Ever book a trip away on a whim? I love booking unplanned trips when I have a spare weekend! It doesn’t happen very often (thanks, weddings!) but when it does I like to make the most of my free time. I happened to have a free weekend in May so searched for a glamping trip in Northumberland. I bloody love Northumberland, and would go there every weekend if I could. Not move there though – I’m Yorkshire born and bred and probably won’t ever leave it. Anyways, here’s what happened when we went glamping in Northumberland at Dark Sky Glamping!
Dark Sky Glamping is based outside the pretty village of Matfen in Northumberland, right on Hadrian’s Wall. I stumbled across their website whilst looking for a mini break for us, and was relieved to see they had availability for the weekend we wanted. As we went from Saturday to Monday we had to let Hols miss a day of school, but as she’s been home schooled for a lot of the last twelve months because of the pandemic I didn’t think one more day would make any difference. Plus, we had way more fun! Anyways. Back to the campsite. The site is situated on High House Farm, a working sheep and arable farm, which also has a brewery and cafe on site.
We were in one of the lovely bell tents, which comes complete with a proper double bed! Woohoo! No more squeaky airbeds that deflate in the night and leave you walking like John Wayne the next morning. Hols had a Z bed and she slept really well. The campsite provided all bedding and extra blankets in case it dropped cold (which it did) and there was also an electric stove in the tent too to make it all cosy. They also provided a fire pit outside the tent and outdoor furniture to sit on and enjoy the views of the sheep farm. There was limited kitchen supplies, including a stove top kettle, one ring gas stove and some basic pans, plates and cups – enough to do some bacon sandwiches on but not a three course meal unless you’re incredibly skilled. It was enough for what we needed though. We booked a meal at the brewery, which was so delicious we booked breakfast there too!
I was really impressed by the cleanliness of the site, as we had our own private loo and shower. I’m not a big fan of shared facilities! Unfortunately the tent we had was right next to the toilet block – you’ve never lived until you’ve been woken up by the sound of inconsiderate campers slamming portaloo doors 3m away from you. Any of the other tents would have been fine though, even though they were all very close together. Not the fault of the campsite though, I hasten to add!
We booked a farm tour with Sally, the lovely sheep farmer. This was the highlight of Holly’s trip as we had a tour of the lamb sheds and got to go in with the baby lambs. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of us in the pens as I was too busy cuddling lambs! I would definitely recommend having a tour of the farm with Sally as she is so knowledgeable and obviously cares passionately about her animals. Plus, who can resist cuddling baby lambs?!
Matfen is a great base to explore Hadrian’s Wall from. The only thing I really wanted to see on this trip was Sycamore Gap (so I could live out all my Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves dreams) so we headed out to Hexham and had a lovely wander through the fields. Unfortunately, despite signs up everywhere warning of ground nesting birds, there were selfish dog walkers letting their dogs loose. This makes me so sad!
Still, the actual tree made up for it. It’s a beauty, and I can see why it’s one of the most photographed trees in the world! Not too far away is the Roman fort at Housesteads, but I was the only one interested in actual Roman things so we didn’t go. Instead, we headed back past our glamping site and off to Whitley Bay for an afternoon at the coast.
I’d never been to Whitley Bay before and never realised how lovely it is! It was about an hour and a half from the camp site, so a bit of a drive, but the beach is beautiful and we had a delicious fish and chip tea on the sea front.
We had a wonderful time at Dark Sky Glamping, and I’m looking forward to going back and exploring some more of Hadrian’s Wall. If you are looking for glamping sites in Northumberland I would definitely recommend Dark Sky Glamping, and if you go when there are lambs, you should definitely book the lamb tour!
For more glamping trip inspiration, why not check out this post I did about our glamping trip to Silverdale?