My family live throughout the UK but often visit North Northumberland, my home for over 20 years. I’m frequently given the role of arranging venues for family lunches in special places, which appeal to our four generation group, (age range two to eight five years) with varying levels of mobility. There is always a need for the venue to be close to the main road networks(which here in Northumberland is the A1)and for the food to be of good quality at competitive prices. Nice surroundings and a place for children to have fun is also required! I have been delighted to revisit some favourite places which meet our criteria, to provide this article for Silver Travel Advisor.
Pot-A-Doodle-Do is at Scremerston, close to Berwick Upon Tweed, just moments from the wide,sweeping, Cocklawburn Beach. Pot-A-Doodle-Do offers good, home-cooked meals using local produce with a separate children’s menu as well as creative fun for both grandparents and grandchildren!
Open for breakfasts, snacks, light meals and lunches, this cafe/restaurant is spacious, on one ground floor level. There is a pleasant outdoor eating area.
The ground floor, ramped access, craft centre is alongside the restaurant. Filled with lots of craft materials, hours of fun can be created for everyone, drawing pottery, glass painting, mosaics, the list is endless. Pottery creations need to be left and collected later (staff need to put them in the kiln), but for those unable to return there are still plenty of other crafts to enjoy.
A safe play area is provided filled with climbing frames and slides for children to let off steam! For those wanting to stay longer there is accommodation in wooden wigwams.
Car parking is immediately outside the restaurant including disabled car parking. Pot-A-Doodle-Do is easily reachable from the A1 Scremerston turn off, south of Berwick Upon Tweed.
The Treehouse Restaurant
The Treehouse Restaurant is situated within The Alnwick Garden. You do not have to pay the entrance fee to the garden to visit the Treehouse Restaurant. The Treehouse stands high in the treetops at the top of an enormous sky-walk, made accessible to all by carefully constructed, wooden, ramped, railed, wheelchair friendly, walkways.
The restaurant is furnished in hand carved, wooden furniture and warmed by a log fire. Locally inspired dishes are on the menu and there is a separate children’s menu. Children love the excitement of eating in a treehouse. Outdoors there is the wibbly wobbly rope bridge for children (and adults!) to explore.
The Alnwick Garden is close to the A1and has good parking facilities with a dedicated disabled car park close to The Treehouse Restaurant.
The Barn at Beal
The Barn at Beal is located in an area of outstanding beauty looking towards one of Northumberland’s major tourist attractions – The Holy Island of Lindisfarne and a fifteen mile national nature reserve where wildlife and natural features are in abundance. It is easily accessible from the A1 south of Berwick upon Tweed where the Beal turn off should be taken.
A coffee shop and a restaurant – it offers everything from coffee and home baked cake to three course meals. The restaurant has large windows to take in the spectacular views, the outdoor eating area overlooks farmland and the coast. A large grassed area provides space for children to run around. A well stocked gift shop adjoins the restaurant.
The restaurant prides itself on using local produce to create a range of tasty meals. Our party of ten enjoyed a relaxed, enjoyable lunch from the varied menu. The children were well catered for with what I thought was an impressive children’s menu. They loved their choice of Little Hands Platter.
Sunnyhills Farm Shop
Sunnyhills of Belford is a farm shop but so much more too! Driving into the car park, on the left is the farm area where children are invited to meet the resident Llamas, to the right is a large grassed area with outdoor toys for children to enjoy as well as climbing frames and slides. The restaurant which has both an indoor and outdoor eating area faces the play area. A shop extensively stocked with superb local produce adjoins the restaurant.
The Young Farmers menu makes children feel special and offers them a good choice, from sandwiches to meals, and child size drinks at child size prices. High Chairs are available for younger children.
Sunnyhills is a spacious, modern, purpose built building which is all on one level and accessible to all. The eating area is airy and light and serves home cooking from locally sourced ingredients at competitive prices. Food is served until around mid afternoon. We’ve enjoyed delicious breakfasts here as well as superb weekday and traditional Sunday lunches.
There are good car parking facilities with disabled parking bays. Take the Belford turn off on the A1 and Sunnyhills cannot be missed!
The Hogs Head Inn
The Hogs Head Inn at Alnwick is visible and easy accessible from the A1. It is named after the Inn featured in the Harry Potter films and books. Purpose built and ground floor level it is accessible to all. It has variety of seating to cover all requirements – comfortable sofa style arm chairs, high backed, winged chairs, classic dining chairs and high chairs for babies. The menu offers a range of traditional British food, daily specials are advertised on the blackboard, there is a Sunday Carvery. Children are made welcome and have an excellent choice on their own menu. Outdoors, there is a play area equipped with climbing frames and slides where they can let off steam!