Please look out for Jason, missing in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Let off steam this holiday in The Waiting Rooms of our Grade II listed railway station, built for the Newcastle and Berwick railway in 1847.
We are located in a peaceful rural location about a mile outside the picturesque and historic coastal village of Warkworth, Northumberland, UK. Not quite as peaceful at the moment - we've got noisy lambs and sheep - as well as the 'crow bangers' for the new crops!
Northumberland is a huge county and we are central for all attractions but new for this 2013 season, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity of staying in The Waiting Rooms for six nights and one night at a very special place in the most northernmost town in England, Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
I have been speaking with Karen and her husband Mike, the owners of a new vegan (the first in Northumberland) bed and breakfast called 'Loaf B&B', and am pleased to offer my guests booking 7 nights at the Waiting Rooms the opportunity of spending one night at their establishment at no additional cost. This can only be arranged through direct owner bookings with myself, Sharon Williams, and the evening must be booked in advance. I recommend you take out your own cancellation insurance.
Our first special two centre offer is competitively priced at £425 for Friday 7th June for 7 nights. Tuesday 11 June can spent at Loaf B&B to co-incide with the A1 Tornado travelling north on the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh Waverley, stopping at Berwick-Upon-Tweed. See http://www.a1steam.com/. Timings are not yet announced. Another night can be arranged if this does not suit. There is also this tour on Saturday 8 June - http://www.srps.org.uk/railtours/rt-130608.htm which leaves Berwick on Saturday morning and returns at 2300 hours.
Please contact me on 0789 4559357 for details and booking conditions.
Berwick is only an hour's drive from here up the A1, but if you stayed it would allow you to explore Berwick further as well as crossing the border into Scotland if you wished. The 'Loaf B&B' website is now live - see http://www.loafbnb.co.uk/index.htm, as well as their Facebook page here. You would have the large double room with en suite, and a delicious breakfast. Details of steam and other attractions ie the very first barracks to be built in the UK, Paxton House and activities in Berwick can be found here.
Hauling the homebound 2012 tour, Tornado passes Alnmouth at speed - Jack Beeston
Some of our guests like to take the train into Edinburgh - it's about one hour 15 minutes from Alnmouth Station. Lots of local people go Christmas shopping there - I find the cobbles and hills a bit much!
Warkworth is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as being on the route of St Oswald's Way. Please see the offer on the 'Walking' tab - I can personally recommend the chiropodist, having been today for a treatment, based at our local garden centre!
We moved up here from London in 1999 and chose to live here because the village has its own castle and we are so close to the sea - don't be deterred if the car park is full, when you get down there, the beach is so spacious you will still feel you have it to yourself. In 1754 the first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland decided to renovate and live at Alnwick Castle, rather than Warkworth, and it was left to deteriorate. English Heritage now maintain it, see the English Heritage tab for 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 2012 details. We were all worried about this Alnmouth surf kiter earlier this month as he was so near the Estuary and didn't seem to have a beach watcher with him - but he came in safely before I left. It was about 0 degrees that day and we were still having snow showers. This fantastic photo was sent in to the Northumberland Gazette by Philip Coyne of Gosforth. Seals are regular visitors to our beaches - if you are out walking and find a seal, advice is available here. People fishing with a salmon licence have permission to shoot seals if they are interfering with their catch. If you see humans in trouble at sea, ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Warkworth beach, thanks to Iain Huitson
If you are interested in wild or outdoor swimming , I've just found Chris Ayriss's wonderful website - I was delighted to see two photographs of the Church Lad's Brigade at our beach in 1906.
In the summer you will see groups of youths having fun jumping off Warkworth bridge into the River Coquet - I'm not sure if their mothers know!
Warkworth village itself has several pubs, restaurants, shops, and a gallery, and is centrally placed for touring Northumberland and the North East of England.
As Northumberland is the least populated county in the UK and mainly rural farmland and/or coast, driving is a pleasure here as the roads are generally clear and you have a scenic view. We do have fast, narrow winding country roads and you need to be prepared for large farm vehicles, cyclists, walkers, runners, and horse riders. We moved here from London and it took me a long time not to allow additional travelling time for traffic. Rather than give the distance in miles, we generally describe the time it takes to get there. We provide a SATNAV in the cottage for your use. Locally petrol is expensive - http://www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk has information on fuel prices. Asda in Ashington often seems to be the cheapest. Bikers are welcome and you can store your bike(s) in the garden, rather than on the drive - see the new website being developed by Neil Mackay at http://www.bikersarewelcome.com, or telephone him on 07917367465. I can see people are searching for tea rooms - 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 last summer! 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.
Alnmouth village is a ten minute drive away from us and has the Village Tearooms in the main street, with vintage bone china and a choice of 20 different teas and delicious cupcakes. Wherever you do go for your refreshments, you will be made to feel very welcome. Alnwick has the new 'Bari' tea rooms - a lovely place to relax after a visit to Alnwick Castle.
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), herons, and the occasional seal. You will hear the pheasants and partridges on the opposite bank and if you are lucky, see a deer.
