Reading Recommendations to Inspire your next trip

Recommended Reads: The Eshott-Inspired Edit

If you’re looking for a little escapism right now then our recommended reading list may be just the ticket. Thumb through our list for a generous slice of Northumbrian charm to inspire your next trip. We’ve compiled our pick of locally inspired reads to feed your wanderlust. Enjoy!



Deception: A Regency Romance by Joan Aiken 

A powerful historical novel about two physically identical girls who meet at boarding school and swap identities. One trading a life in a grand manor house in Northumberland, the other a new existence as a missionary in India. There follows a complicated plot of deception and adventure.

The Ivy Tree, by Mary Stewart

On a trip to Northumberland, Canadian Mary Grey is assailed by a handsome, but somewhat frightening, Connor Winslow, who mistakes her for his cousin, Annabel, who has been missing and believed dead for some eight years. Mary is persuaded to impersonate the aforesaid Annabel and help Connor get the inheritance he believes he is entitled to. This is a gothic romance full of twists and turns.

The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor 

This is the story of two main characters Grace and Matilda, a century apart – 1838 in Northumberland and 1938 in Rhode Island. Based on the true story of heroine Grace Darling, who with her family, lived in and ran the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands where she and her father were involved in a rescue after a shipwreck. Matilda is a young unmarried woman in Ireland, in 1938, finds herself with child and is sent by her family to Rhode Island to stay with a relative to wait out her term…the relative is a lighthouse keeper there. A story of strong, brave, inspiring women, yet a story of heartache, unbearable loss, and tragedy.

Monument to Murder by Mari Hannah 

The discovery of the skeletons of two young girls, buried on Bamburgh beach are seemingly unconnected with the case of a female psychologist working at HMP Northumberland who is alarmed by the behaviour of a prisoner, due to be released, but who has pronounced psychopathic tendencies – with his focus on her.  Gripping crime fiction, set amid the wild and desolate beauty of the Northumberland coast.

Non fiction 

Walking in Northumberland by Vivienne Crow 

An invaluable walking guide, packing in 36 short walking routes between 4 and 14 miles in Northumberland, ranging from easy ambles and gentle woodland trails to long days on the hills. Plan your next routes along the beautiful coast with its immense, empty beaches and dramatic crag-top castles or head to the remote hills of the Cheviots and Pennines. Psst we can recommend a great place to return to refuel and recharge after your walk!

The Northumberland Coast by Joe Cornish 

Find yourself transported to the majestic landscapes of the Northumbrian coastline with this glorious collection of images, as captured by one of the UK’s master photographers. Accompanied by interesting narrative and tips to improve your own photographic composition and technique and you have the ideal travel inspiration read.

Northumberland Romans to Victorians by Craig Armstrong 

From the building of Hadrian’s Wall in 122AD to the first house in the world to be lit by electricity, Cragside House, Visitors’ Historic Britain: Northumberland Romans to Victorians details the many castles and monuments – their remains and grounds – and the stories they each tell. A fascinating read and an essential travel companion to set the scene behind Northumberland’s many historical remains.

Coastal Castles of Northumberland by Stan Beckensall

A beautiful collection of images showing where Northumberland’s coastal castles were sited, how they developed and what remains of them today. A great insight into the different styles and locations of castles from Norman times onward, the role that the castles played in their respective communities and what was to become of them during peace times.

Magician of the North: Lord William Armstrong of Cragside by Henrietta Heald

This is the first full-scale biography of 19th century visionary inventor, engineer, and businessman William George Armstrong. It’s a story not only of Armstrong but also the industrial success of Great Britain at the height of the empire. Read about Armstrong’s achievements in the manufacture of hydraulic cranes, warships, and armaments in Elswick and in the creation of the first hydroelectric-powered house in Cragside, Northumberland which remains one of the most famous great houses of England.

The Life of Grace Darling by John Harper and John Pagan

A wonderful account of the story of heroine Grace Darling, beautifully illustrated and accompanied by photos to bring this historic tale to life. A ” must read ” if you have never heard of Grace Darling and a ” must have ” if you are already familiar with the Northumbrian heroine.

Children’s Books

The Sea Book by Charlotte Milner 

A beautiful book with an important message that enables children to find out how our oceans are changing, what problems they face, why marine animals need our help, and what you can do to help keep our oceans clean.