A warm welcome to
The Waiting Rooms 4* cottage of Warkworth, Northumberland, UK.
We are now closed until the spring.
10% off any week in 2015, if you book before 1st April 2015. See the Contact Us form.
See the new series of Tales From Northumberland on Monday nights at 8 pm on ITV. If you missed series 1 I already have DVD Part 1 in the cottage, and have just ordered Part 2 which should be here for our first guests in April.
English Heritage are advertising for a Site Manager at Warkworth Castle -
Hopefully conditions will be better than they were in the past! Photo credit to www.fusilier.co.uk.
Robert Wilson, keeper of Warkworth Castle, with his nephew on horseback. [circa 1904] Robert Wilson was a mason. (Image: Heather Burrows collection, Granddaughter of Robert Wilson)
The English Heritage pre-season pack has just arrived, see 'Notes' on my Facebook page for details of what's on. Most properties are opening on 28 March 2015 and I have 25% off discount vouchers for entrance to certain properties for my guests.
The Waiting Rooms offers you characterful and comfortable accommodation, with a private south facing patio garden, and is reached via a 15 step steel staircase.
We regret no pets, only trained assistance dogs.
Northumberland is a beautiful county and we are centrally placed for visiting all attractions ie Alnwick Castle (The Hollow Crown has been filmed there recently), Alnwick Gardens, Bamburgh Castle, Beadnell, Cragside, Chillingham Castle, Druridge Bay, Dunstanburgh, Farne Islands, Holy Island etc.
If you visit Seahouses I highly recommend a boat trip to the Farne Islands with Andrew (he is a trained marine medic) of Serenity Tours, 2014 was the year of the dolphin. See his blog on the website for more information. If you are a wheelchair user, Serenity II is accessible depending on the tide. You can also dive the Farnes. We moved up here from Middlesex in 1999, where we often visited Syon Park to feed the peacocks and enjoy a winter walk. I never imagined I'd actually live in the Duke of Northumberland's beautiful county. No noisy dirty flight path over us here, just private planes passing over occasionally and lovely starry nights as well as regular auroras - 'Northern Lights' by Paul Appleby, click on the photo to see more of his work.
Christmas eve aurora at Lindisfarne by Paul Appleby
The Waiting Rooms cottage is the single storey building on the left of this photo, see Access Statement at the bottom of the Accommodation tab.
The self contained entrance seen below is reached by walking through our garden, into the original stable, and up a 15 step dual handrail metal staircase. We live in the main station house attached but you have complete privacy as you have your own entrance and the cottage walls are very thick. Parking is off road on the drive by the white gates.
Warkworth Railway Station was built for The Newcastle and Berwick Railway in 1847, and The Waiting Rooms are at the end of the Station in the sunny south wing.
As the station house was built on the railway line we are a mile from the village.
The original Waiting Room platforms have been converted into the kitchen and wc/shower room and overlook the live East Coast Main line on our doorstep.
Features of The Waiting Rooms
- Self contained one-bedroomed cottage in the sunny south wing of our Listed Grade II railway station. The late Duke of Northumberland used the Gentlemen's Waiting Room, now the lounge.
- Planted sunny line side garden and gravelled patio with choice of seating, large gas barbecue, bird table, bird bath. At the moment we have a pair of rooks and kestrels fighting over a nesting site in the garden so it may not be possible to feed the birds this spring.
- Warkworth village, golf course and beach - approximately one mile away.
- Accommodation is reached by climbing a 15 step metal staircase with dual handrails.
- Up-to-date tourist information centre leaflets/books, maps, SATNAV, netbook. 25% discount vouchers for named English Heritage properties (I do recommend going to the Tourist Information Centre as they often have seasonal discount offers for private attractions ie Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Chillingham Castle, etc).
- Courtesy Welcome pack provided per booking, local paper and fresh flowers.
- Flatscreen TV with Freeview, DVD player, CD player/radio.
- Well equipped kitchen with fridge with a small 3 star freezer compartment (additional freezer space available by prior arrangement when you book), electric oven, microwave, dishwasher, Tassimo coffee machine, bread maker, 4 slice toaster, slow cooker, cookery books. Tea towels and an apron provided as well as all cleaning materials and many other courtesy items ie milk, sugar, tea, coffee, biscuits.
- Please note the cottage does not have a washing machine but I can offer laundry facilities by prior arrangement when you book. Full size ironing board, steam iron. Wooden airer and radiator hanger.
- Picnic basket, thermos flask, blanket and folding chairs.
- Comfortable king size brass bed with top quality pocket sprung mattress. (If your sleeping is affected by back pain, please see the 'Smile Health' tab - Dr Cooper sent my son home 'smiling' after weeks of agonising back spasms caused through having to lift such heavy weights at his job).
