Residents go free as county opens its doors

FREE entry to county attractions is being offered in the third annual Northumberland Residents’ Festival.

The Our People, Our Places event, which is organised by Northumberland County Council and leading visitor attractions, aims to celebrate the county as a great place to live and give something back to its residents.

People will be able to take advantage of free or discounted entry to castles, gardens, stately homes, museums and other centres over the weekend of Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25.

Council Leader Jeff Reid said: “We hope that residents will take the opportunity to experience the wonderful attractions Northumberland has to offer and put the date in their diaries now.

“The festival promises some fantastic days out for us all to enjoy. It’s also a fantastic showcase for the county and all the world-class venues that are on our doorstep.

“I hope as many people as possible will enjoy the weekend, which has been organised by the council, and take this opportunity to visit as many of the venues as they can.”

Attractions taking part in the event include Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Wallington, The Alnwick Garden, Cragside, Bamburgh Castle, Seaton Delaval Hall, Lindisfarne Castle and Priory and Woodhorn, among others.

The festival was launched at one of county’s newest attractions, Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, which will also be taking part.

Assistant Principal Marcus Clinton said: “As a new tourist attraction in the Northumberland area we were honoured to host the launch of the Northumberland Residents’ Festival and we are delighted to be taking part.

“We have continued to expand our animal collection and there are many new faces since we opened last May.

“We are looking forward to welcoming new customers and we hope they enjoy their experience at Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens.”

Last year, thousands of people took part in the festival and the council hopes even more will benefit this year.

Residents will need vouchers to receive their discounts, which will be available from the council’s website, libraries, council offices, tourist information centres and sports centres from mid-February.

The offers are only available to Northumberland residents and proof of address may be required.