I'm not sure when I first went to Warkworth. I suppose it much have been on a school trip to see the magnificent castle or the World War II defences on the beaches.
But I know that I love it.
I try to go as often as I can, despite it being a bit of a trek. I have to first journey into Newcastle before heading back North for an hour on the bus.
But I love it so much that at least once I year I pack my bags and stay for a week or a long weekend, and below are some of my favourite places, both to visit and to stay.
Favourite Places in Warkworth
The CastleIt goes without saying. Even from miles away you can see the tall, proud ruin standing out against the landscape. I loved the tranquillity, the views, the shadows and the surprises. I love how huge it is, a true stronghold.
It's owned now by English Heritage so there is a charge to get in, but there is a free audio-tour (I get it every time even though I know it by heart) and the staff are so amazingly friendly. When the weather is nice they will even lend you a blanket for picnics (and considering the blankets are £60 to buy from the shop this is a massive trust exercise).
Gray'sI make sure to come here every November and do my Christmas shopping. This little gem is the most amazing place. Everything they do is to make you feel special, and for gifts it is amazing.
They box everything in luxe boxes with tissue paper and ribbons and it feels so exclusive. But everything is incredible value for money. Despite coming out with bags full of beautifully boxed jewellery and accessories I have never spent more than £40, and that's gifts for my whole (huge) family.
Hotspur CottageThis is my absolute favourite place to stay. It's a little bolt hole for two with the comfiest bed, a luxurious welcome basket of local produce, and the cosy feel of home.
Sometimes when you stay away, you can feel exactly like that - Away. But here I always feel welcome and wanted, the atmosphere is incredible. It is probably smaller than your average static caravan, but it is luxurious and filled with every convenience. And it's dog friendly.
The RiverEven if it's pouring with rain, sideways from the howling wind (we're on the coast) I love walking by the river.
I have my perfect, one hour route where I slowly walk from the castle to the newer part of town, then down to the hermitage, then along the river and looping around the village until I'm back where I started. I love the wildlife I can see, from salmon to seals to otters to all manner of birds.