The lowdown . . .

The Wood Store is a spacious, self catering, barn conversion at Tughall Steads, a former 18th Century farm stead in Northumberland.

There are 9 cottages in total sleeping up to 56 people if all of them are booked together, a brilliant choice for a large celebration but equally perfect (and surprisingly private) for our family weekend gathering of 6.

We booked through a company called Coastal Retreats who offer a hand picked portfolio of privately owned, design-led holiday cottages set in stunning locations surrounded by beautiful landscapes through out the North East.

The location . . .

Tughall Steads is just a mile inland from the coast, near Newton-by-the-Sea.

The interiors . . .

Contemporary yet cosy. The living room and kitchen were spacious enough for the whole family to spend time together, gathered around the log fire drinking mulled wine, playing games or lounging around reading. The large, communal dining table worked perfectly in the open plan kitchen, allowing conversation to flow as cooking got underway and plenty of space to dine together.


The rooms . . .

There are 3 bedrooms in total at The Wood Store. A double bedroom on the ground floor, then a larger double bedroom (with king size bed) and a twin bedroom on the first floor.

Everyone commented that their beds were nice and comfortable.

The Food . . .

The Wood Store is a self catering property however we were left a thoughtful welcome hamper on arrival consisting of tea and coffee, milk, bread, jam, biscuits, tortilla chips and a bottle of wine which was a lovely touch!

We were also given a selection of discounts for local pubs, restaurants and home delivery services.

Yay to . . .

The smooth and simple check in/check out process, spotless housekeeping, a heavenly power shower, an efficient heating system that warmed the place up in record time and pretty much everything you could possibly need being thought of!

Nay to . . .

The upstairs bathroom fan kicked in as soon as the light switch was pulled which was a little bit noisy for people sleeping in the upstairs bedrooms. Not a major issue though, we just learnt to navigate our way around in the dark.

Worth knowing . . .

Check in from 3pm, Check out by 10am. Space for 2 cars to park. Key to the property can be found in a secure lock box. Bedding and towels provided along with basic household amenities.

Getting there . . .

Tughall Farm Cottages, Chathill NE67 5ER

By rail . . . you can use London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and CrossCountry. Both these services stop at Newcastle, with some trains also stopping at Berwick and Alnmouth. If you choose to alight at Newcastle, you can either hire a car and then drive to your Retreat or take the commuter train with Northern Rail to Chathill (ideally positioned for Tughall Steads properties).

By car . . . If you are travelling north, you will need to join the A1, driving past the iconic Angel of the North and Newcastle and then follow the instructions on your arrival details. Heading southbound from Scotland, likewise join the A1. From the west, take the A69 and A66 through Hadrian’s Wall country.

Nearby and also worth a visit if you have the time . . .

You are quite literally spoilt for choice with the miles of coastline just a short distance from the property. Many of these beaches hold precious childhood memories from weekends spent camping as a youngster.

Beadnell Bay

Beadnell is a popular holiday destination with a long stretch of beach backed by huge sand dunes and is well known for its watersports culture such as surfing, sailing and scuba diving.

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Craster is a compact fishing village with a small harbour, famous for it’s smoked kippers (cured herring) and offers incredible views northwards along the rocky shore to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.

It’s the only place I have ever seen cows wandering about on rocks next to the sea!

One of my favourite walks of all time is to carry on beyond the castle and along Embleton Bay to The Ship Inn at Low Newton-by-the-Sea. Stop for their famous crab sandwiches before heading back again in reverse.

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Bamburgh beach has to be one of my favourite stretches of sands, it’s just so dramatic with the castle looming so close to the shore!

I actually prefer this beach in Winter when the winds are bracing and the big, open skies are scattered with moody storm clouds, it’s like stepping into a watercolour painting.

If you wrap up warm and brave the elements, a walk along this beach feels super invigorating as you get absorbed by the sea and sky. I absolutely love it here!

Finish off with fish & chips in the nearby village of Seahouses afterwards.

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