There are many annual events and festivals held throughout the year in the county of Northumberland in the north east of England that attract tourists from around the country as well as many local residents from communities such as Killingworth. These events are as diverse as they are entertaining however the one thing that the all ah vein common is that they sum up the spirit of one of the most northern counties in the country that has culture and heritage that can be traced back to medieval times and beyond.
Food festivals have proven to be a popular event and many of these events are hosted by celebrity chefs and feature a proverbial feast of all the finest, local produce the area has to offer and the main ones take place in Berwick, Alnwick and Tynedale at various times throughout the calendar year. Those who prefer more energetic pursuits, may be interested in taking part in one of the area’s Walking Festivals which attract ramblers, hikers and hill walkers from around the country and these are held regularly at Berwick, Haltwhistle, and Rothbury with the latter in particular drawing large crowds due to it location at the foot of the Simonside Hills range. If your interests are more culturally inclined then you will be pleased to know that the English Heritage, National Trust and Northumberland National Park also run events and activities all year round and full details can be found on their websites. There are also some more bizarre activities taking place that originate from the traditions of this land and its people, hundreds of years ago. These include Allendale’s Tar Bar’ a celebration, where local men in costumes carry flaming barrels of tar upon their heads to bring in the New Year. The annual Riding of the Bounds is another tradition that dates back to medieval times and this historic ride was made to protect the English town of Berwick – which is in close proximity to the border with Scotland – from Scottish raiders. Nowadays this takes place in the town on the 1st of May each year and is open to all riders who are proficient in walking, trotting and fast cantering in large groups and across open spaces, with a £15 entrance fee applicable for all participants.
The Amble Puffin Festival which is a two week event held each May in the port town of the same name. Events take place in various locations throughout the town and also on nearby Coquet Island where visitors can watch adult puffins care for their newly hatched offspring. The festival features a smorgasbord of events and activities including guided nature walks, bird watching, local history talks, photo exhibitions and live music with local food and drink as well as arts and crafts featuring highly throughout the festival. There is something here to suit everyone from very young toddlers to older children, teens and adults too but the emphasis is not just on fun as important subjects like conservation and environmental awareness are also covered with related educational activities like pond dipping, sand art, and fun workshops that are held in an eco caravan.