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 the Northern Lights tab for the aurora photos and videos taken by both locals and visitors after the geomagnetic storm on February 27 2014.
There was aurora activity last night, 27 August 2014 and may be some tonight - Dru Dodd has just displayed this photo taken from Bamburgh on Facebook, click on the photo to see how to take your own aurora photographs.
See Robson Green on Tales from Northumberland at
If you haven't surfed or tried Stand Up and Paddle before, try Northside Surf Amble - all equipment is included in the price and John has offered a SUP discount to my guests. Thanks to Matty Stanley for sharing.
Matty posted a YouTube video on 3 August 2014 which was stolen - he has now uploaded this and another is now in the hands of a news agency - best watched on YouTube - it's remarkable!
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.
You can now download attraction leaflets/maps before your visit here.
The cottage is the single storey building you can see in the photo below and is reached via a 15 step dual handrail metal staircase.
Self contained entrance to The Waiting Rooms
Warkworth Railway Station was built by The Newcastle and Berwick Railway in 1847 and The Waiting Rooms are at the end of the Station in the south wing.
The station was closed to the public in 1958 due to the Beeching cuts, but the East Coast Main line on the doorstep is live, and scheduled diesel trains pass at very high speeds to/from King's Cross/Edinburgh Waverley.
The steam charters that occasionally pass are slower for technical reasons. See here for information 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. We are sorry but we cannot allow candles inside The Waiting Rooms because of our Listed Building status. We do provide you with artificial candles.
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 - approximately one mile away.
- Accommodation is reached by climbing a 15 step metal staircase with dual handrails.
- Tourist information centre leaflets/books, maps, SATNAV. Free WiFi but signal weak due to thickness of walls.
- Courtesy Welcome pack provided per booking
- Flatscreen TV with Freeview, DVD player and DVDs, CD player/radio.
- Well equipped kitchen with fridge with a small 3 star freezer compartment (additional freezer space available by prior arrangement), electric oven, microwave, dishwasher, Tassimo coffee machine, bread maker, 4 slice toaster, cookery books. . Tea towels and an apron provided.
- Please note the cottage does not have a washing machine but I can offer laundry facilities by prior arrangement. 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. (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.
- Books - trains and railways, reference, fiction, and board games.
- Clock radio and alarm with charging station.
- 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.
Our sofa and bed throws 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.
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.
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. 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 2013 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.
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, 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. You can also see them at 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.
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 owner of the rowing boats was at the river today putting the boats out 25 July 2014.
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.
My friend's daughter Ellen Puddephatt is now in charge of the ferry, and rowed Robson Green across last week as he was filming The Hermitage for the new series of Tales of Northumberland.
The Aln Valley Railway is now being built to link Alnmouth and Alnwick - click on the picture to go to the website
Nice video clip of Robson Green filming at AVR with Kevin Holden
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. We moved to Northumberland in 1999 and looked at many villages - we still think Warkworth is the best.
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 today with Storm, the owner of Purple Aviation - he had a fantastic view of our beautiful countryside and the DVD will be arriving soon. 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. 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. Warkworth Flower Show is on Saturday August 16 2014 this year, catalogues available in the Village shop.
The 2014 Alnmouth Beer Festival is on the 3rd, 4th and 5th October with 30 regional Ales & ciders and fantastic entertainment!
updated 26 August 2014
Errors and omissions excepted