The Budle Bay Croft Experience – fun to be had by all – inside or out. Our child, couples, and pet friendly holidays are centred around you!
Budle Bay Croft itself is located on gently rolling landscape, bordered by the Waren Burn to one side. Woodland, grazing paddocks, play areas, and walks make up this charming, often described as magical small holding. Be you young, or young at heart, if you like open spaces, kicking leaves, and splashing in puddles, feeding animals or just plain night sky gazing, Budle Bay Croft could be right for you. It’s there if you want it, but you can shut the door and snuggle up in the comfortable, cosy cottages if you don’t! Budle Bay Croft is ideal for families looking for child friendly holidays, but is also very romantic for couples, great for groups of mates, and is also pet friendly. 5* luxury for everyone – even pooch! We love welcoming pets. There are acres of grounds for dogs to run and play, and we provide a dog bed, bowls and treats too. We can organise doggy day care if you need it, although many local attractions and activities are dog friendly. Dogs are welcome to enjoy their holiday on Northumberland’s beaches year round, and Bamburgh beach is huge and close by. We can even recommend local restaurants that welcome our four legged family members – no compromise for them or you! Why not check out our dog blog on just how dog friendly Northumberland and Budle Bay Croft actually are!
Outside, there are farm animals year round on Budle Bay Croft. We have strived to create a safe and nurturing petting experience to help the littleys learn about animals. There are ewesually sheep, cluckin’ chickens, quackin’ ducks, and oinkin’ pigs, and sometimes others too like yuletide turkeys, gobblin’ guinea fowl or a cheeky pony called Jaspar. There is something to do everyday of the year on Budle Bay Croft. Our happy animals love petting and attention, and some are playful and curious, eating out of your hands or skipping across the fields to say hello. Children will have a blast with the animals all day. They can help us wake up the sleepyheads and give them breakfast in the morning at the Breakfast Baa. The pigs love fresh fruit and vegetables each day, and a tickle and scratch while they munch. The ducks love bread while the chickens like to eat just about anything (except chicken!). The children (or adults!) can also go on an egg hunt for their own freshly laid breakfast too!
There are seasonal activities at BBC.
The bright coloured bulbs peak through the cold winter grounds hinting at the promise of the summer to come. The fragrant blossom is in the trees, the delicate buds are opening out as if in praise of the warmer sunshine and the longer days – at this time of year, Budle Bay Croft really Springs into life! The highlight of every farm’s year is lambing time. We usually lamb our ladies in March/April – nature permitting. Come and see what has to happen to a newborn lamb (or even see one being born if you are truly lucky). If any lambs are born while you holiday, you get to name them! Why not watch the lambs learn to feed and see how their mum looks after them? At the end of each day, it is an absolute joy to watch the lambs have their mad half hour before sleepily settling down with mum for a snuggle and bed (remind you of anything?). From Spring to the end of June, there are orphaned lambs to bottle feed, and we love little (or even big) helpers to join in with us! You are welcome to come and sit on the straw bales and bottle feed the hungry orphans, and give them a little cuddle afterwards? Spring is also the time for other new life. We often have chicks, ducklings and piglets, and the wild birds are a frenzy nesting and feeding their young. Why not enjoy some of the long Easter holidays with a bit of fun on the farm? Come and join in the family eggstravaganza at Budle Bay Croft for an Easter egg trial through the magical maze; bottle feeding the orphaned lambs; feeding the hungry piglets; painting a fresh hens egg; and looking to see if any new chicks or ducklings have been born each morning? And for wet days, there is still oodles to do in the cottage, and don’t forget the games!
Summer is a time for celebration of the sun. Everything becomes lush and long, and after the daily activities with the animals, there is nothing better than to just relax with a beer and a BBQ watching the farm life go by. Kids can burn off that unending energy in the playgrounds and fields, and if the weather is warm enough, we might even put up the splash pool. It is not just the days that are long in summer though. The ewe’s coats get long too, making them hot and uncomfortable, so we need to shear the sheep and sort the flock (Dad’s seem especially good at this).
The beaches are a year round highlight, and we have buckets and spades to help create your sandcastle grand design!
Fishing is also available at Budle Bay Croft on both banks of the river – and the sea trout season is between April and October, natural conditions determining availability and size. Remember to bring your equipment. The river is warmer in summer, so if you want to brave standing on the stones, you might even catch a tiddler or two!
Walking from Budle Bay Croft is easy and a true pleasure in summer, with the Coastal Path virtually on the doorstep, St. Cuthbert’s way just up the road, and incredible vistas of the beaches and castles when walking from BBC to Bamburgh on a balmy British summer’s day. We even provide the picnic bags!
Autumn is usually the time we harvest our vegetables (mother nature permitting). Any little helpers get to take some back to the cottages for tea! Wild blackberry picking is a seasonal family favourite – nothing nicer than freshly made, steaming hot blackberry crumble and Doddington’s ice-cream!
Halloween can be a real spooky fest at Budle Bay Croft on the cold, dry, dark and crisp autumnal nights, with a ghost hunt through the enchanted woods, monster fun and games, and an open camp fire for toasty marshmallows – why not make a lantern at Alnwick Gardens and bring it along on the ghost trail with you?
The coast and country is still a pleasure to behold, squeezing the last of the year’s warmth on bike rides and walks – we have had some spectacularly warm Octobers when the children have even been able to swim in the North Sea during “Tatty” picking week at half term! And if the days are getting cooler, you can always snuggle up with a hot chocolate, movie and a toasty log fire!
