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Best family-friendly hotels in Northumberland: where to stay in Alnwick, Morpeth and Hexham

From stately homes to cosy pubs, we’ve got the best hotels, cottages and self-catering properties for your next family holiday to Northumberland.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated May 11, 2023

Lindisfarne Island at sunset

England’s most northerly county is one of Mumsnetters’ favourite destinations for family holidays in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s full of clean beaches, dramatic scenery and castles - including Alnwick Castle, where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

If your idea of family holiday heaven is rambling walks, picturesque villages and exploring old ruins, Northumberland is definitely worth a look. When it comes to booking accommodation, we’ve done the legwork for you and gathered together Mumsnetters’ top family-friendly hotels, cottages and self-catering places to stay.

What are the best family-friendly places to stay in Northumberland?

1. Best overall hotel: Beadnell Towers, Chathill

Beadnell Towers

Beadnell Towers | Check availability

"Beadnell. Particularly Beadnell Towers if you want a hotel but there are Airbnbs and holiday cottages around too" - recommended by Mumsnet user, MissLC

Beadnell Towers is a beautifully decorated five-star hotel which is welcoming to kids and dogs. There are a number of options for family rooms: go for the large Shiel family room or splash out on two adjoining rooms that form a family suite with its own private terrace. Beadnell beach is less than 800 metres from the hotel, offering bracing walks and views across the North Sea. Bamburgh Castle is just up the road, or make a pilgrimage to Holy Island.

Nearest train station: Chathill (3 miles)

2. Best budget hotel: The Commissioners Quay Inn, Blyth

the view across the harbour in a northern town

The Commissioners Quay Inn | Check availability

On the banks of the River Blyth in the southeast corner of Northumberland, The Commissioners Quay offers stylish accommodation at a bargain price. Family rooms have a sea view and sleep up to four, there’s an on-site playground and pets are welcome in some rooms - as always it’s best to check ahead if you’re bringing your pooch. Newcastle is 14 miles away if you’re looking for a big city to explore, or you have the lush Northumberland National Park a short drive inland. Blyth has a wide, sandy beach and Tynemouth Castle is perfect for a windswept afternoon excursion.

Nearest train station: Cramlington (6.5 miles)

3. Best luxury hotel: Eshott Hall, Morpeth

a grand country home covered in wisteria

Eshott Hall | Check availability

"Eshott Hall. It’s gorgeous and the food is brilliant" - recommended by Mumsnet user, WeSaluteYou

Festooned with wisteria in the summer months, Eshott Hall is a 17th-century guest house-turned luxury hotel. The Stable East cottage is the best suite for families - it sleeps up to five and has two bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen and a private drive down a pretty woodland track. Northumberland Country Zoo is a short drive away, and the coast is 2.5 miles east of the hotel. The hotel’s restaurant is a real treat, with 2 AA Rosettes awarded to its fine dining with kitchen garden-sourced ingredients.

Nearest train station: Alnmouth (13 miles)

4. Best coastal hotel: The Joiners Arms, Alnwick

a street sign with a traditional pub in the background

The Joiners Arms | Check availability

"My absolute favourite place is a lovely pub called the Joiners Arms in low Newton. They also own Newton hall which is a wedding venue but does hotel nights occasionally. We have previously timed it to do a hotel night then a night in Joiner's. Five-minute walk to the beach, just love it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Icedaisy

A scenic, 12-minute walk from the beach, The Joiners Arms is situated in the seaside village of Newton-by-the-Sea, 10 minutes' from Seahouses and Beadnell. The food at the Joiners Arms is award-winning, and the rooms all look onto its pretty garden. Opt for a rustic family room with exposed stone walls and wooden bunk beds, or a modern, standalone garden room. The Joiners Arms makes a great base for exploring the area’s many castles, the Farne Islands and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Nearest train station: Chathill (6 miles)

5. Best countryside hotel: Doxford Hall, Chathill

the drive leading up to a stately home

Doxford Hall | Check availability

"Doxford Hall is lovely - we go a few times a year as we only live an hour away. It's near Seahouses and Bamburgh. I've taken my little one when she was only 7 months old and my niece is 5 and has been 4 times also. It's quite a small hotel and there is a pool there. I love Northumberland, it's my favourite place" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Metallicalover

Set in 10 acres of beautiful grounds, Doxford Hall is a little piece of heaven. The hotel has a spa, a pool and an award-winning restaurant. Rooms are luxuriously decorated with quality fabrics and period features - expect marble bathrooms, carved wood furniture and roll-top baths. Cots and Z-beds can be added to your room on request and there’s a children’s menu and early sittings available at the restaurant.

