Celebrate New Year in Northumberland

Published: Monday 14th Dec 2015

Written by: The Grace Darling Holidays Team

As soon as the Christmas festivities are over and Boxing Day dawns, many people’s thoughts turn to New Year’s Eve and how they are going to welcome in the New Year. Celebrate the coming of 2016 in style with a break in Northumberland. Join the locals in their celebrations as one year ends and another one begins.

Celebrating New Year in Northumberland will provide you with a choice of experiencing age old traditions or modern day customs.


Head to Allendale, a mining town near Hexham and Carlisle, where there is a very special New Year tradition dating back to 1858. Generations of Northumbrians, past and present, get together in New Year’s Eve for the Allendale Tar Barrel Ceremony.

45 villagers, called ‘guisers’, in fancy dress, parade through the town carrying whiskey barrels filled with burning tar on their heads. These barrels are used to light the ceremonial bonfire located in the town square.

As traditional folk music plays, the guisers weave in and out of the streets like a dragon. Join in with the locals to a chorus of ‘Be Damned To He Who Throws Last’.

The ceremony is exciting to watch but doesn’t get underway until just before midnight. This means you can enjoy a few drink s in the local, soaking up the atmosphere and discovering the history of this tradition.

Kielder Observatory

Many people celebrate the New Year with s fireworks display. Maybe this year you could swap fireworks for nature’s own light display in the skies.

Kielder Observatory holds its own spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration. Guests are taught how to use the telescopes and then stare at the sky in search of planets and galaxies. This experience is accompanied with a piece of cake and a glass of mulled wine to keep you warm on a cold December night.

At the stroke of midnight, guests release lanterns into Kielder Forest and enjoy a glass of champagne. These lanterns create a stunning display you will always remember.

Fancy Something Low-key?

Northumberland is also a great choice for getting away from the madness of New Year’s Eve if you would rather a more relaxed atmosphere. There is an abundance of warm and friendly pubs and excellent walking routes wherever you are in Northumberland. A few low-key days away, visiting Hadrian’s Wall or exploring Alnwick Castle, are ideal before you have to go back work after the Christmas holidays.

Staying in Northumberland

Choosing a self-catering holiday cottage is the perfect way to celebrate the New year with family or with friends. Welcome in 2016 with a celebration in a large property or maybe have a romantic evening for two in something smaller and cosy. Grace Darling Holidays offers luxury cottages throughout Northumberland and the surrounding areas to suit your personal needs and desires.

Once the celebrations are over, what better way to ease your hangover than with a brisk walk along the magnificent Northumberland Coast and enjoy a meal in one of the pubs along the coastal path.

Hopefully this has whetted your appetite for Northumberland and you will consider spending new Year there this year. Get away, see something out of the ordinary and do things a little different to welcome in 2016.

The Grace Darling Holidays Team
The Grace Darling Holidays Team


Your team of holiday experts in Northumberland.


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