Wildlife Photography in Northumberland
Code: ALEWPPrint page
Your expert leader will guide you through the best wildlife photography opportunities of the area and help you to capture flora and fauna at its wildest best. Technical guidance will focus on birds, including visits to the Farne Islands and a bird of prey centre. During the course of each day we'll walk up to a 3 miles (5km).
- Capture stunning wildlife on the Northumberland coast
- Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage
Great Reasons to Join Us:
- Great value: all prices include full-board en-suite accommodation, transport to photography locations and tuition from our expert leader
- 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
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 at no extra charge.
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 £10 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
Monday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Tuesday: Arctic terns at Beadnell Bay and spectacular seabirds on the Farne Islands
This morning we walk through Beadnell Bay to view Britain’s largest mainland colony of Arctic Terns. We then go onto Seahouses for a trip to the Farne Islands. Here you get extremely close views of Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags and Eider Ducks.
Wednesday: Up close with birds of prey
In the morning we’ll visit a bird of prey centre where we can photograph a variety birds at close quarters. In the afternoon we’ll visit a local nature reserve in the area.
Thursday: On the coast at Low Hauxley and Lindisfarne
In the morning we’ll visit Low Hauxley nature reserve on the coast, before going north to Lindisfarne for the afternoon
Friday: Seabird colonies at Staple Island
This morning we take a boat trip to Staple Island noted for its vast seabird colonies, especially those of the Auk family such as Guillemots, Razorbills and Puffins. There are over 10,000 pairs of Puffins nesting on Staple Island. A footpath over the top of the Island takes you straight through the nesting Puffins. The walking here is rougher than on Inner Farne.
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
- your camera and other essential accessories
- memory card
- battery and charger
- your camera’s instruction manual
- waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
- bag for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
- notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
- a laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
Optional camera accessories (remember you will have to carry some of these)
- spare memory cards
- a spare camera battery
- a spare camera (you never know)
- a small selection of lenses (optional, and if you have them): wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
- filters (optional, and if you have them): neutral density and graduated, polarisinga laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images
- memory stick or CD for storing images
- a tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
- camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
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 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. www.alnwickcastle.com or www.alnwickgarden.com
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. www.bamburghcastle.com
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. www.farne-islands.com
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. www.english-heritage.org.uk/lindisfarne-priory
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. www.english-heritage.org.uk/warkworth-castle
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. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside
Seaton 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. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seaton-delaval-hall
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.
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. www.visithadrianswall.co.uk
Alnmouth Village Golf Club
This links course if located right in front of Nether Grange. www.alnmouthvillagegolfclub.co.uk
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
Travel to Alnmouth
Our address is: Nether Grange, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2RZ
The nearest railway station is Alnmouth, on the main line between Newcastle and Edinburgh. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 1 mile journey from Alnmouth railway station takes approximately 5 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £6. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nether Grange Manager.
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. Please note that Nether Grange does not have a car park, however free parking available on the streets around Nether Grange.
Travelling from overseas
There is a local airport at Newcastle which is served by European flights, and UK regional flights from London. From here take the metro to Newcastle Central station, then on by train to Alnmouth - a straightforward journey taking just over 1 hour.
Manchester Airport has a much wider range of long-haul flights. There are trains every hour from the airport to Alnmouth with one change at Newcastle. Allow 3½ hours to Alnmouth - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 5 hours to reach Alnmouth. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London Kings Cross station. From here take a train to Alnmouth - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Steve has been leading Natural World and Walking holidays for HF Holidays for over 26 years. His main interests include wildlife, astronomy and geology, and he manages a small nature reserve in Lancaster. Steve is also a keen natural history photographer and his photos have been published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, The Guardian, and local publications.
Steve has led numerous tours from our Worldwide Journeys range including holidays in the Caribbean, New Zealand, Canada, South America, South Africa and Asia, as well as many of our European destinations.
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
6 Jun 2016, 11 a.m.
Friendly company with good service. Good for people travelling on their own.
Hotel at Alnmouth has an excellent location, right by the sea with good rail links, and close to lots of interesting places to visit. Holiday marred somewhat by bad weather - strong northerly winds preventing boats sailing to Farne Islands.
6 Jun 2016, 6:22 a.m.
All staff were excellent friendly and very helpful.
The photo holiday I went to was good apart from the fact we could not do the main event due to weather which is quite understanderable but there was no real back up plan in place. It all appeared a bit of a panic to organise something.
20 Jun 2015, 4:58 p.m.
The holiday was excellent. Well organised and full of interest. The food at the hotel was not 4* and was therefore disappointing. This was my first Hf holiday and had I not heard from other guests that this was unusual, I might be less likely to do another one.
The photography opportunities were amazing. Slightly disappointed by the level of input from the leader. He was always happy to answer wuestions, but I learned more from my fellow guests than I did from my leader.
17 Jun 2015, 3:57 p.m.
Staff at Nether Grange very helpful. The only problem was lack of car parking in Alnmouth which meant my car was a long way from the premises.
Excellent weather helped to make the holiday. Trip to Farne Islands was excellent and provided numerous photographic opportunities. Boat trip to Coquet Island was pleasant due to the good weather but provided few photographic opportunities. Macro photography of artificial butterflies was not appropriate for wildlife photography.
17 Jun 2015, 12:33 p.m.
Alnmouth is a lovely house in a superb location.
This was a wonderful wildlife photography holiday! The leader was superb, with endless patience and all-encompassing knowledge.
17 Jun 2015, 6:14 a.m.
It was a good holiday but I would say good rather than excellent as the food let it down. Also I would only have graded this holiday as a 3 star hotel.
I thought there would be some photography tuition as the holiday had given me this impression. I felt it was more like being taken to places by a leader to take photographs rather than the leader being on hand to give photography advice etc.
25 Jun 2014, 8:51 p.m.
No review provided
The photography course was really good. Thank you.
12 Jun 2014, 5:59 p.m.
Staff were friendly, hotel was clean and comfortable. Food was poor.
Activities were well organised. Photo opportunities were terrific!
11 Jun 2014, 4:28 p.m.
Very welcoming, clean and well presented. Good food and service. Timely information and arrangements.
Great situation, good transport. Would not recommend holding meetings in the ballroom as the acoustics are bad - echoes very distracting.
11 Jun 2014, 1:28 p.m.
This was a last minute holiday a space became available and HF contacted me to ask if I'd like to go...it had previously been full.
Holiday not what I was expecting...I would have liked tuition on using the camera, not just being taken out to birding colonies.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person