So exciting to have had the Northern Lights locally last Thursday - see the video and photographs on the Northern lights page!
The Waiting Rooms, Warkworth, Northumberland, UK
Northumberland is the least populated county in the UK and has fresh air, clear skies, magnificent landscapes you can walk/hike in, huge beaches with golden sands, rivers, 70 castles, an abundance of interesting flora and fauna and almost traffic free roads with a scenic view.
See Robson Green on Tales from Northumberland at
Warkworth is classified as an Area of Outstanding Beauty, centrally placed for visiting Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden, (reknowned for its link with Harry Potter), Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses, The Farne Islands, Holy Island and Lindisfarne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Seaton Delaval, Kielder, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and Hadrian's Wall. Some of my visitors also like to take the train from Alnmouth into Edinburgh, especially in August when the Edinburgh Fringe is on, it's just an hour and a quarter away. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is 35 minutes by train.
The Waiting Rooms are part of our Grade II listed railway station house, built for the Newcastle and Berwick railway in 1847. The cottage is the single storey building you can see in the photo above and is reached via a 15 step metal staircase. The self contained entrance can be seen in the photograph below.
As the house is a railway station and built along the railway line we are located about a mile from the village, golf course and beach.
The East Coast Main Line on our doorstep is live and scheduled diesel trains pass at very high speeds. None of our guests have said they have been disturbed and you will see that our Visitor Book is full of positive reviews. The A1 Tornado and Union of South Africa charters that occasionally pass are slower for technical reasons. See here for info on steam trains. We recommend a trip on the 'Orient Express' of the north, the Northern Belle, for special occasions, we had a memorable time..
The cottage offers you a characterful and comfortable interior for two, with a secluded sunny line side patio garden with a choice of seating and a large gas barbecue. Please note I am not renewing my 4 star grading as I cannot offer access to a full size freezer.
I regret we cannot accept dogs ourselves, but I often meet visitors who are at a loss what to do with their dogs so I am including the Dog Friendly tab again.
- 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 line side garden and gravelled patio with choice of seating, large gas barbecue, bird table, bird bath.
- Warkworth village, golf course and beach - one mile walk or drive.
- Accommodation is reached by climbing a 15 step metal staircase with dual handrails.
- Tourist information centre leaflets/books, maps, SATNAV. I hope to be able to increase our WiFi signal by Easter 2014 and offer free WiFi again.
- Courtesy Welcome pack provided per booking
- Flatscreen TV with Freeview, DVD player and large selection of DVDs, Radio with CD player
- Well equipped kitchen with fridge with a small 3 star freezer compartment, electric oven, microwave, dishwasher, Tassimo coffee machine, bread maker, slow cooker, toaster, cookery books. Tea towels and an apron provided.
- Please note the cottage does not have a washing machine. Full size ironing board, steam iron. Wooden airer and radiator hanger.
- Picnic basket, thermos flask, blanket and folding chairs.
- King size brass bed with top quality pocket sprung mattress.
- A choice of pillows - wool, feather or synthetic. 100% wool Devon Duvets.
- Books - trains and railways, reference, fiction, and board games.
- Clock radio and alarm with charging station for Ipod.
- All bed linen and towels provided.
- 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 bathroom.
All linen is 100% cotton with a super king woollen Devon Duvet and pillows (the very best for allergy sufferers and alternatives available - see Pillow menu). We also supply bathroom towels, dressing gowns, and beach towels. Our sofa and bed throws are for use in the cottage only, we do provide a picnic blanket you can take out on your trips as well as a flask.
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.
To get to the cottage you have to go up through the 'stable' via a 15 stepped dual handrail steel staircase - see our access statement below.
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 can be seen here.
Please see the Booking and prices tab for more details.
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. Beach surfing, stand up paddling and power/surf kiting is also popular. In late spring and summer we enjoy very long days and sunset can be as late as 9.50 pm - see here for summer 2013 details.
Seals are regular visitors to our beaches - if you are out walking and find a seal and are concerned for its welfare, please see my 'Marine life' page. 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.
Warkworth beach, thanks to Iain Huitson.
Warkworth village itself has several pubs, restaurants, shops, and a gallery, and is centrally placed for touring Northumberland and the North East of England.
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! 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 (opposite the URC Church on the Butts but haven't seen him/her this year), 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 rowers on the River Coquet. The owner of the rowing boats may not be putting them out in 2014.
English Heritage don't seem to have found a person to ferry visitors across to the Hermitage yet.
Puffins can be seen locally at Coquet Island and if you do a Farne Islands boat trip, from Seahouses - they are only here to breed from May - early August and spend the rest of the year out at sea. See our Facebook link at the bottom of the page for status updates from various licensed boat operators, and this web site http://www.yournorthumberland.co.uk/area-guides/farne-islands.
Do share the Secrets of the Kingdom of Northumbria with your friends and family!
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.
When you get to the end of Station Road turn right and 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. Thank you to John and Shirley Tapp who run the site for adding me to theirs - you can find me under 'Things to see and do'.
If you walk or drive over the bridge (free parking in Dial Place) you will find :-
The spire of St Lawrence's Church can just be seen at the top left of this aerial view 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.
Warkworth History Society have written and published a book of 'Warkworth Heritage Walks' around the village, available from Warkworth Village Store and Post Office. They also have a CD for sale detailing all of the historical documents of the village, please contact through the village website www.warkworth.co.uk direct for details.
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.
I've just bought this postcard from ebay - if you turn left at the end of our road onto the A1068 towards Alnwick you will see it on the left hand side on the bend known as 'The Birling' - the trees and shrubs have now grown and the house cannot be seen as clearly.
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. As you go up the beach road the cemetery and old chapel are on your left, St Mary Magdalene's. The history society have information on this on the CD catalogue if you are interested. 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 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.
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 run throughout the year.
There is also a new 'Bistro' opened in the evenings at the old post office.
We have a few shops owned by hard working local people - Present Time, The Greenhouse, Grays, and the Fenwick Gallery. The Fenwick family that own and run the gallery travel all over the UK buying unique items and after all these years I've just discovered Nicole is a fabulous artist! See her owl!.
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. The Masons pub now offers free WiFi.
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.
updated 1 March 2014
Errors and omissions excepted