Staying with us this Autumn? It’s the season to embrace invigorating walks and muddy wellies, crackling fires and the aroma of a freshly baked crumble wafting through your Crabtree & Crabtree holiday home. When out and about, the days are bright but can be blustery – so we’ve assembled our favourite local spots which are well worth a visit for a warming dose of Còsagach, the old Gaelic word for that feeling of being snug, sheltered or cosy.
Barter Books | Alnwick, Northumberland
Looking to build your book collection? We thoroughly recommend a browse at Barter Books in Alnwick, known locally as ‘book heaven’, one of the largest second-hand bookshops in Europe housing thousands of paperbacks, hardbacks and collector’s editions in a beautiful former railway station. We are confident you won’t have been to a bookshop like this before… picture open fires and Chesterfield sofas, a model railway whirring overhead linking book columns, huge wall murals, a children’s room and the Station Buffet, a cosy café serving hot and cold beverages and hearty breakfast and lunches.
The Mainstreet Trading Company | St. Boswells, Scottish Borders
The Mainstreet Trading Company, an award-winning bookshop set up 10 years ago by Rosamund de la Hey, formerly children’s marketing director at Bloomsbury, and husband Bill. Rosamund worked on the Harry Potter series from the outset and there is an inescapable hint of magic at this charming emporium which is home to magnificent selection of children’s books. Housed in the Mainstreet Barn, grown-ups will also appreciate the thoughtfully-curated collection of homewares, ranging from the quirky to the iconic, and the delicious wares on offer in the Deli – all complemented by the comforting warmth of a wood burning stove.
Sumptuous hot chocolates under twinkling fairy lights
The Treehouse Restaurant | The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland
Fancy a treehouse adventure? Imagine a world of wobbly rope bridges, bouncy wooden walkways and treetop views – sure to put a smile on the faces of all ages. At the heart of the Treehouse is one of the most unique restaurants to be found anywhere in the world, with a roaring log fire in the centre of the room, trees growing through the floor, handcrafted furniture and screens created from fallen branches. Most importantly, the food served here is absolutely delicious.
(With thanks to Visit Northumberland for additional Treehouse images.)
Bothy Bar at The Barn at Beal | Beal, Northumberland
What a find! Settle down next to the log burning stove and soak up the spectacular views of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and the Northumberland coast, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With exposed brick walls, happily mismatched tables, and fairy lights strung around the ceiling, the vibe here is relaxed, offering a warm welcome to families, cyclists, walkers and, of course, well-behaved dogs.
Coastal clifftop wanders
St Abb’s Head Nature Reserve | St. Abb's, Scottish Borders
Stretching over 100 metres high, the craggy cliffs of St. Abb’s Head sit in a splendid stretch of coastline which evoke the feeling of having escaped somewhere wild - but in reality, are very easily accessed from the A1. If you’re in the mood for a blast of sea air and eyeful of coastal scenery, a bracing walk through the rocky grasslands along the clifftops will deliver in spades. Follow the 2 mile Discovery Trail with the optional additions of the Lighthouse Loop (additional 1 mile) and Mire Loch Loop (additional ½ mile), with the volcano-formed cliffs providing picturesque (very Instagram-able) backgrounds for those all-important holiday posts…
A treat to return to…
Graze & Gorge | In your Crabtree & Crabtree holiday home
Looking for ideas for the evening once back at your cottage? Instead of cooking, why not indulge in a smorgasbord of flavour, courtesy of Graze & Gorge, the team responsible for bringing the concept of the grazing table to the north east of England and Scotland. We asked them how their delicious platters could contribute to the Còsagach vibe at a Crabtree & Crabtree cottage. Their answer?
“Picture this: a roaring fire, a good bottle of red, and a grazing platter bursting with delicious, local produce. Nothing says Còsagach quite like it. Graze & Gorge specialises in luxe platters and grazing tables, bringing together the region’s finest cheeses, meats, crackers, fruits and more, for a feast like no other. So, gather round and get cosy, because nights in at your holiday cottage have just become the new night out!”