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Rothbury in General

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      30.04.2002 20:15
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      Rothbury in General Rothbury lies near the centre of rural Northumberland, 12 miles west from Alnwick, 15 miles from Morpeth and 29 miles North from Newcastle upon Tyne. It is a small market town/village with around 2000 residents; the bridge crossing the Coquet River divides the village. It is very picturesque, having a riverside setting backed by the Simonside hills and away from any big towns or populous. It is an ideal place for walkers; with the Cheviot Hills in view and those who just want to get away from it all; the valley is peaceful and has an ambling pace of life. Shops and Services Many businesses are still family owned and have been trading on the same premises for decades. The village has a small high street with many of the usual amenities: bakery, butchers, craft/antique shops, a few clothing shops aimed at the older & walking market i.e. not fashionable, a hardware shop, Spa, a chemist, florist, newsagent, wine store, and a Co-op. There are a Barclays and a Lloyds bank. There is also a doctor’s surgery, a vets, a small library and art gallery and a taxi service in the village. All Saints Parish Church lies in the centre of the village and has been an active place of worship for 1,200 years. Eating: There a number of tea rooms, fish & chips, milk bar which are all good for grabbing a bite during the day, and offer good value for money. In the evening it’s best to try the villages Pubs/Hotels such as the Newcastle house, Queens Head, and Coquetvale Hotel which all offer traditional British grub. Accommodation The village has a number of hotels, amongst them the Coquetvale Hotel and Newcastle house. There are also B&Bs in and around Rothbury (and also in the nearby villages of Thropton and Tosson). There are a couple of camping/caravan sites nearby and self-catering cottages around the area. Sports The area is ideal for walking, both on the hills and alo
      ngside the river; there is a National Park information centre in the village. The village has a 9-hole golf course (adjacent to the river), 3 tennis courts and a small swimming pool. There is also fishing on the river Coquet and the surrounding countryside is good for mountain biking and horse riding (both of which can be arranged locally). Village Features: During July the annual Rothbury Music Festival is held which is a major event for the village. This is a celebration of Northumbrian music; there are various competitions for music, dancing and poetry and plenty going on around the village (if you like that sort of thing). You do get some good bands playing in the village pubs. There is the, small, Coquetdale Arts Centre which displays local paintings and artworks as well as running classes. ‘Interesting’ graves can be found in the Closed Grave Yard, across the street, where at a lower level and close to the river lie the bodies of many of the Armstrong family, including Lord Armstrong of Cragside. Nearby attractions: Cragside: Just outside Rothbury, on the rhododendron covered hillside, lies Cragside House a Victorian Mansion set in 1000 acres. Built for Lord Armstrong, it was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. Cragside became one of the most modern and sophisticated houses for its time with hot and cold running water, central heating, fire alarms, telephones, passenger lift, and a Turkish bath all in the 1880s. There are more than 40 miles of walks that can be taken through the grounds; there is also a Visitor Centre and a coffee shop. It is open from the beginning of April until the end of October; ring for opening times (it’s now run by the National Trust). Well worth a visit if you’re in the area; the rhododendrons and azaleas look stunning in the summer. Brinkburn: Brinkburn Priory lies 4 miles east of Rothbury beside the River Coquet
      . It’s a scenic location and the Priory is an interesting building to look around, but other than that there’s not a great deal to do (although I do remember being able to ‘pick your own’ there a while back!!). It was founded in 1135 and the story goes that the Priory was about to be raiders, but the raiders couldn’t find it (as it’s pretty hidden away) and so they started to leave. When the Priory monks sounded the all clear on the bells, the raiders returned and soon there was not much left of the Priory!! It was rebuilt during the 19th century. The towns of Alnwick and Morpeth are not far by car if you need a bit more life (although don’t expect a metropolis!). The coastline and castles of Northumberland and also Hadrian’s Wall country are also not far by car. If you haven’t been to Northumberland before, I would recommend Rothbury as the perfect base from which to explore the area. For further information http://www.coquetdale.net Information about Coquetdale area including Rothbury. http://www.rothbury.com/roth The Rothbury Village Site http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk For more info about Cragside

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