Here are brief answers to some of the questions we're asked regularly.
Are there plenty of places to eat nearby?
Everything from fish & chips to relatively fine dining is available nearby. You can walk to the village centre, where all the eating places are, in about 12-15 minutes - it's just over half a mile. This short walk offers you many pubs serving perfectly acceptable pub food, two good Indian restaurants, or Elan, our favourite place to eat in the village. And, of course, fish 'n chips. Really good quality food entails a drive or taxi ride of three miles. But, trust us, it's worth it.
We have a page devoted to this topic, available here.
When is the best time to visit the Farne Islands?
The main action on the farne Islands occurs during June, when the tern chicks and pufflings are born. People come from all over the world to witness the spectacle, and Sir David Attenbrough said it is his favourite UK-wildlife expedition. Worth seeing, then...
The puffins arrive and settle on the Farnes during May (although it has been earlier in recent years; the first ones have sometimes arrived before the end of March) and so they can be seen from around this time until they leave during July, with the last ones usually away by the end of the month.
We have a page devoted to visiting the Farne Islands, available here.
I want to visit the Farne Islands. Should I book?
If you want the 'all day birdwatching' trip then yes - but if you're intending to take the sailaround, or the one-hour landing, then we actually advocate waiting until you arrive. Then you can check the weather and sea conditions, and call or visit the boatmen to find out where and when they're going, and hop aboard.
We have a page devoted to visiting the Farne Islands here.
How do I cross to Holy Island?
Holy Island is accessed via a causeway which you can drive across when the tide is out. It is perfectly safe to do so, as long as you observe the safe crossing times. We have these displayed on the wall in the Cuthbert Room, and we can help you check them and be sure. We have a page about visiting Holy Island here.
Do you have an off-street car park?
We do. It surprises us how many people are anxious about this, because it's gloriously unimportant here! We park our own cars outside on the street, and often forget to lock them... Security, and parking, just isn't an issue. But yes, we have a small car park, with a space available for each room - which works as long as everyone parks carfully and considerately.
Can you cater for special diets?
Absolutly, yes. We keep a supply of things like soya milk to hand, and gluten-free bread and sausages, and vegetarian sausages too - and of course if there is anything you particularly like (or need), you're welcome to bring it with you! We do all we can to help you be secure and safe in what you eat here. If you have special requirements in this regard, do let us know in advance. Our Breakfast Menu also contains comprehensive allergy information.
We don't fry any of our food, so you can even enjoy a hearty Northumbrian breakfast with a relatively clear conscience! If you're feeling decadent, we do offer cream or a nip of mead with your porridge... See our Breakfast page here.
Do your rooms have a hair dryer?
No, honestly, we get asked this regularly! And it's almost always a man, calling to ask on behalf of his wife. And the answer is always a resounding Yes, we have a salon-quality pro hairdryer in every room. This written comment from a recent guest is typical of those the hairdryer prompts:
Fantastic 'extras', like the great hair dryer - not the usual 'hotel' type which takes forever to dry your hair...
I want to come by train. Is it feasible?
Yep. We're between the two mainline stations of Alnmouth and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Cross-country trains tend to stop at both, and east-coast London-Edinburgh trains at one or the other. You can catch a bus from either station, although it's easier and more direct from Berwick, even though it is slightly further away. You can of course take a taxi from either station too, although we would advise booking one in advance. We can help you with all the necessary planning, if you give us a call.
You can also manage perfectly well without a car during your visit, because you can walk for miles on inspiring and empty beaches to remote and beautiful castles, or you can use our regular bus service to get around. It's perfectly do-able.
Can I bring my pet?
St Cuthbert's House is unable to welcome pets, however well-behaved they consider themselves to be.
Can I bring my children?
We welcome well-behaved and considerate children over 12. But St Cuthbert's House isn't suitable for exuberant families or small children, and all rooms accommodate just two people.
It's not that we don't like children - we had four of our own - it's just that our guests are invariably looking for peace and quiet rather than child-centred accommodation.
There are many places in the area which do make excellent provision for children and families - whereas we have no garden space or areas where they can let off steam - and so we're sure yours would be much happier in one of those.