Proposal for the Barchetta Owners Club 2020 Tour: Northumberland and Durham

Sorry, this event is now cancelled

Weekends during June, July, and August are extremely busy for the popular hotels, throughout Northumberland and County Durham. Those that have sufficient rooms of a standard that would be acceptable for the discerning Barchetta Owners’ Club are all booked for wedding receptions. Therefore, in this proposal for the 2020 meeting, I have suggested avoiding the Friday and Saturday format of the previous meetings and propose starting on Sunday afternoon and having 3 nights accommodation. This allows those members from the south and southeast, the west country and Wales the benefit of a more extended stay.  For those wishing to take a longer break, there is the possibility of extending the stay by either combining a pre-meet or post-meet visit to see more of the fantastic country, castles, coastline, and food that the North East of England has on offer.

Having looked at a number of possible hotels, the one that looks ideally suited is Beamish Hall Hotel.  It is located just to the south of Newcastle situated near Beamish Open Air Museum. It offers ideal opportunities for access north into Northumberland and south and west into the Durham Hills and Teesdale. 


Beamish Park Hotel is a 4* Hotel. The hall is a 13th century country house with 42 bedrooms decorated with luxury fabrics and designer fittings. There is also an on-site microbrewery offering 7 traditional northern ales and an award-winning restaurant.

Speaking with the management at the hotel, we would have our own dining area within the restaurant for evening meals with breakfast taken in the halls grand dining room.

The Proposal is for Sunday 21st June 2020 to Wednesday 24th June or

Sunday 28th June 2020 to Wednesday 1st July.  The preference is for the 21st June when the gardens at Cragside are blooming. 

Here is the provisional itinerary: 


Meet at the hotel from 2 pm onwards with an opportunity to visit Beamish Open Air Museum situated 3 minutes from the hotel.

Evening meal in the hotel.


Visit into Northumberland. 

From the hotel drive north over the Tyne at Wylam, the birthplace of George Stephenson pioneer of the railways. 

Then onto Rothbury via the old A689 road to Scotland and the Northumberland moors with superb views of the Cheviots to visit Cragside,

the former home of Lord Armstrong, now a National Trust property. Cragside has a magnificent 19th C house and extensive wooded grounds. It was the first house lit with electric bulbs powered by the estates water generating system and Swans incandescent bulbs, which still operate. In June the grounds are renowned for rhododendrons which will be in full bloom and we will have the opportunity to drive the scenic drive in the estate taking in the fragrances of the rhododendrons and azaleas. (Tops down weather permitting!)  This is a full day visit with a scenic drive back to the hotel. Lunch will be packed and taken by Nelly Moss lake. 

Evening meal in the hotel  


Roman Wall 

The opportunity to drive on the route of the old Roman Military road that runs from Wallsend to Carlisle. Straight as an arrow rising and falling in sweeps over the moors.

Visit to Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum and a chance to see an archaeological dig with a site visit and tour by one of the archaeologists – maybe a chance to actually do some digging for the budding Indiana Jones in the group.

Lunch will be taken in a local pub on the moors

Drive back to hotel over the Hexham hills.


The Durham and Teesdale hills

From the hotel drive south over the Durham and Teesdale moor, used by Vera in the TV series, over gated roads to High Force dramatic waterfall dropping 69 feet into a plunge pool amid a secluded forest.

Lunch taken in a pub and then farewells at the end of the visit. 

For those staying over after the meet other areas to visit include: 

Lunch on St Edwards Bay in Tynemouth at Riley’s Fish Shack  Michel Roux favourite pop up restaurant, fresh fish to die for!

Bishop Auckland castle former home to the Bishops of Durham Private chapel and renovated medieval gardens, Spanish art gallery with Zurbaran painting collection.

Raby Castle

The castles of Northumberland Walkworth, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh, Berwick and  Alnwick.

Chillingham a castle owned by the same family since the 8th C and their wild white cattle. Alnwick Gardens, historic villages and cities.

The beaches – miles of white sand between Druridge Bay and Bamburgh often deserted.

National Trust sites like Wallington home of Capability Brown 

Whale, dolphin and puffin watching around the Farne islands.

Durham Cathedral and Castle, Hexham, the hidden gem of Brinkburn Abbey and the list goes on and on.

The cost of the trip will be close to £475 for couples and £340 for singles. There may be a slight variation depending upon numbers attending.

I hope my suggested programme tempts you to visit this special, often overlooked part of the world.  Please send expressions of interest to Clive Marshall or Martin Garrad stating your preferred dates.  

Clive:      Martin: