Thank goodness that our usual half-term holiday house was booked. Had it been free, the joys of Northumberland would have passed us by. Instead Alnwick Castle Cottages stepped into the breach, providing as cosy, clean and warm a berth as could possibly be wished for. And, for a family, a base for any number of delights.
But Bamburgh, where Henry VI once sheltered, the pretty town of Warkworth and the gardens of beautiful Greek Revival Belsay House all have remarkable medieval fortresses perfect for charging up and down spiral stairs waving wooden swords (and that’s just the grown-ups).
While the view on a sunny morning of the majestic seaside ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle as you walk (or charge) towards it is unforgettable.