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April 2, 2024

Destination: The North


In this article

How to Get From London to Northumberland

Where is Northumberland?

Northumberland, as the name suggests, is England’s most northerly county, bordering Scotland to the Northern perimeter and the North Sea to the east. To the west of the county is Cumbria and to the south is the county of Durham.

Northumberland encompasses strongly contrasting landscapes. With lush green forests and valleys to the west and sparse dune-lined beaches to the east. Throughout the area there are fascinating historical sites such as Hadrian’s Wall and Bamburgh castle. Northumberland also has its own National Park where you’ll find Kielder Forest, an area designated as an International Dark Skies Park.  

Not only can you gaze at star filled skies, but there is an abundance of wildlife to be spotted during the day in some of the most un-spoilt areas the UK has to offer. Seals bask on the beaches at Berwick, puffins waddle freely on The Farne Islands and Cheviot Goats roam in the valleys of Northumberland.

All of this is on the outskirts of the bustling city of Newcastle.

But how do you get to Northumberland? Lets find out…

Falstone Moss overlooks Kielder Water, and Forest Park in Northumberland. Image: Shutterstock, Dave Head
Falstone Moss overlooks Kielder Water, and Forest Park in Northumberland. Image: Shutterstock, Dave Head

Flying into London

You’ll most likely arrive at London Heathrow Airport from the United States or Canada. If you are travelling from the East Coast of America, you have the option to fly directly to London Gatwick also.

From London Heathrow the connection into Central London is very simple via the Heathrow Express. Alternatively, the London Underground Tube connects to central London from all airport terminals.

Running frequently, the Heathrow Express takes just 15 minutes and arrives in London Paddington. From London Paddington you can use the Tube and take the Hammersmith and City line a few stops to Kings Cross St Pancras station where you will find your onward connection to Newcastle.

The LNER direct train service from London Kings Cross to Newcastle takes just under 3 hours. All trains arrive at Newcastle Central Station which is perfect for exploring the historic city and onward journeys to the surrounding countryside.

From London Gatwick you’ll need to make your way into Central London and across to London Kings Cross where there are multiple departures daily to Newcastle via LNER train services.

How to get from London to Newcastle

Despite Newcastle being a fair distance from London, the travel connections are quick and easy. Newcastle is very accessible from London by public transport.

Train: In just under 3 hours, you can reach Newcastle via direct train from London Kings Cross. Some journeys require a quick change at York station.

Coach: London to Newcastle via coach is the cheapest way to travel but takes longer than the train. With 7 departures per day, the coach departs from London Victoria Coach Station which is adjacent to London Victoria Railway Station. The average journey takes approximately 8 hours. The earliest departure from London Victoria is 07.30am and the last departure of the day is 23.00pm. The late departure is an overnight journey, arriving into Newcastle at 6:00am the following day, setting you up nicely for your onward travels and exploring.

Car or private transfer: London to Newcastle is approximately 280miles by road and takes 5.5 hours to complete the journey.  This isn’t taking into account any traffic on the motorways. For a more relaxed eco friendly journey we would recommend public transport.

If you are planning on driving, you can rent a car from the airport or many major towns and cities across the country. The route mostly consists of motorways and large carriageways which can be busy but are easy to navigate and well signposted.

By air: Not the environmentally friendly choice, but if you are flying into London Heathrow or London Gatwick, a number of air carriers offer internal flights from both airports to Newcastle Airport. The plus side is speed and you can connect after landing from the US. The downside is Newcastle Airport is on the outskirts of city and not as well positioned for onward connections as the Rail and Bus stations.

Bamburgh beach Northumberland. Photo: Sophie Almeida

How to get to Lindisfarne

The tidal island of Lindisfarne, otherwise known as the Holy Island sits to the north of The Farne islands. This group of islands are outcrops of rocks from Bamburgh, situated on the coast of Northumberland.

The Farne Islands and Lindisfarne have been formed through years of erosion of the limestone that once connected the islands to the mainland. Depending on the tide, Lindisfarne is connected to the mainland for approximately 12 hours each day via a causeway that is covered and uncovered by the tide. You can also walk between Lindisfarne and the mainland via the ancient Pilgram’s Way that is marked out by wooden poles across the sand and mud.

When visiting Lindisfarne always be mindful of the tide! Make sure you know the timings of the tide to ensure you don’t get stuck on the island.  If you’re visiting the Farne Islands you can usually do this via a boat tour from Seahouses and therefore there is no need to worry about getting stuck with the tide.

For more inspiration on exploring Northumberland, check out our guides to walking and cycling The North.

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