History, coastline and countryside - Northumberland has it all! There is a vast choice of amazing sightseeing attractions on offer here, with numerous cultural and historical sites to visit. Highlights include the awe-inspiring Hadrian's Wall, taking a boat trip to see the amazing wildlife on the Farne Islands, and exploring the stunning national park and beautiful coast. There is plenty to keep you busy while on holiday in Northumberland.
- Hadrian's Wall
- Northumberland National Park
- The Farne Islands
The truly spectacular Northumberland National Park is a real highlight and has a host of attractions including some fantastic intact sections of Hadrian's Wall. Bordering the national park is Kielder Water and Forest Park which contains England's largest forest and reservoir and has a fantastic array of wildlife including red squirrels, otters and osprey. These combined regions were named England's first Dark Sky Park in 2013, protecting the skies from light pollution and recognising this area as one of the best in the world for stargazing.
If the coast calls to you, then the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will leave you awestruck. This area can be explored on foot via the fantastic Northumberland Coast Path. From the pleasant village of Seahouses you can take a boat trip to the Farne Islands, David Attenborough's favourite place in the UK to see nature at its best. On these islands you can witness the spectacular sight of England's largest breeding colony of grey seals as well as hundreds of thousands of seabirds, including everyone's favourite - the puffin.
In addition to Northumberland's natural splendour, there are a variety of man-made marvels to see as well. The stunning stately homes and castles will awe visitors and some provide the perfect opportunity to combine an art and architecture visit, such as Wallington House and Bamburgh Castle. Both have impressive art collections in addition to their magnificent interiors and exteriors.
The Cheviot Hills in the national park offer magnificent walking and horse riding routes as well as the chance to scout out Yeavering Bell, the remains of an Iron Age hill fort. If you love combining entertainment and exercise, then Northumberland's coast is a brilliant place to go wild with a number of water sports and activities such as kayaking, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
If you're keen to share a splendid wildlife experience with all the family, the Northumberland Wildlife Trust organises a number of events each year which are full of family fun while providing the opportunity to learn through an engaging and entertaining environment.
Golfers are guaranteed to have a ball in Northumberland thanks to the great selection of first-rate golf courses. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a pro, these courses cater to both skilled as well as less experienced players.
Northumberland has a scrumptious selection of farmers' markets where you can sample the delicious range of food produced throughout the county such as cheeses, meats and breads. For a dining experience unlike any other, take to the trees with the completely captivating Treehouse Restaurant.
If you fancy a nice afternoon tea, you can enjoy a refreshing brew at the Earl Grey Tea House and stroll around the beautiful Howick Hall Gardens where the tea house is located. For a brew of a different kind, there are many wonderful pubs in Northumberland.
Family Days Out
There is plenty to keep families entertained in this county. If you think you can handle ghostly goings-on, take a ghost tour in Chillingham Castle. It's an ideal day out for families with older children.
From scary to spellbinding, a magical adventure is guaranteed with a trip to Alnwick Castle. The castle served as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies and offers an enchanting selection of activities, including the chance to test your broomstick riding skills with a broomstick training session. Alternatively, kids can enter the world of medieval knights and princesses with the opportunity to dress up in costumes, try their hand at medieval arts and crafts or brave the fearsome Dragon Quest with a variety of challenges and brain-stretching riddles.
Getting There and Getting Around
The county of Northumberland is around a five and a half hour drive from London. Travel by bus or train is also an option. The closest airport is Newcastle International Airport which just a short drive from the Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.
Travelling around the county is easy thanks to the extensive bus and train services. If you go by car, we recommend driving the Northumberland Coastal Road so you can explore the lovely seaside towns and villages on the way.
For more ideas, please visit our things to do in Northumberland pages.