Northumberland's Winter Birds



Print page

Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • Wildlife
From £439.00 - 4 to 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Join us for a winter birdwatch across inland and coastal habitats including Holy Island, expansive beaches such as Druridge Bay and some lesser known inland birding spots to look for peregrines, crossbills and grebes. We'll walk up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day. Suitable for any level of experience, with no prior knowledge required. 

Holiday highlights:

  • Enjoy birdwatching in a small sociable group setting
  • Leisurely walks with regular stops to watch birds
  • Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites
  • Flexible itineraries will take into account prevailing weather conditions and any reported sightings

Great reasons to join us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader, transport and any entrance fees to birding sites 
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment

In pictures...


4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation

Nether Grange occupies a wonderful seaside location in the historic village of Alnmouth. With both historic character and modern facilities, it is a wonderful base for a relaxing holiday.



Nether Grange has 35 bedrooms, a number of which enjoy views across the golf links to the sea.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.

Back to top

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Nether Grange makes good use of its excellent seaside location, with a large lounge and attractive dining room with sea views. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms.  There is also a range of board games and books.

Outdoors is an attractive elevated terrace and croquet lawn which enjoys superb views over the golf links to the sea.

The conservatory is adjacent to the bar and houses the Dandelion Café during the day. There is also a ballroom on the lower floor. This flexible space can be used for dancing, evening talks or as a light and airy painting studio. 

The Dandelion Café serves a range of coffee and speciality leaf teas, plus snacks and sandwiches. It is also licensed, serving beer, spirits, and a variety of wines from around the world. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm. Everyone welcome.


Back to top

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Back to top

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on Northumberland's rich wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

Back to top

Due to the age and the layout of the house, Nether Grange is not recommended for wheelchair users or guests with restricted mobility.

Although one bedroom has wheelchair access, the access to the main house has some steps and the public rooms in the main building are over 2 floors with no lift available.

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • Parking is available in the streets surrounding Nether Grange
  • A paved footpath from the main gate to the front door has 4 steps (3.6ft high in total)
  • Steel handrail to the left
  • Assistance with luggage can be provided 

Main entrance & reception

  • The front door has 2 steps (1ft 4'' high in total) and leads to the entrance hall, which is 2 metres x 6.2m
  • The door is 73cm wide 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The main building has 4 floors
  • On the lower ground floor, there is a conservatory (laminated floor), a bar (carpet), a ballroom (laminated floor), a library (carpet) and public toilets (safety flooring)
  • On the ground floor, there is another lounge, an internet room, an entrance hall, a dining room and a lobby, all carpeted
  • 20 steps from the lower ground floor to ground floor, with further 24 steps to the first floor
  • The width of the main staircase is 4ft 6”, the step height is 6” and depth 12”
  • Wooden stair rail on both sides of the staircase
  • An alternative staircase from ground to first floor has 22 steps in total, with 3 rest landings (3 flights of stairs)
  • From first to the second floor, there are 2 flights of stairs, 7 and 11 steps with one rest landing. The width of the staircase is 3ft 7”, the step height is 6 inches and the depth 11”
  • Short pile carpet throughout the stairs, landings and corridors 

Public areas – lounges, bar and ballroom

  • The lounge is 6.6m x 10.6m. Level access. Furniture consists of coffee tables, sofas, chairs (both with or without arms)
  • The door width is 93cm.
  • The bar is 3.30m x 8.55m sofas, coffee tables, stools and chairs with arms.
  • Conservatory is 5.1m x 13.6m with, movable wicker furniture. A small water feature
  • The ballroom is 5.1m x 13.6m. Accessed from the bar via 4 steps (60cm high in total)
  • Movable chairs along the walls
  • The library and games room is 4.7m x 6.8m 

Public WCs

  • The toilets are available on the lower ground floor
  • Toilet height 40cm, door width 75cm
  • The flooring is non-slip and there is good colour contrast 

Dining room & bar

  • The dining room is on the ground floor and has level access.
  • Table height is 72cm, underspace of 65cm high x 150cm wide
  • Tables have legs in each corner. Furniture is easily movable
  • Breakfast service is self service cold buffet with assistance available, if required. Table service for hot meals & drinks
  • Dinner service is waitress service 


Room 4

  • This is the room best suited for anyone requiring wheelchair access. The en-suite room is located on the ground floor of The Towers
  • The room size is 3.4m x 4.96m. Door width 87cm. Twin beds, 51cm high
  • The en-suite bathroom is 1.3m x 2.4m. Bathroom door is 96cm wide
  • Toilet height is 42cm, the wash basin 79cm high. There is a pullcord light which can be reached from any height. Support rails by the toilet
  • The shower tray is 2.4m long and there is a shower chair attached to the wall. One step of 12cm in height to enter the shower. Safety flooring 

