When it pays dividends to live in Northumberland

PEOPLE living in Northumberland can enjoy free or discounted entry to a host of castles, gardens, stately homes and museums all over the county this weekend.

The 2011 Northumberland Residents’ Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, to celebrate the fact that the county is not only a great place to visit but also a fantastic place to live.

More than 2,000 people flocked to attractions throughout the county during last year’s event – the first of its kind and organised by Northumberland County Council.

And it is hoped that people will turn out in force this weekend, with a string of popular and world-famous Northumberland attractions taking part in the 2011 festival.

Coun Marcia Bircham, county council chairman, said: “We are very grateful to all the attraction providers who will be opening their doors to residents during the 2011 festival weekend. We hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to experience the wonderful attractions Northumberland has to offer.”

Attractions taking part include Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum, Bamburgh Castle, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Dunstanburgh Castle and Cragside, in Rothbury.

The list also features the likes of Dunstanburgh Castle, Heatherslaw Mill and Lady Waterford Hall at Ford and Etal Estates, Lindisfarne Castle and Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island, Longframlington Gardens, Wallington and the RNLI Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh.

Festival leaflets, each containing the vouchers needed to visit up to five attractions over the festival weekend, are available now from county council information centres, tourist information centres, libraries and leisure centres, as well as Northumberland Sure Start Children’s Centres and County Hall, in Morpeth. People can also ring 0845 6006400 for details.

Some attractions may have car parking charges or special exhibitions which may not be included in the festival weekend offer.

For more information about the event and to see more of the attractions taking part, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/festival2011