Ryecroft Cottage is situated in a picturesque hamlet near Hepple close to where the river Coquet winds its way through the valley. This area is teeming with wild-life; red squirrels are often spotted and voles and rabbits regularly visit to play. Guests are very welcome to roam through the owners’ field directly opposite the cottage and enjoy the exhilarating fresh air and admire the carpet of wildflowers that seasonally adorn it. Most of the surrounding land is ‘open access’, offering walks to a woodland waterfall and two prehistoric hill forts. Or take a stroll along a quiet country lane to a 17th century bastle house. Nearby there are some wonderful waymarked walks from the village of Holystone with its interesting medieval well.
The picture postcard small town of Rothbury, which sits at the foot of the Simonside and Lordenshaw Hills, is only 7 miles from Ryecroft Cottage. It straddles the banks of the trout and salmon rich River Coquet where a licence and permit for fishing can be obtained locally and has several quaint tea-rooms, pubs, shops and a riverside 18-hole golf course. The 1,000 acres estate of Cragside, once home to Lord Armstrong, and the first home in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity is an interesting National Trust visitor attraction too. Or travel a little further east to the bustling market town of Alnwick, protected by its dramatic castle, the ancestral home to the Duke of Northumberland (and film location for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Academy!) and offers an abundance of facilities including a cinema / playhouse, leisure centre with indoor swimming and a good selection of restaurants, tea-rooms and shops including the world famous Barter Books. The spectacular Alnwick Garden, with its Grand Cascade Waterfall and restaurant within the largest tree house in Europe is an interesting experience too.
A friendly greeting regularly awaits visitors to Otterburn, where the woollen mill is a popular attraction around 8 miles west from Ryecroft Cottage. The village of Elsdon is only 5 miles away and is a complete example of a medieval settlement, which sits in a natural bowl overlooked by hills on all sides and surrounded by an extensive ridge and furrow fields. There are ample opportunities for enjoying outdoor activities across this area known as Redesdale including quad biking and cycle hire. Ramblers and cyclists will enjoy the beautiful unrivalled views as they sample the varied footpaths and cycle routes. Horse riding is available at Elsdon and fishing can be arranged at Caistron or Sweethope Loughs. The National Trust property at Wallington Hall is well worth a visit. Pony trekking, windsurfing, sailing and ferry trips are only a small selection of the many outdoor activities that can be arranged at Kielder Water – Northern Europe’s largest man-made lake – which is cradled by Kielder Forest Park nearby. .
The Heritage coastline this area is renowned for is easily accessible too; as is Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Borders - ensuring Ryecroft Cottage provides an excellent base for exploring both the wild and unspoilt vistas of the UK’s most northerly National Park coupled with easy access to the glorious Northumbrian coastline.