Things to do in Northumberland

Northumberland, located in the North of England, is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Cheviot Hills, vast stretches of unspoiled countryside, and a dramatic coastline that features some of the most beautiful beaches in England. The county is rich in heritage, with numerous castles dotting its landscape, remnants of Roman Britain such as Hadrian’s Wall, and ancient market towns that have retained much of their original charm.

Aside from its historical significance, Northumberland is also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The Farne Islands are renowned for their seabird colonies and seal populations, while Kielder Water & Forest Park offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, and stargazing within Europe’s largest protected dark sky park. This blend of natural beauty and historical depth makes Northumberland a unique destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and exploration.

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  • Alnwick Castle: One of Britain’s most iconic castles, Alnwick Castle has been featured in films and television series like Harry Potter. It offers visitors a chance to explore its historic state rooms, stunning gardens, and participate in broomstick training sessions.
  • Hadrian’s Wall: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans 73 miles across Northern England. Visitors can walk along parts of the wall to experience breathtaking views and explore ancient Roman forts like Housesteads.
  • The Farne Islands: Accessible by boat from Seahouses, this group of islands is famous for its bird colonies and grey seal population. It’s an ideal spot for nature lovers looking to observe wildlife up close.
  • Kielder Water & Forest Park: Known for its dark skies ideal for stargazing, extensive walking trails, cycling paths, and water sports activities on Kielder Water – the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe.
  • Bamburgh Castle: Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking Bamburgh Beach, this castle offers stunning views of the Northumberland coastline along with a rich history dating back over 1,400 years.
  • Warkworth Castle: Explore the ruins of this medieval castle that was once home to the powerful Percy family. Its impressive keep stands as a testament to the turbulent history of the region.
  • Cragside House: A Victorian era marvel nestled within woodland and gardens. Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectric power and offers visitors insight into Victorian innovation.
  • Holy Island of Lindisfarne: Accessible only at low tide via a causeway, Lindisfarne is known for its ancient monastery ruins and picturesque castle. It’s a peaceful retreat with spiritual significance dating back centuries.
  • Chillingham Castle: Renowned as one of Britain’s most haunted castles; it provides guided tours sharing tales of its ghostly residents alongside exploring its historic rooms and gardens.
  • The Alnwick Garden: Adjacent to Alnwick Castle; these contemporary gardens are famous for their spectacular water features including the Grand Cascade along with poisonous plants in The Poison Garden.
  • Hexham Abbey: A place full of history dating back to AD 674; Hexham Abbey offers visitors an opportunity to explore Anglo-Saxon crypts among other historical treasures within this active place of worship.