Other Bedrooms

  • There is another twin room (5) on the ground floor of The Towers, but the bathroom is not as suitable for anyone with restricted mobility as in room 4
  • The rest of the bedrooms are on the first and second floor of the main House.
  • All bedrooms are carpeted
  • The rooms are a mixture of single and twin rooms, the majority of the rooms are en-suite, some are with wash basin only with public facilities available nearby
  • Most of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms. These are a mixture of showers and baths
  • Most bathrooms have safety floor, a few have vinyl flooring, carpet or tiled floor 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied


The itinerary for the 7-night holidays starting Friday 4 November 2016 and Friday 3 November 2017 is as follows:

Friday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited - we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Saturday: Beadnell & Embleton
An introduction to the classic Northumberland beachscape to get in some seawatching in the afternoon looking for passage migrants and sea ducks including Eider. In the morning, we will take a walk along the links looking out for Twite and Snow Bunting before we visit a wetland reserve looking for waders including Water Rail and migrant passerines.

Sunday: Harwood Forest
A forest of mainly Sitka spruce with an area of moorland to the west, we will be on the lookout for Peregrine & Raven as well as common woodland birds. Our day will consist of a short walk on the moorland in the morning, followed by a walk through the forest in the afternoon looking out for Common Crossbill and winter thrushes.

Monday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.

Tuesday: Holy Island
Our visit to the iconic Northumbrian location takes us across the causeway, stopping at The Snook before moving on to explore the island looking for small migrants around the village gardens and lonnens, over-wintering Lapland Bunting, large numbers of Teal and Black-tailed Godwit. We will also be able to look out across the channels and sand banks back to the mainland hoping to see Brent Geese, Wigeon and Shelduck.

Wednesday: Ashington Wetlands
We will visit three different areas looking for Whooper Swans and Pink-footed Geese ‘grazing’ in the fields, Snipe and Gadwall on the marshlands, grebes and woodland birds in the country park. Our longest walk today will be about an hour and there will be a chance of seeing red squirrels as well!

Thursday: Druridge Bay
We will take in the full six miles of the bay starting at it’s northern end and there will be a mixture of seawatching, visits to wetlands and walking taking in Hauxley, Druridge Pools and Cresswell Pond. We will look out for Whooper Swans coming in to roost and hope to see at least six species of duck along with waders, Twite and hunting Barn Owl.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast


The itinerary for the 4-night holiday starting Tuesday 3 January 2017 is as follows:

Arrival day Tuesday:
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Wednesday: Bamburgh and Embleton Bay
Bamburgh is one of the best places in Britain to see purple sandpipers in quantity, with sea ducks and grebes offshore, while Low Newton and Embleton Bay add further wader species and a variety of freshwater wildfowl. Stonechats and yellowhammers occupy the dunes.

Thursday: The Ingram Valley
One of the most attractive valleys leading into the hills of the National Park, Ingram has fertile farmland used by winter thrushes and finches, and the lovely River Breamish with dippers and goosanders. If the weather prevents access to the hills, we shall visit Druridge Bay instead.

Friday: Budle Bay and Holy Island
Budle Bay and Holy Island are both parts of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve which holds a fine flock of light-bellied Brent geese and large numbers of waders. This is an excellent place to see short-eared owls and birds of prey such as merlin and peregrine.

Saturday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast


Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

What to bring

    • Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
    • Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
    • A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars (essential)
    • Thermos flask (optional)
    • Recommended field guide - RSPB Handbook of British Birds or the Mitchell Beazley Birdwatcher’s Pocket Guide 

Local area

Nether Grange sits right at the heart of the historic coastal village of Alnmouth. Located right on the North Sea coast there is a sweeping sandy beach and a small tidal harbour. Facilities include a handful of small shops, pubs and cafés.

A wider range of facilities, including shops, supermarkets, banks and chemists can be found in Alnwick, the nearest town. Alnwick is about four miles inland and is connected to Alnmouth by regular buses.

During your visit to the Nether Grange you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Alnwick CastleAlnwick Castle & gardens
The huge Alnwick Castle is a big attraction in its own right and has gained a younger audience since being used as ‘Hogwarts Castle’ in the Harry Potter films. The gardens have undergone extensive rebuilding and are now the main draw for many visitors. Alnwick is just 10 to 15 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the hourly X18 bus. or


Bamburgh Castle from the beachBamburgh Castle
Owned by the Armstrong family since the 1750s, Bamburgh Castle occupies a splendid position above the sweeping sands of the North Sea coast. Bamburgh is 35 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 local bus which runs every other hour.