- A choice of pillows - wool, feather or synthetic. 100% wool Devon Duvets.
- Bathrobes and toiletries.
- Luxury bed linen and towels provided.
- Books - trains and railways, reference, fiction, and board games. Guests often like to take the train from our local station at Alnmouth (free parking), ten minutes from us, into Newcastle after playing our Newcastle and Gateshead Monopoly game. Try this for fun
- Clock radio and alarm with charging station. Selection of phone chargers.
- Parking on our private drive.
- Central heating radiators in lounge and bedroom controlled from station house, woodburner in lounge (fuel provided for first two nights), additional electric oil filled radiator in bedroom, electric heater in kitchen. Heated towel rail in shower room. I am very happy to light the woodburner for you at any time.
Our sofa, bed throws and cushions are for use in the cottage only please, we do provide a picnic blanket you can take out on your trips.
As we are in the north it is much cooler up here and I'd recommend bringing layered clothing as well as your waterproofs for walking/boat trips. We provide a golf umbrella in the cottage.
To save you having to pack too much we also provide courtesy kitchen/bathroom basics, please see the list.
As we are a Listed Grade II building, we cannot allow any naked flames at all ie candles. I do provide artificial candles for your use.
I was a lecturer at the Royal National Institute for the Blind in London and am very happy to discuss arrangements with visually or hearing impaired guests.
Please email me, Sharon Williams, with any questions about the accommodation or the county, I can help you plan your itinerary in advance of your holiday. I know most of the local people in the area and am happy to help. I do feel very safe here and walk for miles in isolated open spaces with our dog - I would recommend it for solo travellers.
Information on Warkworth and the county can be found at www.warkworth.co.uk, (see 'Sharon's Welcome' if you are considering moving here) and the official tourism web site for Northumberland, Visit Northumberland, can be seen here. If you do decide to move here, it is very important to know that it is a close community and I am constantly amazed at the complexities of families/friendships here. I have put my foot in it many times!
If you would like to book with us direct please email me here, or you can book through our agency. See current news on my Facebook page, as well as English Heritage information and Dog Friendly notes. As well as being classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Warkworth is also on the route of St Oswald's Way. The cottage has a full selection of maps for your use, as well as a basic SATNAV which can be plugged into your car charger socket.
Northumberland has thirty miles of fabulous coast line and rain or shine, many local people, including myself, try to go to the beach every day for a walk, run, or horse ride - we all feel lucky to live here.
Alnmouth beach with Foxton Golf Club in the distance, copyright Northumberland Aerial Views.
Surfing, stand up paddling and power/surf kiting are also popular pursuits. In late spring and summer we enjoy very long days and sunset can be as late as 9.50 pm - see here for summer 2014 details. Summer sees the jellyfish washing in - they can still sting even when dead and the NHS now recommend using shaving cream to help with the pain. See my Marine tab for the poster. Grey seals are regular visitors to our beaches and it is natural behaviour for them to haul themselves out of the sea onto the beach. However, if you find a seal and are concerned for its welfare, especially if it is a baby with thick white fur, please see my 'Marine life' page, or ring BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (British Diver's Marine Life Rescue). People fishing with a salmon licence have permission to shoot seals if they are interfering with their catch, you'll see the fishing boats at both Alnmouth and Warkworth. If you see humans in trouble at sea, ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Puffins come to breed on the Farnes from April - early August and spend the rest of the year out at sea - I've just found this beautiful video of them swimming underwater. Visit the Farne Islands with Andrew at Seahouses, or sail around Coquet Island by taking a boat trip from Amble,
Warkworth village itself has several pubs, restaurants, shops, and a gallery, and is centrally placed for touring Northumberland and the North East of England. You will find all of the people here very friendly and they really appreciate your business.
Visitors can book in from 3 pm on Saturday and I would recommend booking a restaurant in advance if you intend eating out , I am happy to do this for you.
We have a wonderful French patisserie called Cabosse - if you look at the website you will see photos of HRH Prince Charles choosing his chocolates on the 'Royal Visit' tab! I also recommend Topsey Turvey - you can see Margaret's huge and lovely home made desserts in the chiller in the window - or you can buy her delicious pies from the village shop to take on a picnic or eat at home.
There are beautiful walks within the village along the banks of the River Coquet with lots of birdlife/wildlife in addition to the tame ducks and swans who come to be fed at the Stanners – cormorants, eider ducks (nicknamed cuddy ducks), kingfishers, herons, and the occasional seal. You will hear the pheasants and partridges on the opposite bank and if you are lucky, see a deer. The large black and white birds you may see in the fields are lapwings.
Thank you to Bon Jo for this victorian magic lantern photograph of Warkworth Castle, Mill Walk, and Victorians rowing on the River Coquet.
