th so for broomstick training and other Harry Potter inspired activities visit this month. Belsay Hall will be holding A Time Travellers Halloween Event from October 25th where your little ones can enjoy ghost hunting and all sorts of spooky activities. The gardens at Belsay are also worth visiting as they are stunning at anytime of the year! The National Trust properties,Wallington and Cragside are beautiful in Autumn and Howick Hall’s coastal walk down to Sugar Sands are wonderful ways to pass the time.




September 25, 2013#

Summer Weeks at Pepperclose, Bamburgh Northumberland

Luxury cottage Bamburgh

Pepperclose Cottage Bamburgh

Bamburgh is a top destination for visitors to Northumberland, boasting one of the most imposing castles in Northumberland with miles of stunning beach just beneath between Budle Bay and Beadnell. The summer weeks at Pepperclose Cottage in Bamburgh are going fast so if you are keen to spend some time in this part of Northumberland then this cottage is gorgeous and sleeps 4 with walking access to the beach just two minutes away down a little lane. This really is an ideal location and makes an unforgettable holiday.

September 24, 2013#

Reduced Half Term Break at Bumble Cottage near Alnwick

Bumble Cottage In Newton on the Moor Northumberland is still available for Half term week beginning Friday 25th October! It has a lovely interior, and a pretty garden, great for children. It is five minute drive from Alnwick castle if you would like to see where Harry Potter was filmed or visit Alnwick Gardens. This gorgeous cottage sleeps 4 and is just around the corner from the highly recommend pub ‘The Cook and Barker’ which does great food! It has just been reduced to £590 so book for a lovely break.

Northumberland Cottage

Bumble Cottage Northumberland


September 20, 2013#

Christmas week in Northumberland

If you are looking for Christmas 2013 in Northumberland then Sand and Castle have a stunning property that sleeps 10 which would be ideal for a family get together. Swallows End is decorated beautifully with seasonal foliage from the surrounding garden and with a gorgeous traditional Christmas Tree plus all the luxuries you could hope for. Fresh linen, indulgent welcome pack and dog friendly with the stunning Northumberland coastline not far you could enjoy everything this idyllic county has to offer.

Swallows End Longframlington Northumberland