Morpeth is a bustling market town in the beautiful county of Northumberland, just a 20-25 minute drive away from Newcastle. I’ve been visiting Morpeth since I was very young, as my family business has been running on a Sunday in Morpeth town centre for many years! This county town is a great mix of style, historic beauty and village-like charm, and has much to offer for day-trippers and those looking for a base from which to explore the wonders of Northumberland. Here are some of the great reasons to make your next North East visit, a visit to Morpeth:
1) Central Bean Coffee
Central Bean Coffee House is a lovely little local coffee shop at the entrance to the Sanderson Arcade, that prides itself on its freshly-ground coffee sourced from Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia. Central Bean does offer the great coffee you find in other chain coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa, but it offers something a bit more special: it has the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of a village coffee shop, meaning loyal locals return day in, day out to Central Bean. Sitting outside the shop and watching the world go by, as shoppers descend upon the market town for a spot of shopping, is the perfect way to start your day in Morpeth!
2) Sanderson Arcade
After your cup of coffee from Central Bean, why not take a leisurely stroll through the Sanderson Arcade? This arcade isn’t merely a shopping centre, but it is a proud and elegant display of Edwardian-style architecture and design that houses some fantastic independent, local and high-street retailers including Crew Clothing, The Pudding Parlour and Mint Velvet. If you manage to make the trip to Morpeth soon, you’ll be able to see the arcade’s fantastic display in celebration of the Suffragettes and the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote!
3) Rutherford & Co.
Rutherfords of Morpeth has to be my absolute favourite thing about Morpeth town centre. This family-owned department store has been trading since 1846, and has become an integral part of Morpeth’s identity as a market town and retail destination. Five generations of the Rutherford family have seen this Aladdin’s cave transform from a humble draper’s shop to a stylish lifestyle store selling products from exclusive labels, as well as locally-sourced brands. Walking round Rutherford & Co. is a real treat for the eyes, and I am extremely guilty of spending far too much time wandering around and dreaming up my ideal home, full of all the treasures Rutherfords has to offer!
4) Carlisle Park
Ancient woodland walking paths and a riverside promenade stroll are just two of the many things you can get up to in Morpeth’s beautiful Carlisle Park. I have many happy childhood memories playing in the outdoor playground and splashing around in the large paddling pool in the park! For green-fingered folk, the William Turner Garden is a sight to behold and for my fellow history enthusiasts, the twelfth-century castle is definitely something to stop and see. Row along the river, go in search of the park’s resident red squirrels and just have a fantastic adventure at Carlisle Park!
5) Fantastic Surroundings
Morpeth is a great place to stay if you fancy seeing what the county of Northumberland has to offer as a whole! Close to the town centre is the church of St Mary the Virgin, which is home to the family plot and grave of Emily Wilding Davison, a notable Suffragette who was fatally injured as she stepped onto the track at the 1913 Epsom Derby. Given that this year is the 100th anniversary of female suffrage, it seems fitting to pencil in a visit to this monument! Not far away from the town centre, there are a wide array of places of historical interest and beauty, including the village of Felton, Wallington Hall and Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. There is so much to do in this region, and so much to discover!