We all know that Northumberland is great for long beach walks with your four-legged best friends, but what do you do when you want a change of scenery – or it’s raining?! Luckily, Northumberland also boasts loads of dog-friendly attractions that you can visit with your pup – from wandering around historic castles to family days out, there are so many things to do.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere grand to explore with your dog at your side or you just want to roam the great outdoors while your pup chases squirrels, we've sniffed out the best dog-friendly days out in Northumberland.
Looking for a cosy cottage to come back to? Take a look at our collection of dog-friendly cottages in Northumberland.
Best 3 family attractions
Heatherslaw Light Railway, Cornhill-on-Tweed
Travel on this 15-inch gauge railway for 4 miles along the River Till where you can take in the countryside views and even spot some local wildlife on the riverbank. Take a break at Etal Station and walk into the village for tea and cake at the tearoom before the return journey. The glazed carriages mean this is a great activity for all weathers!
Why your dog will love this: Your pup gets to travel for free on this railway, so he can enjoy spending a day by the side of his best pal – that’s you, of course!
Best for: Days when the weather can’t quite make its mind up.
Stay nearby: Riverside Cottage, Eglingham | sleeps 4 dogs and 10 humans
Paxton House, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Perhaps one of the most family-friendly attractions in Northumberland, this grand 18th-century house really will set tails wagging. Kids can follow the teddy bear trail in the house, build dens in the grounds or play on the adventure playground, while grown-ups can enjoy an afternoon tea in the Stables Tearoom, admire the art in the Hayloft Gallery or appreciate the Chippendale and Trotter furniture in the main house. Just watch out for the seasonal opening hours.
Why your dog will love this: The house boasts a whopping 80 acres of woodland, riverside and parkland all available for dogs to chase squirrels, fetch sticks and make their mark on trees.
Best for: A big day out for the whole family.
Stay nearby: Braefoot - East Ord, Berwick-upon-Tweed | sleeps 1 dog and 5 humans
Art and architecture trails at Kielder Water & Forest Park
This huge park, set around the biggest manmade lake in Northern Europe, is a must-visit destination for those with energy to burn – whether they’ve got two legs or four! If you’re looking for a little cultural stimulation too, follow the art and architecture trails around the woodland – some are wonderful, some are weird, but all will provide a great talking point for kids and adults alike. Stick around after nightfall; the park has been awarded the Gold Tier Dark Sky Park status, so it’s the perfect location for an evening of stargazing. Maybe your pup can help you spot Sirius, the dog star!
Why your dog will love this: Dogs are welcome in the whole of the park, so your four-legged best friend can follow you around the trail before having a bowl of water and a belly rub at one of the dog-friendly cafes in the park.
Best for: Culture vultures and those who want to get into the great outdoors.
Stay nearby: Catcleugh Farmhouse, Northumberland National Park | sleeps 3 dogs and 10 humans
Best 3 historical attractions
Corbridge Roman Town
At this historic site, you can walk in the footsteps of the Romans – follow what once was a busy high street that runs through the town. Then head into the museum to see Roman artefacts including armour, jewellery and tools.
Why your dog will love this: While your dog isn’t allowed in the museum (the artefacts are pretty fragile and dogs are pretty curious!), he can follow you on a walk around the town before playing fetch in the large outdoor spaces.
Best for: Travelling back in time.
Stay nearby: Tyne Valley Granary, Hexham | sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans
Explore this impressive 13th-century castle and visit the Duke’s Rooms for a taste of its former splendour when it was owned by the Percys, who were among the greatest landowners in northern England. If you’ve got kids in tow, they’ll love the activity sheets.
Why your dog will love this: As well as being welcome to explore (on a lead), your pup can take a boat trip with you down the River Coquet to explore the Hermitage – a chapel carved out of the cliff. Plus, you can wander into Warkworth for a pint of beer and a bowl of water at the dog-friendly pub.
Best for: A true flavour of Northumberland’s past.
Stay nearby: Panhaven, Amble | sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans
Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens
Discover Grecian architecture, a medieval castle and a delightful Victorian tearoom at this historical gem near Morpeth. Take in the incredible views from the castle tower or take a tour of the gardens. Didn’t pack enough holiday reading material? Find something good to read in the second-hand bookshop.
