Living the seasons - plan your 2020 greater escape
Magnificent landscapes, vibrant towns and spectacles to thrill; our local region has so much to offer all-year-round. Take inspiration from our seasonal highlights and fill the crisp pages of your 2020 diary with the beginnings of fun-filled holiday plans here in Northumberland, the Scottish Borders and East Lothian.
The Borders Art Fair in Kelso brings together a fascinating array of artists in a lively and engaging space, packed with hands-on demos, talks and interactive sessions for all ages. Grab your headtorch and Tweed for The Mighty Deerstalker, a running event set deep in the Borders’ countryside with an infamous course that sends you across rivers, through forests and over a mountain or two in the pitch dark of a chilly March night. One of the Scottish Borders many claims to fame is as the birthplace of Melrose Sevens, the oldest rugby sevens competition in the world, which was invented in 1883 by the town’s butcher. With the population of the town increasing by 650% for the weekend, the heritage and carnival atmosphere makes the tournament truly unforgettable.
Embrace your love of literature at the Borders Book Festival, "where words come alive". With over 100 events and stars from the worlds of literature, stage, screen, sport, politics and more, experience four days of talks, discussions, food and drink, live music and comedy for all the family! Throughout summer, Scottish Borders towns celebrate the ancient custom of Common Ridings where townsfolk ride the town boundaries on horseback (photo ©VisitScotland). Expect a carnival with ancient traditions. Small but perfectly formed and set in beautiful North Berwick, Fringe by the Sea is a mini version of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Highlights include eclectic musical performances, open air theatre, jazz dinners and a plethora of comedy, cabaret, talks and children’s events on site.
Berwick-upon-Tweed bustles with life in the autumn when it takes centre stage for a series of festivals which mark the Berwick Autumn Festival season. The Food and Beer Festival offers an array of the region’s local produce or, to up the cultural ante, try the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and three-day literary festival. The Great British Food Festival is a family favourite and Floors Castle packs it with edible events and food festivities. Try the ‘Man v Food’ challenge and the tightly fought ‘Cake Off’. The Northumberland Coast is one of the most important areas in Europe for the Atlantic grey seal. Whether basking lazily on the rocks or bobbing in the water, we recommend a late autumn Farne Islands boat trip for the rewarding and wonderful sight of 1,500 new-born seal pups!
Welcome to the world of Dark Skies – it’s time to get starstruck. Northumberland is home to the starriest night skies to be seen anywhere in the country, viewed from the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. With research showing that around 85% of the UK population has never seen a truly dark sky, here’s the perfect opportunity to visit Northumberland to witness the dazzling celestial show (photo ©Kielder Observatory.) Blow away the cobwebs with a bracing Boxing Day Dip in the North Sea at Spittal Beach. This exhilarating, if crazy, experience is a true challenge! Finally, start the new year with a flourish at the legendary New Year’s Day Racemeeting at Musselburgh Races. Offering an electric party atmosphere, the day is filled with great horse racing and vibrant live entertainment.
Crabtree & Crabtree Chronicles
The first issue of our magazine, Chronicles, highlights the gorgeous things we love about this remote and unspoilt part of the country; from sublime scenery and fabulous eating places to inspirational people and the best family days out. Our holiday homes are peppered throughout providing all-round inspiration for your next stay with us.
Click here to read Chronicles! (Pssttt, you'll find more of our monthly 'living the seasons' suggestions on pages 58-60.)