Two puffins on the Farne IslandsFarne Islands
Take a boat trip (weather permitting) from Seahouses to the Farne Islands; one of the best places in Britain to view seals and puffins. Seahouses is around 45 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 bus.


English Christianity was born in 7th century  Northumberland and Lindisfarne Priory, is its oldest major site, dating from 635AD.  It is located on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, cut off by the tides twice a day (make sure that you check the tide times before you visit). The Heritage Centre tells the stories of St Aidan, St Cuthbert and St Bede and displays the 8th century Lindisfarne Gospels in electronic form. Linisfarne is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth.

Warkworth Castle
Warkworth Castle, a few miles to the south of Alnmouth, towers over a bend in the River Coquet and the picturesque town of Warkworth. Warkworth is just 10 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 518 bus.

Cragside HouseCragside House
Built by Victorian industrial magnate William Armstrong, Cragside House was hugely innovative and was the first house in Britain to be lit by electric light. Now managed by the National Trust, the house and gardens are a fascinating visit. Cragside is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth.


Impressive frontage of Seaton Delaval HallSeaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall is a fine stately home, designed by John Vambrugh and completed in 1728. Following an extensive fundraising appeal it has recently been purchased by the National Trust. The hall is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth.



Tyne bridges in NewcastleNewcastle-upon-Tyne
The vibrant city of Newcastle is always bustling with activity and is famed for its shopping and lively nightlife. The new Baltic arts centre and Sage Gallery are well worth a visit. Newcastle is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached by hourly local bus.


Hadrian’s Wall
Around 1½ hours drive from Nether Grange, Hadrian’s Wall remains a powerful symbol of the Roman Empire. The most dramatic section is from Once Brewed to Housteads Roman Fort and a walk here enables you to see some of the best preserved sections at close quarters. Two museums of note are the Roman Army Museum near Walltown you can gain an insight into the daily lives of Roman soldiers, and Vindolanda Roman Fort with its collection of rare Roman artefacts.

Alnmouth Village Golf Club
This links course if located right in front of Nether Grange.

Barter Books has been dubbed the British Library of secondhand bookshops and is located in a handsome old Victorian railway station in Alnwick.


Cragside House image © National Trust/Graeme Peacock, Seaton Delaval Hall image ©National Trust Images/John Hammond


Nether Grange, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2RZ

By train: The nearest railway station is Alnmouth. For train times and general rail enquiries visit or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: The 1 mile journey from Alnmouth railway station takes approximately 5 minutes. Taxis cost approx £4 per 4 seat taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nether Grange Manager.

By car: Take the A1 to Alnwick. Exit on the A1068 heading towards Alnwick. At the roundabout turn right (not well signed) and follow the A1068 towards Alnmouth. After 2¾ miles go straight ahead at the first roundabout then left at the second roundabout onto the B1338. As you approach Alnmouth cross the bridge, then turn right at the roundabout into the centre of the village. Turn left into Pease’s Lane. Nether Grange is on the left, look out for our sign.  Please note that Nether Grange does not have a car park. There is free parking available on the streets around Nether Grange.

To help you plan your journey, use


Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips is a countryman born and bred. After a rural upbringing, his adult life has (apart from a few years in commerce) been devoted to enthusing and informing people about the fascinating wildlife of the British countryside, both as a tour guide and an adult education tutor. Mike’s expertise extends to most branches of natural history and he is a passionate believer in an holistic approach to the interdependency of the natural world, from the underlying geology through the vegetation to the creatures which depend on it. He now brings his long experience to leading for HF Holidays.



Alison Fawcett

Growing up in a small village on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, Alison has always had a passion for nature. Her first love was botany, but she was introduced to serious birdwatching 15 years ago. Now she enjoys getting out and about whenever she can, concentrating on her local area of north Cumbria/southern Scotland as well as being involved with the BTO Garden BirdWatch.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
3 Jan 2017 ALWBW - Northumberland's Winter Birds - Alnmouth 4 £489.00 £439.00 Save £50.00 PP - New Year Special Book Now
3 Nov 2017 ALWBW - Northumberland's Winter Birds - Alnmouth 7 £899.00 £824.00 Special Early Booking offer - £75.00 off pp Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

Sign up for our newsletter

Our newsletters are a great way to receive special offers, inspiring articles, stories and news from HF Holidays.

To subscribe, please enter your email address below and click 'submit'.

We won't pass your details on to any third party unless we have your express permission, you are free to unsubscribe at any time.