The Northumberland Market Town Packed with Charm and Independent Eateries
Morpeth has plenty of character and charm, as well as being packed with high-street favourites, independent eateries and hidden gems
Morpeth has a good restaurant scene, with some new openings recently joining old favourites. Among the new, Novo is a great brasserie serving refined dishes, and you can head to Pleased To Meet You’s Morpeth outpost for cocktails afterwards. Much-loved Lollo Rosso is still the place to go for a buzzing atmosphere, flavourful Italian dishes and an enthusiastic welcome, while Nico’s Greek Taberna is an cosy restaurant which serves authentic Greek cuisine. If you’re looking for something spicy, try Tandoor Mahal or Nadon Thai (make sure you order the spicy papaya salad).
In Morpeth itself The Auction House has seven cosy, newly-refurbished room with heaps of style and unique features, while downstairs in the bar and restaurant you’ll find quirky cocktails and varied menus, ranging from brunch through to small plates, sharers, burgers and mains. Head a little north to Eshott Hall for period features, contemporary style, boutique bedrooms and elegant dining.
The town’s iconic department store, Rutherford & Co, is still a smart and imposing presence on Bridge Street. On Oldgate, The Chocolate Galery is the place to go for luxurious sweet treats, from handmade bars to chocolate bombs, sweets and truffles. The Market Place Morpeth is a new addition to the town’s shopping scene, offering all things sustainable living as well as a café. You’ll find both high street names and independent retailers in Sanderson Arcade (check out bottle and beer shop Enjoy, and browse designer brands and gift ideas at Sandersons Department Store), while the first Saturday of each month sees Morpeth Farmers’ Market take over the Market Place, offering everything from plants to honey and sausages.
At Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum you can learn about the Northumbrian pipes which are a part of the area’s heritage, and the nearby Carlisle Park has woodlands, gardens, play areas and the William Turner Garden to explore. Keen gardeners should head to Stanton Hall Gardens & Nursery. This hidden gem has knowledgable staff on hand to offer advice and a huge range of plants on sale. If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, Whitehouse Farm Centre is spread across 40 acres just south of the town, and 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.
You don’t have to travel far from Morpeth to find a decent country pub – this part of Northumberland is packed with them. In Middleton, The Ox Inn’s food offering is of particular note – check out their weekly ‘Meat Sauce Fries’ night on a Thursday, epic Sunday lunches, or head down Friday or Saturday to try the eclectic blackboard menu. In Whalton, The Beresford Arms serves a menu which includes plenty of pub classics, while up the road at Meldon The Dyke Neuk is a friendly, traditional pub with both a bar and restaurant, both of which serve a varied menu (but don’t miss their Sunday lunch).