The Northumbrian Coast
Hollyhocks is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area including the many beautiful beaches of the Northumberland Heritage Coast such as those at Alnmouth, Embleton Bay and Beadnell Bay. There are several nearby castles to visit at Alnwick, Warkworth, Bamburgh, Lindisfarne as well as the evocative ruins at Dunstanburgh near Craster.
Offshore islands, including Holy Island with its ruined monastery and castle, the Farne Islands with their famous lighthouse, seals and sea bird colonies and Coquet Island, can all be easily visited with local boat operators offering trips from Seahouses and Amble.
Druridge Bay, Budle Bay and other nearby nature reserves on the coast are well-known to birdwatchers.
There are also museums to visit such as the one commemorating Grace Darling in Bamburgh.
The picturesque coastal villages and harbours offer a selection of friendly pubs for meals out such as those at Low Newton and Boulmer whilst the village of Craster is deservedly famous for its locally smoked kippers.
Travel inland to the magnificent countryside of the Cheviot Hills, the historic towns of Rothbury and Wooler and the Northumberland National Park. There are National Trust and English Heritage houses such as Wallington and Cragside to visit whilst Kielder Forest offers a range of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, sailing and walking as well as being famous for its dark sky viewing opportunities.
From Alnwick there are good public transport links by bus to the nearby historic towns of Morpeth and Berwick-upon-Tweed (the bus passes close by Hollyhocks). Other buses for exploring the coast or for travel further afield to Edinburgh and Newcastle can be boarded in the bus station in the centre of Alnwick. Local bus timetables are available in Hollyhocks. The nearest train station is at Alnmouth, 5 miles from Hollyhocks, on the East Coast line and can be reached by taxi or bus.
Newcastle and Gateshead are within an hour’s journey by car. There you can visit the famous Metro-Centre and Eldon Square with their excellent shopping facilities. The Sage Centre at Gateshead, an internationally renowned music venue with a varied musical programme. Edinburgh is easily reached by train from Alnmouth or from Berwick-upon-Tweed.