Nearest train station: Chathill (2 miles)

6. Best hotel with a swimming pool: Walwick Hall, Hexham

the outside of a stately hotel on a sunny day

Walwick Hall | Check availability

"Have you been to Walwick Hall? It's also very nice - the owners of Walwick Hall also have Chesters Stables which are family-style self catering apartments. Not coastal but high quality" - recommended by Mumsnet user, LatteLover12

Just up the road from Hadrian’s Wall sits Walwick Hall, a country estate turned classy, family-friendly hotel. There’s a spa and a children’s playground, and loads of activities can be booked via the hotel, including horse riding and archery, should the mood take you. More inland than the other hotels on our list, nearby you’ll find Homesteads Roman Fort and Bywell Castle. There’s a family room in the hotel that sleeps four, or check out the modern, self-catering Stable Suites which sleep up to eight.

Nearest train station: Hexham (6 miles)

7. Best self-catering accommodation: Beacon Hill Farm, Morpeth

two chairs in a sunny garden with a pot of tea and tulips in a vase

Beacon Hill Farm | Check availability

"Have a look at Beacon Hill Farm. We've been here four times. It’s wonderful for all ages. I could rave on all day about how much the whole family love it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Michtaylor

Located near Morpeth, Beacon Hill Farm has 15 luxury self-catering cottages and three charming shepherd’s huts. There’s an on-site spa with an indoor pool, 40 acres of private woodland to explore and even a purpose-built observatory with a telescope to take advantage of the dark skies above rural Northumberland. There’s also a lake perfect for wild swimming, fishing and paddle boarding. Most of the cottages sleep 4-6 and have gardens with views across the rolling Northumbrian countryside.

Nearest train station: Morpeth (7 miles)

8. Best cottage for babies and toddlers: Linkhouse Farm Cottage, Chathill

a stone cottage

Linkhouse Farm Cottage | Check availability

"A fantastic location, very family friendly and self-catering, it does short breaks… It's a minute from the beach and there's a playpark on site" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Solongandthanksfor

A hop, skip and jump away from the glorious sandy beach of Newton-by-the-Sea, Linkhouse Farm Cottage is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom stone cottage with a small, grassy garden and amazing views (sadly no dogs are allowed at the property). There’s a children’s play area shared with the other holiday cottages, and it’s the perfect spot for a peaceful rural getaway. The sandy beach is an obvious place to while away your holiday, with rock pools to keep the kids entertained while you get lost in a good book.

Nearest train station: Chathill (6 miles)

Is Northumberland good for a family holiday?

Famous for its castles and coastline, Northumberland is a wonderful destination for a family holiday. With plenty of places to stay, scenic landscape and walks aplenty, Mumsnetters love this northern gem.

What are the best family attractions in Northumberland?

Kids will love playing at being knights at Bamburgh Castle, or wizards at the Alnwick Castle (which moonlights as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter film franchise).

If the sun’s shining, there are miles upon miles of sandy beaches to enjoy. If it’s raining, the area has a wealth of specialist museums - including a bee and honey farm in Berwick, Cragside in Rothbury and the bagpipe museum in Morpeth Chantry.

The mysterious tidal island of Lindisfarne is a must-see, but don’t forget to check crossing times before you set off to avoid getting stranded!

Where’s a good base in Northumberland?

Mumsnetters recommend the village of Seahouses as a base for exploring Northumberland. It’s on the north east coast of the county and has plenty of useful shops, great chippies and much of the county’s most beautiful landmarks are within a short drive or a long walk.

What’s the best family-friendly hotel in Northumberland?

Beadnell Towers is the best family-friendly hotel in Northumberland. The generous rooms have a cosy, luxurious atmosphere and the restaurant serves hearty pub grub - Mumsnetters give it the thumbs up too.

How we chose our recommendations

When choosing the best family hotels in Northumberland to recommend, we first checked what Mumsnetters were recommending themselves on our travel forums. Evaluating all priorities, we searched the hotels, cottages and self-catering properties they rated for family breaks, taking into consideration their feedback on facilities and customer service.

A huge range of options were investigated, and this list is a result of handpicking the best of the bunch, alongside Mumsnetter recommendations. We feel like there’s something here for everyone, and to suit every budget.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.