Rothbury makes an idyllic base from which to explore the Northumberland National Park and is a popular location for ramblers and cyclists with many excellent walks on the doorstep, from gentle riverside strolls to climbing the imposing Simonside Hills, which form a great sandstone ridge and Special Area of Conservation with 360 degree views from coast to hills. The Lordenshaws have impressive remains of an Iron Age Hillfort, Bronze Age burials and rock carvings set in open heather moorland. Fishing for salmon and trout on the River Coquet is a popular pastime (permits available locally for use on the private banks of the river close to Ash) and golf can be arranged on the picturesque riverbank course too. The National Trust property and grounds at Cragside is a popular visitor attraction situated only 3 miles from Ash.
The bustling market town of Alnwick is a short drive to the east; protected by its dramatic castle it is the ancestral home to the Duke of Northumberland (and famous as the film location for Harry Potter !). Enjoy a trip to the flourishing Alnwick Garden, with its Grand Cascade Waterfall and sample its restaurant set within the largest tree house in Europe. The grandeur of Wallington Hall is impressive too; with its farm shop and walled garden, another National Trust property, 12 miles west.
There is an abundance of good restaurants, shops and inns in Morpeth only 12 miles to the south. Row a boat down the winding river Wansbeck or wander through Carlisle Park, which boasts the award winning William Turner garden. Here you can catch the train to the cultural metropolis of Newcastle or enjoy a bit of retail therapy at the extensive shopping facilities at the world renowned Metro Centre. Whilst there visit the Baltic Centre, the Millennium Bridge and the Sage Gateshead music venue all less than an hour drive south.
The Heritage coastline this area is renowned for, and designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is less than 20 miles away ensuring Ash provides an excellent central base for exploring both the wild and lonely vistas of the unspoilt heather–clad hills to the west along with the sweeping golden expanses of glorious sandy beaches to the east.