Puffins can be seen if you do a Farne Islands boat trip, from Seahouses - they are only here to breed from May - 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. Thank you to Dru Dodd for allowing me to display his recent photograph of 'Cecil' nicknamed by the locals. See more of Dru's creative photographic artwork on his website at http://www.drudodd.com.
We are close to Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Bamburgh, Holy Island and Lindisfarne, Seaton Delaval, Kielder, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, the Metro Centre at Gateshead and Hadrian's Wall.
The Waiting Rooms offer a characterful and comfortable interior for two, with a secluded sunny patio and small garden with a choice of seating and a gas barbecue. Our friends tested the cottage out before we opened the business and we think we have thought of everything you might need to make your stay with us special.
Talking of special, we highly recommend Swallow Fish in Seahouses - and local oysters when in season.
The A1 Tornado will be passing us again now its boiler is fixed - if you go on the trip below you will see our house on the left a few minutes after you leave Alnmouth!
Tuesday 11 June – ‘The Elizabethan’ – London King’s Cross to Edinburgh and return (return locomotive to be advised) – promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with booking through Pathfinder Tours - you can book online here.
Do share the Secrets of the Kingdom of Northumbria with your friends and family!
Warkworth Castle at the top of Castle Street
Your booking price includes fuel, including an initial supply of fuel for the wood burner, pure cotton bed linen with a Devon Duvet wool duvet and a choice of pillows, towels, and bathrobes. I also supply tea towels for the kitchen. You will find the cottage equipped with a generous amount of complimentary basics and some 5 star extras so you do not have to pack too much, or stop on the way to buy it. This year's new gadget is a Tassimo coffee machine so you can bring your favourites.
Prices for 2013 will be the same as 2012 (see our agency page here). We are offering short breaks this season on a trial basis.
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.
The cottage is accessed by walking through our private garden, then up a 15 step metal staircase located in the original 'stable'.
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; 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 and rowing boats (the owner did not put them out last year because of the floods); a golf course; a cricket club; a beautiful beach - and free parking.
I've just been down to the village and went into The Black Bull pub - they are selling a copy of these vintage photographs of 'Warkworth's Welcome to the Wounded' on August 26th, 1915, for £2.00 each to fundraise for the Help for Heroes charity. Find the Black Bull facebook page here. Different postcards are available via our local postcard expert, who has donated them for the fundraiser. The Black Bull offer their customers two computers with free WiFi.
If you stay at the Waiting Rooms it is a pleasant walk to the village with views across the fields of Warkworth Castle, Coquet Island, and the North sea, along an unlit winding country road, with narrow pavements on alternate sides - or a few minutes drive. We provide an array of different sized torches if you decide to walk at night. We also recommend wearing light/reflective clothing in the dark, and always walk facing the oncoming traffic.
When you get to the end of Station Road turn right and you will see the beach road almost opposite, alternatively walk over one of the bridges into the village. 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 heavy transport. 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'.
I've yet to hear what is happening with the Parish Council's plans to twin with Warkworth in Canada - see http://www.warkworth.ca. I was very impressed to see accommodation in Canada offering 'bed and a bale' for people and their horses! Sadly our stable is now without a roof but we do have a stables nearby, if anyone wants to go horse riding.
If you walk or drive over the bridge (free parking in Dial Place) you will find :-
The spire of St Lawrence's Church can 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 English Heritage ferry boat to the 'Hermitage' is at the end of The Mill Walk - on Sundays and I think Mondays for 2013 - between 11 am and 4 pm. The owner of the public rowing boats is in poor health and I don't know what is happening, best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.
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. 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 - it was £27 for an hour of joyful galloping.
People also bring their metal detectors to the beaches - it is amazing what they find. 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, youth club, 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.
Warkworth Youth Club has now closed down after a decade of fun, thank you to Anne and Keith Puddephatt and their family and friends who gave their time voluntarily for the enrichment of the lives of the local children during the autumn and winter months.
Can you find the house that 'Stephanie's Teas' operated from in/around 1910? I purchased this postcard from ebay and the Warkworth webmaster knows someone locally that was friends with one of the two sisters that ran this tea room. In May 2013 the History Society are having a meeting and the house owner and myself are allowed to look at the very fragile visitor's book that the young WWII soldiers signed - it was a home from home for them when they were billeted here.
A new cafe has just opened three days a a week - The Cross House Cafe - the menu looks very interesting and just what you might want after a stomp on the beach.
We have a few shops owned by hard working local people - Present Time, The Greenhouse, Grays, and the Fenwick Gallery. The family that own and run the gallery travel all over the UK buying unique items.
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, the Black Bull has a computer with free use for customers.
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. It is the first match on 28 April 2013.
Rennington village host a fantastic scarecrow festival.
If you come in November the Warkworth Christmas Lights are switched on, followed by a late night 'Christmas Shopping' evening and the St Lawrence Christmas Fair on the Saturday. December brings the Warkworth Drama Group Pantomime, not to be missed!
updated 21 May 2013