December 11, 2017
Temperatures in the Northumberland village of Chillingham Barns fell as low as -12.2C last night, making it the second coldest night of the year and one of the coldest spots in the UK. This pretty village sits about 20 miles from the Scotland-England border. It is known for its 13th century, Grade I-listed medieval castle and is a great place to visit if you’re considering somewhere rural and picturesque to spend some time this winter.
The town is in easy reach of local amenities – Chatton village with a local pub and shop is a mile away, and Wooler and Belford are both six miles away. Despite its chilly temperatures, if you wrap up warm, you can enjoy a lovely walk through the crisp winter countryside. In fact, this area is popular with moor and coastal walkers as the site is a mile from the Iron Age hill fort of Ros Castle and Chatton Sandyford moor. You’ll find many public footpaths to stick to while soaking in the stunning scenery.
You’ll also be close by to other local attractions. For example, the historic market town of Alnwick, The Alnwick Garden and Castle and Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Warkworth. The close by Holy island of Lindisfarne is also a popular spot with visitors. You’ll also be close to Rothbury and the Northumberland National Park, 30 minutes’ drive from the Scottish Borders and within an hour of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hadrian’s Wall.
Make sure that if you are travelling in the area this season, to be careful of icy roads. Some won’t have been treated, especially in rural areas. The AA recommends at least 3mm of tread on your tyres for the winter. They also suggest you have a winter emergency car kit, which would include things like:
- A blanket, rug or sleeping bag.
- Ice scraper and de-icer.
- Torch and batteries.
- Snacks – chocolate or cereal bars.
- Extra screen wash.
- Phone number to breakdown cover.
If you are walking in the snow and ice, remember to dress warmly, bring a drink and snacks and wear comfortable shoes. You should wear clothes that you can be seen in, especially if you plan to walk off the beaten track. You can experience some truly beautiful walks in Northumberland, but be sure to be well equipped before you head out the door and try not to walk at night. It really is pitch black when you head out after dark! (Although for star gazing enthusiasts, this is a great time to do some star spotting!)
If you are thinking of staying in the area this winter, make sure you book up in advance. Although it is cold, this is a busy time of year for luxury Northumberland cottages, kitted with log fires and hot tubs, which get booked up well in advance. You’ll find plenty of hidden gems across Northumberland for you to enjoy, located close to local pubs where you can truly soak in the festive and wintery atmosphere over a glass of wine.
Stay safe and warm this winter!