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Birds, Birthdays, Beasts and Baby Mammals – Family Days Out in Northumberland

August 22, 2018

Get hands on with an owl, take a Soft top Safari or check out archery or baby armadillos in Northumberland, when you book a stay at one of our beautiful holiday cottages with your family. And how about a glamping birthday break for your little one?



Mammal Monitoring at The Sill


The Sill hosts imaginative events for nature lovers, giving you and the kids a chance to really get up close to wild life, such as Mammal Monitoring, where you help their team to measure and check up on tiny furries – moles, mice and shrews – before releasing them back into the wild. There’s a café and roof terrace on site and great displays and walkways to enjoy.


Henshaw Hideaway, Bardon Mill


If you book to stay in Henshaw Hideaway just three miles away, you can carry on watching wildlife and dark skies from the wide open terrace in front of the cottage (sleeps 4). And you have the pretty village of Bardon Mill, with its country pub, shop and pottery to explore.


Book Henshaw Hideaway


Glamping Good Birthday 

Have a Glamping Good Time, whether you're celebrating a 6th birthday or a 60th. Dark Sky Glamping can theme out a tipi or a bell tent especially for a birthday - just let them know your wishes, whether it's a unicorn cake or a Gin Bar. The Glamping Village lives by Hadrian's Wall - or can even come as a Pop Up Glamping Village in the venue of your choice. Tents are softly furnished and ready for you to party and relax in.


Book Dark Sky Glamping Break


Osprey at Kielder


Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre has one of the largest collections of birds in the North of England and is located in the beautiful setting of Kielder Water at Leaplish Waterside Park. You can see the birds, or even take a short course where you can learn to look after them. You can see eagles, osprey and pelicans (displays vary) and there's a cafe and sculpture trail around the water. Why not book an hour hands on with an owl and then head for Alnwick Castle the next day (film set of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts) where you can lunch in their treetop restaurant?


Byres Cottage



Luxurious Stable (telescope available for those dark, dark skies) and (above) Byres Cottages (slipper bath, mezzanine snug, cottage courtyard) are just a half hour drive from Leaplish, perfect for nature lovers, housed on a working farm. You can rent both cottages if you’re planning a break for extended family or friends (sleeping up to 10).


Book Byres and/or Stable Cottages 


Soft Top Safaris


Take a Hang my Hat chauffeur-driven Soft Top Safari in our fabulous 4 x 4 Classic Series 3 Land Rover. Be driven in (bumpy) luxury across the Northumberland National Park.  Explore Hadrian’s Wall, Kielder Forest and Water off road or hand picked remote villages in a soft top Land Rover (takes up to 5 passengers). Check out Sycamore Gap on the Roman Wall, and the wild Whin Sill landscape. See the wild meadows, streams and waterfalls, woods and moors, pretty Coquet valley or the stark Cheviots. We’ll drive you to sites of ancient, bloodied battlegrounds, with a wild wind tangling your hair.


For a really special day, we can deck out our soft tops for a Big Birthday, anniversary or special theme. Just let us know!


Book Soft Top Safari


Baby Armadillos and Archery at Kirkley Hall


Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, near Ponteland has the most gorgeous baby armadillos right now! There are play areas, zip wires, climbing, archery and woodland walks, alongside cafes, picnic places and trails to explore. Animals you can meet include meerkats, lemurs and monkeys. Most of our properties are within 30 minutes' to an hour’s drive.