West Woodburn is a quiet pretty little village with a community of about 500 residents. It lies amidst the deep Rede Valley and being only 15 miles from the Scottish border it was once an important resting point in Roman times for travellers on route to Scotland from York. Brandy Bank House was a coaching inn for travellers stopping enroute to Scotland. The village hosts a welcoming pub and a Post Office selling basic supplies, whilst visitors can also explore the remains of one of the outpost forts of Hadrian's Wall that passes nearby.
A little known, but extremely influential resident of West Woodburn, was Adam Telfer and his sheepdog 'Old Hemp'. Telfer was a shepherd who lived in the village circa 1893. He's best known for being the man who first bred the Border Collie sheepdog. There is a memorial to Telfer and Hemp in the village.
West Woodburn is close to Kielder Water, Forest and Observatory where water sports and some of the most challenging mountain bike trails in the UK are available. Kielder has the largest expanse of dark night sky in the whole of Europe, thanks to minimal light pollution.
Explore the interesting historic marketing towns of Hexham, Corbridge and Rothbury, which are only a short trip away.
Explore Northumberland by car on unbelievably quiet roads and enjoy some incredibly scenic drives. In Northumberland you can drive a distance of 60 - 70 miles and meet only a few dozen cars during journeys to Hadrian's Wall and Berwick upon Tweed.
Visit some of the many gardens in Northumberland. As well as the famous Alnwick Garden, find out more about other horticultural delights in Northumberland, such as Belsay Quarry Gardens, Howick Hall and Cragside.
How about visiting some of the many National Tust properties and English Heritage Propertiesin Northumberland? The National Trust properties include Lindisfarne Castle, Cragside Estate and Wallington Hall. English Heritage Properties in the region include Warkworth Castle, Lindisfarne Priory and Hadrian's Wall.
What to do near to West Woodburn
There are many popular cycle routes in and around the area, including Kielder Water which has 26 miles of bike track around it's reservoir. The Bike Place' bike hiring company, is situated 4 miles from West Woodburn should you wish to hire bikes. Visit the Bike Place for more details.
Hadrians Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain and is now an 84 mile National Trail stretching coast to coast across Northern England. The vast majority of the remaining sections of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site can be found in Northumberland, with five of the eight excavated forts and endless stretches of unbroken wall rising and falling over dramatic landscapes. Around a 30 minute drive from Brandy Bank, you can visit some fascinating tourist sites along the wall, including Housesteads Roman Fort and Chesters, some of the best well presevered Roman Calvary forts in Britain. Visit the English Heritage website: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/hadrianswall/ for more details.
The famous Roman Vindolanda Fort and museum also lies on the wall and is one of the North East's most famous and not to be missed tourist attractions. Formerly a key military post on the northern frontier of Britain, it is one of Europe's most important Roman archaeological sites, with live excavations taking place every year.
Situated only four miles from Brandy Bank House is Bellingham Golf Club.
This picturesque golf course overlooks the Tyne Valley and offers golfers a great test to golf. A generous par 70 course measuring slightly under 6,000 yards, it welcomes golfers of all abilities.
In 2014, it claimed the title of North-East Golf Club of the Year by public vote. Its warm hospitality, stunning scenery and excellent food offer a great day out.
With over 2,000 acres of water to explore Kielder Water is the perfect spot for fishing whilst on your holiday. There are 15 fully equipped motor boats on offer to visitors, or you could choose a peaceful spot on one of the 20 miles of shoreline the lake incorporates. You can purchase Environment Agency license from the Leaplish Waterside park. Boats are available to hire from 1 April until 31 October. Tel: 01434 251000 To book a boat prior to arrival.
Kielder and the National Park
Kielder and the National Park brings together Kielder Water, Kielder Observatory and the Northumberland National Park – it’s nature on a grand scale! The views are bigger, the night sky brighter, the sports wilder and the smiles wider. We’re home to the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe and, at over 250 square miles, the largest working forest in England. The best way to explore Kielder is to start at one of our three visitor centres, Tower Knowe, Leaplish or Kielder Castle. So what are you waiting for? Follow these directions to get here and get ready for the greater outdoors made just for you.
If you just want to explore more about Kielder Water and Forest, click to visit the Visitkielder website, which is very informative and inspiring.
Northumberland is the ideal location for country and coastal walks and has been credited by Country Walking magazine as 'the best place for walking in the country;.Whether you're an experienced walker or enjoy more leisurely rambles Northumberland offers both challenging long distance trails and leisurely circular walks, it also has some fantastic coastal paths. Perhaps one of the most famous walks is Hadrian's Wall path which follows the Roman Frontier and is now a World Heritage Site. Another great long distance route is St Oswalds Way which links Holy Island with Hadrian's Wall and encompasses all that Northumberland has to offer along its 156km length. But of course you don't have to cover the whole walk to enjoy it!
Wildlife enthusiasts will feel right at home on the Northumberland Coast where in the summer the sea and offshore islands are teaming with seabirds. Fulmars glide effortlessly alongside the path and the dunes are ablaze with colourful yellow rattle, pink orchids and the deep purple cranesbill.
If you are looking for a beautiful, dramatic county to holiday in then the tranquillity of Northumberland will definitely appeal to you.