A land steeped in myth and legend and tales of ancient kings, Northumberland is now one of the more untamed quarters of the UK. It sits beside the vast Northumberland National Park on its western side, is washed by the chilling waves of the North Sea to the east and delineated by the lichen-growing bulwarks of Hadrian's Wall to the south. Use this guide to pinpoint and book the finest country cottages Northumbria has to offer.

A variety of Northumberland cottages to pick from

In this wild corner of England you might be surprised to find a dash of luxury and even a few babbling hot tubs in the cottage rentals.

Holiday cottages in Northumberland with hot tubs

You could move to mitigate any icy winter chills by ensuring that the Northumbrian cottage you book comes with a hot tub on the side. These tend to be up there with the most luxurious of the county's stays, so you'll often find the spa bath steaming in the garden, with sweeping sea views or panoramas of the national park.

Find dog-friendly Northumberland cottages

With great swathes of this northern county taken by a national park, it's easy to see why you might need a Northumberland holiday cottage that will welcome the family pet. There are plenty of things to do here with a 4-legged barker in tow. You can take Fido over the haunting ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, or even hike courses of Hadrian's Wall, provided your dog is under control on the farm sections.

Northumbrian cottages with luxury features

There's certainly no shortage of more extravagant cottages in Northumberland. Like the great castles that once hosted kings on the coastal hills of this ancient region, they offer a taste of opulence. Chic interior design features often channel the immersive medievalism of the area – think exposed-brick walls and real-beam ceilings. Other places come with magnificent beach views and large gardens, for evenings under the bright northern stars.

Where to find Northumberland cottages close to the shore

Northumbrian coastal cottages shouldn't be hard to come by. In fact, much of the salt-washed eastern side of the county is given over to the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which hosts charming towns that are packed to the brim with rentals that tumble down to beaches and marinas.

Seahouses lives up to its name

There's a whole clutch of cottages to rent in Northumberland's handsome fishing village, Seahouses. It's a great place to be, for making a splash in the North Sea. The Farne Islands are only a boat ride away, for example, and are inhabited by puffins and seals. Around the headland is also where you can catch the breezes of Beadnell Bay – a kite surfer’s paradise.

History awaits in Bamburgh

A little up the coast from quaint Seahouses is the rawer historic site of Bamburgh. You'll unravel tales of Viking raiders as you tour the keeps and turrets there, all the while encountering grand state rooms laden with medieval artworks.

Search for Northumbrian cottages in Amble

The small port town of Amble spills down to meet the long stretch of shore that is Amble Links. There are cottages in the centre, and strung out behind the dunes at some points. These form perfect bases for exploring the petrified ancient forests that emerge from the sands, the rock pools at low tide and even the puffin-peppered reaches of Coquet Island, out at sea.

How to secure cheap holiday cottages in Northumberland

To ensure you don't pay over the odds for your Northumbrian cottage this year, read on to get some handy hints on how to save money.

Book early for trips at popular times

If you're keen to explore the treasures of Northumbria – Hadrian's Wall, the muscular tops of Bamburgh fortress – with the whole family during a school break, it's a great idea to book your stay as early as you can. That rings true for major holidaying times like summer, Christmas and Easter, when last-minute deals might be impossible to find.

Consider a winter break

If you're lucky enough not to be tied to school breaks, then it's worth considering an off-season trip to Northumbria. The winter months – outside of the festive period – tend to be the cheapest of all, and they add a whole other level of ferocity to the backcountry. You might catch Hadrian's Wall doused in snow, or the Cheviot Hills caked in ice.

Dodge the upscale cottages in Northumberland

While it's no doubt tempting to focus on cottages with hot tubs and sprawling gardens and sea views, it might not help when it comes to keeping the travel budget intact. Thankfully, there are loads of simple, affordable, no-frills Northumbrian boltholes that shouldn't break the bank.