Winter is a great time to stay at Budle Bay Croft. Everything is quieter, but the animals still need taken care of. And don’t forget the games room is still open – and it is heated! The beaches are usually deserted, and a winter walk is utterly invigorating. And if you are lucky enough to have snow, we have great hills to make snowmen, or why not try sliding down Sledging Slope – for the very brave, you could even start at the top of the slide to go super fast! The clear, dark night skies are fantastic at Budle Bay Croft in winter, with regular sightings of meteorites, and more recently the mysterious Northern Lights. For our bird watching guests, the winter migratory bird activity is spectacular. Christmas and New Year are particularly special at Budle Bay Croft if you want to get away from it all. Real Christmas Trees, log burning fires, hot chocolate snuggled up on comfy sofas with cosy throws, fizz to help you celebrate, with special treats from Northumberland. You can even bring fireworks! The local villages make interesting yet traditional contrasts of holiday cheer, starting with the annual Christmas lights switch on parties at the end of November, and the illumination of the hand carved nativity scene. The Christmas Eve Christingle service in Bamburgh really gets you into the spirit of the season, and if you follow that with the Seahouses fireworks, you are right in the mood for the festivities! Throughout the winter, the local restaurants and pubs usually have roaring log fires, and offer a particularly warm welcome on these coldest of days.
Of course, you don’t have to be involved with the animals if you prefer not to. You can simply wander the land exploring the natural flora and fauna – from wild daffodils and bluebells to foxes and herons. From swallows, swifts and owls, to otters, weasels and kingfishers. swans, geese and ducks to dippers, buzzards and woodpeckers – all (and more) have been seen at Budle Bay Croft – wonder what you will see?
On top of all of that there is still more! There is a range of outside play equipment to suit most children’s needs – from small cafes on stilts, to swings, slides, ropes and trampolines – even a tree playstation to search for invading vikings or poaching badgers, and a stage for impromptu concerts. Why not sit by the fire at Kumbaya Camp and toast marshmallows on fallen twigs? How about playing pooh sticks from the hump back bridge – just watch out for the ducks! Or how about catching the view and reading a book in the Jubilee Hut while your BBQ is cooking?
Want to work up an appetite for that BBQ? Why not use the gym equipment including rowing machine, weights, punch bag, static bike and a treadmill. There is even a games room – with a football table, a pool table and coming soon, the obligatory fridge to keep refreshments at optimal temperature!
Or you can just ignore it all altogether and take yourself off for a little “petting” and pampering of your own at The Ocean Club Health and Beauty Suite!
When you finally do decide leave Budle Bay Croft, there is loads to do in the area – the beaches are amazing (help yourself to buckets and spades from the Shark Shed), and there are lots of great walks and cycle ways such as Reivers Way, St. Cuthbert’s Way and The Northumberland Coast Path. The Cheviot Hills are on the doorstep, and for less ambitious guests, simply walking to Bamburgh across the cliff tops from Budle Bay Croft, or along the beach from Budle Bay is truly special – in fact the whole of the surrounding area is both pretty and accessible. There are great castles, churches, museums, galleries, country houses, local craft shops and restaurants nearby, as well as soft play, crazy golf, train rides, horse-riding, water sports, shooting, treasure trails, foraging, guided walks, sailing, fishing, climbing, spas and The Ocean Club (with it’s excellent swimming pool, beauty suite, sauna and gym). Let us take the stress if you want, as most activities can can be pre-organised for you in advance, and guests of Budle Bay Croft qualify for special discounts too. Please refer to our section Enjoy Northumberland for more ideas and information.
Budle Bay Croft is a year round holiday experience, and there are many seasonal activities to enjoy. Don’t forget your wellies, sun tan lotion and all weather gear though – we have a local phrase here, one of the driest parts of the UK (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/ukmapavge.html) – there is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing!
Additional Services and Benefits Offered
- Guest membership of The Ocean Leisure Club in nearby Seahouses (20m pool, childrens pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, gym, health and beauty spa, cafe. £6 entry per adult and £3 for children over 2, babies free of charge)
- Babysitting by arrangement, with a free babysit on us – needs to be pre-arranged to ensure availability
- Doggy day care on request – don’t forget your vaccinations record. We use Tollfield Boarding Kennels in Belford – 01668 213607
- Shooting can be arranged – season dependent, or year round at Bywell Shooting Ground
- Double bank fishing rights on the small holding itself
- Free stabling and grazing available should you wish to bring your equine friend – on a self managed basis
- Pre-organised boat trips, diving, riding, surfing, riding, walking or foraging tours, treasure trails, fishing, cycling, bike hire and spa treatments – just let us know what you need at the time of booking
- Your immediate shopping needs taken care of – you can pre order food and drink and we will put it away for you – so you just have to turn up! Carters of Bamburgh, the world famous butcher, baker and sausage roll maker, can provide breakfast and BBQ packs to get you started. Another Rick Stein Hero, The Swallow Fish Shop can provide freshly caught fare of the sea. The Seahouses Fruit and Veg shop can provide a seasonal basket of local produce. The Northumbrian Hamper can provide local ales and drinks, local cheeses and biscuits, Doddington’s ice creams, as well as delicious local puddings; and Bamburgh’s Wyndenwell can provide local ice creams, so even dessert’s taken care of!
- Private catering with delicious local meals (some even made with our own lamb and pork) prepared for you by our excellent Chef Mick Holland – all served in freezer and oven proof dishes ready for you to heat up on arrival and place on your dining table. Mick can even do special orders for birthdays, hen parties, family celebrations or romantic dinners for two to help you celebrate anniversaries, honeymoons or even proposals! Local oysters and champagne can also be pre-arranged. Just let us know what you need and we will do our best to help you.
- Access to The Seahouses Hub for current films with popcorn, beanbags and a glass of vino too if you fancy!
- Geocaching – be part of the phenomena that is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches in the area!