Northumberland is a ceremonial and historic county, filled with ancient castles, hidden gardens, unspoilt beaches, rolling hills, rugged moorland, sweeping views, and friendly little market towns. It borders with Cumbria, Durham, Tyne and Wear and is the gateway to the Scottish Borders.
Northumberland has a wide array of historical castles, with battlements and portcullises; ghostly ruins guarding endless sandy beaches. The landscapes and vast coastlines echo with ancient footsteps. Northumberland has the most castles on its lands than any other county in the UK, including Bamburgh Castle; and Alnwick Castle which stood in as the school for a noted fictional wizard.
Northumberland is a very popular destination for history buffs, ramblers, mountain bikers and romantics looking to get lost together. With endless countryside and ambling down the coastside, there is plenty to see and do in this stunning county.
As the sun goes down in the evening, the Northumberland skies open up, revealing millions of stars; pinpricked light beaming down on a pitch black canvas.
The Northumberland wildlife ecosystem is as diverse as its countryside; the British red squirrel can be found in abundance at home in the Cragside, Hulne Parks and Thrunton Woods areas. Equally a trip to Farne Island will unveil a vast array of wildlife, from mesmerising Puffins to captivating Grey Seals as well as a favourite nesting stop for other rare seabirds. The Northern Pennines are home to 80% of the UK’s black grouse population.
As the most sparsely populated County in England, a local joke has been born that “Congestion means you can see another car and heavy congestion means you had to brake to let some sheep past.”
Northumberland is truly a county of contrast, whilst you can wonder at the idyllic countryside and coastland; a look back into its history unveils a rich and dark history, the lands have been fought over for almost 2000 years, which can be found by exploring the many battlements and forts built to protect and defend the area.
A trip to the west will find you discovering the site of Hadrian’s Wall, originally spanning 73 miles of the Roman frontier, The Wall formed the northernmost border of the Roman empire in the United Kingdom.
Closer to Newcastle lies Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens; the unusual gardens are Grade I listed, complete with their own microclimate and are an extensive feature of the Hall and Castle. Belsay Castle has origins as far back as the medieval era, with the Grecian-style Hall showcasing the incredible craftsmanship of the local tradesmen.
North of Alnwick, is Holy Island; this Lindisfarne Priory and Holy Island have drawn visitors for over 13 Centuries. The ruins stand peacefully with memories of monks and saints of Anglo-Saxon from medieval northumbria; gazing out to the horizon, it is easy to imagine the terror that must have come from the sight of Viking sails approaching, with plans of raiding the medieval lands.
Be sure to take in as much of Northumberland’s history and landscape by visiting;
- Alnwick Castle
- Bamburgh Castle
- Holy Island
- National Trust Dunstanburgh
- Northumberland National Park
- Lindisfarne Castle
- National Trust Cragside
- The Alnwick Gardens
- and National Trust Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort
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