From our castles & coastline, to our history & heritage, Northumberland is a land just waiting to be discovered…
Northumberland boasts two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Northumberland Coast and North Pennines, and Northumberland National Park – the most tranquil National Park in England – sat side by side with the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe at Kielder Water & Forest Park.
A legacy of its turbulent past, including the bloody Border Wars that raged between the Scots and the English from the 14th to 16th centuries, Northumberland boasts over 70 castle sites. Many have long since disappeared, several are romantic ruins, others have been restored to their full glory.
Spanning nine acres of land on its rocky plateau high above the dramatic Northumberland coastline Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country. Once the royal seat of the Kings of Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is now owned by the Armstrong family. Coming inland, but staying in the north of the county, Alnwick Castle dominates its town and you may recognise it from its starring role as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series of films.
Home to the Percy family for over 700 years, Alnwick Castle sits majestically in the centre of the town. Medieval England’s most celebrated knight, a gunpowder plotter, visionary collectors and appearing as Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey and Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series of films all add to Alnwick Castles intrigue.
Skim over the sands and causeway to Holy Island and prepare to enter another world. Lying just a few miles off the Northumberland coast, Holy Island is cut off twice-daily from the rest of the world by fast-moving tides. Experience the serenity of 12th century Lindisfarne Priory, the epicentre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times and once the home of St Oswald. This peaceful setting was the birthplace of the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the world’s most precious books.
Follow in Roman footsteps along Emperor Hadrian’s mighty frontier and relive their story as you chart the world-famous Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built on the orders of Empire Hadrian, by a force of 15,000 men in under six years, Hadrian’s Wall is a marvel of engineering and vision. Spanning 73 miles from Wallsend in the east to the Solway Firth in the west, Hadrian’s Wall is the best-preserved frontier of the Roman Empire.
Stunning country house hotels, cosy pubs, family-run bed & breakfasts and self-catering options of every style and size; Northumberland has accommodation to suit every taste and budget.
It doesn’t end there, Northumberland is just as good with the lights off. Together Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park make up the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, which was awarded Gold Status by the International Dark Skies Association in 2013 making it the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe and places Northumberland firmly in the list of best places to stargaze in the world.
Head to the Northumberland Coast and with the right weather conditions you might be lucky enough to see the amazing Aurora Borealis.
Visit Northumberland and you’ll discover we have something to offer morning, noon or night.