What’s New plus… Five of the Best Northumberland stop-offs

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Peak flamingo

At some point flamingos will fall out of fashion, but until they do you’re safe to indulge your passion with flamingo cake tins, aprons, mugs, trays, oven gloves and biscuit barrels from prime flamingo emporium sarahmiller.london

Microplane spice mill

Handy, pocket-sized (ie easy to take with you to under-resourced holiday-home kitchens, or out on picnics) and pleasing to use, the 2 in 1 microplane spice mill grates and grinds hard spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper) while also keeping them fresh in an airtight container.

Microplane spice mill, £24.95 from independent cookshops and hartsofstur.com

Fruity beach towels

Flashy, splashy beach towels in vibrant citrus colours shaped like circular slices of lemon, grapefruit and watermelon

Round fruit towels, £10/150cm from uk.flyingtiger.com

Five of the Best Northumberland stop-offs

The Ship Inn, Low Newton

Down winding country lanes to the north-east coast – the Ship Inn is a whitewashed building in the corner of a square of houses overlooking a green and the sea. Its owner, Christine, says:  ‘To stand on the beach on a moonlight night and hear the seals calling from the rocks, to watch the path of the moon on the sea and see the fingers of Dunstanburgh castle stand black against the sky or to watch the sun rise over the sea on a glorious summer morning – these are the things that make Low Newton the  unique place it is…’ The Ship also does fantastic food (inc fresh lobster, crab sandwiches), live music and runs its own micro-brewery

The Ship Inn, Farm Rd, Low Newton-by-the-Sea, Alnwick NE66 3EL, shipinnnewton.co.uk

Pilgrims Coffee, Lindisfarne

Paying careful attention to the tide tables, you can visit this great cafe and store en route to Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island. Pilgrims Cafe  roasts its  own fair trade coffee beans in a yurt out the back. Inside their 100-year-old building you’ll find rustic seating, good food, a roaring fire and a welcome for dogs and children. Walled garden for summer. Free wifi

Pilgrims Coffee House Marygate, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne TD15 2SJ, pilgrimscoffee.com

The Old Rectory, Howick

Classy B&B in an 18th century, onetime rectory. Large old-fashioned country house bedrooms, plenty of space inside and out and within walking distance of Howick Hall garden, and 400 yards from the sea. Alnwick castle is just down the road

The Old Rectory Howick, Craster, Alnwick NE66 3LE, oldrectoryhowick.co.uk

Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort, visitor centre

Coffee, sandwiches, great shortbread and a terrific view along Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall, visitor centre, Nr Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 6NN, visitnorthumberland.com/cafes-tearooms-coffee-shops/hadrian-s-wall-housesteads-roman-fort-hadrians-wall


Tudor-revival style, Victorian country house, perched eccentrically on the side of a gorge surrounded by vertiginous gardens accessed by a winding drive. It’s the creation of Lord William Armstrong,  inventor and landscape genius who incorporated a pinetum, rhododendron, rock and water gardens into his grand design. There’s a tea-shop in the old stables serving porridge, soups, stews, cakes and scones

Cragside, Rothbury, Morpeth, Northumberland NE65 7PX, nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

Lindisfarne Castle: Dave_S. on Visual Hunt / CC BY