The rowing boat business owner normally puts his boats out in July.
The Hermitage at the end of Mill Walk is owned by English Heritage, and can be accessed by ferry boat on Monday and Sundays, 11.00-4.00 pm during the season which ends on 1st October.
My friend's daughter Ellen Puddephatt was in charge of the ferry summer 2014, and rowed Robson Green across as he was filming The Hermitage for the new series of Tales of Northumberland.
Tales of Northumberland 2 is coming out soon and some of my friends are nervous because they went on the famous 'skinny dip' this year - which Tales of Northumberland filmed with a drone. They are wondering if they might be 'starring' in it!
The Aln Valley Railway is now being built to link Alnmouth and Alnwick - click on the picture to go to the website.
Warkworth village has its own castle with a medieval Hermitage across the river reached by English Heritage rowing boat; a Norman church; pubs and restaurants; Cabosse, our French patisserie; a village store and post office with newspapers, an ATM and the lottery; small shops and a gallery; river walks; a golf course; a cricket club; a beautiful beach and free parking in Dial Place.
When you leave The Waiting Rooms, turn left out of the drive and when you get to the end of Station Road turn right. You will see the beach road almost opposite on the left.
The old bridge shown below was used until the 1960's and is cobbled, with tracks for cart wheels. We have a lot of swans in Warkworth, and they favour this area under the bridge. Unfortunately now we have the new modern bridge, like all villages, we suffer from very heavy transport travelling onto the A1068. See here for photos of the new bridge being built.
Full details of village life, photographs and links can be found on the Warkworth website as mentioned before - we are already twinned with Warkworth in New Zealand, see their website here www.warkworthnz.co.nz.
If you drive over the bridge (free parking in Dial Place) you will find :-
My son had his 21st birthday flight with Storm, the owner of Purple Aviation - he had a fantastic view of our beautiful countryside. Eshott Airfield is only about ten minutes from us and we had a marvellous day waiting on the ground with some inspirational people - including Paul of Northumberland Aerial Views! The spire of St Lawrence's Church can just be seen at the top left of the aerial view photo above which shows how the River Coquet loops around the castle and village. The church is open to visitors, please go in and have a look around. A service was held here on February 14 2012 for our lovely vicar, Rev Canon Janet Brearley, who sadly died after a courageous fight with blood cancer. See Neil Stalker's lovely photo of St Lawrence's under the Northumberland tab at http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilstalker. Alnmouth is at the top right of the photo, the cricket club pavilion and ground is out of view just in front of the castle. Amble is out of sight to the right of the photo.
The history of the salmon fishery and its demise on the Butts is very interesting - see a rare series of copyright salmon fishing photographs taken from the banks of the Coquet near the bridge at Warkworth on row 4 on this page: http://www.fusilier.co.uk/old_photos...ge2/index2.htm.
The Waiting Rooms are not in any danger from the floods as we are in an elevated position.
As I mentioned before, at the end of our road is the beach road to Warkworth Golf Club and Warkworth Beach on the North Sea, with free parking and public toilets (unfortunately closed 2014, vandalised).
As you go up the beach road the cemetery and old chapel are on your left, St Mary Magdalene's.
Lots of responsible owners walk their dogs on the beach, and you may also encounter horses. If you want to go riding on the beach I recommend the Slate Hall stable at Seahouses.
People also bring their metal detectors to the beaches - it is amazing what they find. There is a Victorian dump behind the public toilets at Warkworth beach but unfortunately people excavating dug too deeply and erratically and digging is now forbidden.
You will also see people collecting bags of seaweed - once rotted, if you add it to your compost heap it speeds up the process. Not recommended for trying to make potatoes taste like jersey royals, it didn't work for my friend at all!
Warkworth Memorial Hall is our very busy community hall and the base for the British Legion. It is also used by the Women's Institute, choir practise, drama group, dances etc. There are also 'cinema' nights now, mainly at weekends. If you come in December the panto is a must see - and other exciting productions by Warkworth Drama Group run throughout the year.
Please note it is difficult to get a mobile signal inside any of the buildings in the village - especially the public houses! Most people stand on the village cross.
Cricket matches start at Warkworth Cricket Club in April - sit in the sunshine with a beer with the locals and support our teams. The cricket club also host a Beer Festival in the summer.
The Warkworth Flower show in August is a spectacular annual event in the village, once the only 'holiday' day people were allowed to take so they could enter with their vegetables etc. Warkworth Flower Show this year is on Saturday August 15 2015, catalogues will be available in the Village shop.
if you are here later in November we have a Christmas lights switch on and late night shopping evening in Warkworth.
* We supply all firelighting items including a large bag of logs for the wood burner, further supplies are available at Homebase in Alnwick.
updated February 2015. New website coming soon.
Errors and omissions excepted