Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Morpeth
This bustling and charming town is packed with hidden gems, great restaurants and high-street shops
Morpeth’s restaurant scene really punches above its weight for a town this size. Recent openings include an outpost of steak-slingers Tomahawk, as well as Yasu, which serves up authentic Greek cuisine just next to the Clock Tower (if Greek food if your thing, Niko’s is another good choice). Longstanding favourite Lollo Rosso is still the place to go for a buzzing atmosphere, homemade Italian dishes and a warm welcome. Bar Luga serves a good gastro pub-style menu, and if you’re looking for something spicy, try Tandoor Mahal or Nadon Thai (make sure you order the drunken noodles).
In the heart of the town, The Auction House has cosy, newly-refurbished rooms with heaps of style and unique features, from copper roll top baths to four-poster beds. Just south of Morpeth in Stannington, St Mary’s Inn offers bright, airy rooms above its busy bar and restaurant (and it’s dog friendly too). Meanwhile if you head north of the town you’ll find the luxurious but welcoming Eshott Hall, which has period features, contemporary style, boutique bedrooms and elegant dining.
The first Saturday of each month sees Morpeth Farmers’ Market take over the Market Place, offering everything from sausages and plants to honey. Morpeth’s long-standing independent department store, Rutherford & Co, is still a smart and imposing presence on Bridge Street, and has a great home section as well as beauty and fashion. Sanderson Arcade is packed with high-street names, while you’ll find plenty of independents on Newgate Street, the Market Place and Oldgate (The Bee and Botanist is a fab florist, T&G Allan is the place for toys, and R Martins is the best place to go for homemade steak pies and fresh local meat).
In Morpeth’s Carlisle Park you can explore the woodlands, gardens, play areas and the William Turner Garden, as well as hiring rowing boats and taking a turn on the river. History buffs can head to Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum to learn about the Northumbrian pipes which are a part of the area’s heritage, while Whitehouse Farm Centre is a great place to take the family. Spread across 40 acres just south of the town, kids can meet, handle and feed a huge variety of animals, from the traditional to the exotic, as well as wearing themselves out with activities and play areas, and taking a tractor ride.
Around the corner
You don’t have to travel far from Morpeth to find a decent country pub – this part of Northumberland is packed with them. In Mitford, The Plough has recently changed its offering and now serves a Caribbean-inspired menu (we’d recommend choosing a few of the small plates). In a more traditional vein, The Beresford Arms in Whalton serves a menu which includes plenty of good quality pub classics and does a great Sunday lunch, while up the road at Meldon The Dyke Neuk is a traditional pub with a bar and restaurant, both of which serve a varied menu.