Why your dog will love this: While dogs aren’t allowed in the hall or gardens, they’re free to explore the 30 acres of Grade I-listed gardens (on a short lead). We know they love a good sniff around, and here, they can stick their nose in all sorts of unfamiliar flora – the Quarry Garden has its own microclimate which means all sorts of exotic plants can be found here.
Best for: Pretending you’re in Jurassic Park (minus the dinosaurs) – the gardens are that impressive!
Stay nearby: Eachwick Stables, Eachwick | sleeps 3 dogs and 11 humans
Best 3 National Trust sites
This imposing castle was originally built in the 14th century and was once a Lancastrian stronghold during the War of the Roses. It fell into disrepair in the Middle Ages and now stands ruined atop a coastal cliff in the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Why your dog will love this: The walk to Dunstanburgh from Craster has been voted one of the best in the country; even more reason for your dog to feel the North Sea breeze in his fur! Just keep your dog on a lead as there is lots of farmland where sheep are grazing along this route.
Best for: Spotting ghosts – rumour has it a knight still haunts the castle ruins.
Stay nearby: Newton Halt South, Embleton | sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans
Step inside this unique Victorian house to discover gadgets created by its former owner, the inventor Lord Armstrong. If you’ve got kids with you, they can explore the labyrinth of paths cut into the rhododendron forest – a pretty magical day out!
Why your dog will love this: While dogs aren’t allowed in the house, they are welcome to explore the 14 waymarked routes across 40 miles of land – it’s sheer walkies heaven!
Best for: Those with a flair for interior design – this house was voted third runner-up in Period Ideas Magazine Heritage Property of the Year Awards 2016.
Stay nearby: Sunningdale Cottage, Rothbury | sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans
Visit this 18th-century landscape which was designed to deliver the wow factor. It’s particularly lovely in autumn as you can explore the gardens and woodland when they’re ablaze with seasonal colours. Kids will love the play area and if the weather’s good, pack a picnic and enjoy the Derwent Valley views.
Why your dog will love this: With 15 miles of path to roam and 600 acres of gardens to explore, your pup will love a visit to this countryside gem. Don’t forget to pack a little treat for them in your picnic!
Best for: Autumn walks and incredible views.
Stay nearby: The Stables At Lintz Green House, Rowlands Gill | sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans
Best 3 quirky or unique activities you can do with your dog
Old Gaol, Hexham
Beloved family pets are welcome to explore this museum in Hexham, on the site of the earliest purpose-built prison in England. You can put one of your family members in the stocks, explore the prison house and learn about the Border Reivers: notorious Northumberland families.
Why your dog will love this: As well as spending the day exploring with his favourite people, your dog can join you for a pick-me-up at the dog-friendly pub opposite the gaol.
Best for: Historic fun on a rainy day.
Stay nearby: Gatehouse Cottage, Hexham | sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans
There are not many other places in the UK, let alone the world, where you can walk out to an island – which is precisely why Lindisfarne has made our list. The Holy Island (as it’s sometimes known) is accessed via a causeway that’s only exposed at low tide. Most people choose to drive across and, once on the island, you can explore the castle, the priory and the walking trails that bring tens of thousands of visitors a year.
Why your dog will love this: Your pup can explore the castle grounds and the island’s waymarked paths with you until it’s time to go back to the mainland. If you’re both feeling parched, the island’s pub welcomes four-legged visitors too.
Best for: Getting away from it all – literally!
Stay nearby: Holy Island View, Low Middleton | sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans
Duddo Five Stones
This intriguing stone circle is around 4 miles from the Scottish border and less than a mile from the village of Duddo. With glorious panoramic views, it’s possible to spot the Cheviot Hills to the south and the Lammermuir Hills to the north. Around 4,000 years old, these sandstone guardians of the landscape are well worth visiting.
Why your dog will love this: There is a lovely walk around the stones, and with the sights and smells of the open countryside, it’s doggy paradise!
Best for: Keen photographers – the stones present some great photo opportunities with your four-legged friend.
Stay nearby: Long Barn - Scremerston | sleeps 3 dogs and 6 humans
Places to stay with your dog in Northumberland
Have you found some inspiration for your next trip away with your furry friend? Take a look at our guide to dog-friendly Northumberland for what else you can do with your canine companion when on holiday in the area.
Perhaps you’re thinking of travelling elsewhere in the UK? Check out our ultimate guide to days out with your dog in the UK.
If you've decided Northumberland is the place for you, take a look at our collection of dog-friendly cottages to find the perfect place to stay for you and your pup.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.