Bumper half term week gives Northumberland traders good vibes for the summer ahead
Thousands of visitors have made it a bumper half-term week for many Northumberland traders.
Coastal hotspots such as Bamburgh, Seahouses and Amble were particularly busy over the bank holiday weekend, while plenty of tourists enjoyed milling around Alnwick, Rothbury and Berwick.
And while it wasn’t the scorcher that other parts of the country enjoyed - coastal mist keeping temperatures down at times - that wasn’t going to spoil the first chance in months that many people have had for a holiday.
Michael Taylor owner of the new Hook fish and chip shop in Seahouses, said: “It’s been great. There have been so many people here that I think most of the businesses will have done well.
"I think we can expect more of the same for the rest of the summer, especially the six weeks of the school holidays. It’s a big relief after such a long winter.”
Along the coast in Bamburgh, Julie Spruce, owner of The Pantry delicatessen, added: "We’ve had a really good week. It’s been a perfect storm with lots of demand with the English and Scottish schools on holiday at the same time, which isn’t the case at Easter and in October.
"I think the village has coped well though. We’ve got extra parking, more toilets and the bins have been getting emptied on a regular basis so it’s been good.”
Publican Jake Castleman, owner of The Pig in Muck in Alnwick and The Cock and Bull in Amble, was enjoying the positive vibe in both towns as they emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown.
"We had a record breaking week last week and we’re probably on track for the same again this week with the fine weather we’ve had,” he revealed. “It’s been really busy.
"The Market Square in Alnwick has been very lively with lots of people enjoying sitting outside at our place and at Melvyn’s Cafe.
"It feels very much like you’re on holiday abroad because it’s such a heat trap, especially when the market is on, because it adds to the vibrant feel of the place.
"The Amble pub was closed for eight or nine months so we were a little bit worried about how it would do when it reopened but it’s picked up where it left off which has been refreshing to see.”