Room4u Tour Guides

holidaying in northumberland, england

Northumberland is often cruelly overlooked by the eager and adventurous traveller whose natural inclination is to explore the heaving glacial majesty of the Scottish Highlands on the one hand or the muscular ribs and waters of the Lake District on the other. There’s no obvious reason for this. Years of successful marketing by the Scottish and Lakeland Tourist industries have simply created a niche. The advantages of holidaying in Northumberland though are pretty simple; the Highlands of Scotland cover an immense geography, making a broad and satisfying tour of the area somewhat costly (and somewhat exhausting) to manage. And for all its watery magic, the Lakes lack the sparkle and punch that a major city can offer. Northumberland offers glimpses of both – but on a smaller and more manageable scale. Newcastle – the Angel of the North – offers a plucky, vivacious base from which to explore Northumberland. Excellent for nightlife and shopping alike – the Metrocentre being the largest Shopping Centre in the United Kingdom and home to some 400 stores, eateries and entertainment outlets. It’s a far cry from the dramatic views of the nearby Northumberland National Park – with its wriggling crystal streams and eerie leaden skies and the piney, fir-lined reserves of the Kielder Water and Forest Park – which wrap around the Geordie capital like a glorious, untamed ivy. Click here for prices on Northumberland Holidays from Superbreak

Morpeth ~ Northumberland

Morpeth is a charming little market town on the south side of the Northumberland National Park. Sitting on the banks of the River Wansbeck, look out for the wonderful Turner Graden and the wooden Carlisle Park with its boating, tennis and bowling activities ~ Morpeth

Hexham ~ Northumberland

Favoured based for exploring the 2000 year old Hadrian's Wall and Kielder Water & Forest Park. Chesters Roman Fort & Museum is just a few miles to the North and is an unmissable attraction. Has its own abbey ~ Hexham

Alnwick ~ Northumberland

A colourful medieval market town famed for its gardens and its castle. Alnwick Castle featured in the Harry Potter films. Dungeons, lost cellars, a Knight's Quest arena and Harry Potter themed events make for a fun day out ~ Alnwick

Berwick Upon Tweed ~ Northumberland

Known as Holy island, Lindisfarne is a magical ancient island just outside of Berwick and accessible on foot only at low tides. The island is home to a 16th Century castle. Historic Berwick was once fought over by the Scots. A Pilgrim's paradise ~ Berwick

Newcastle ~ Tyne Valley

It's nightlife is second to none. Sitting at the mouth of the Tyne, this port city is the 'Angel of the North'. Home to the Metro Centre - the largest retail complex in Britain ~ Newcastle

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These northernmost reaches of England offer a generous range of holiday pursuits including water sports, cycling and climbing and for those inspired by the likes of ‘Springwatch’ on the BBC, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Kielder Water and Forest Park, which merges imperceptibly with the mighty crags of the Cheviot hills to the North East – is home to Osprey, Roe Deer, Otters and Red Squirrel. The Northumberland National Park is also rich in history, home as it is to the famous Hadrian’s Wall – built by the Romans in AD 100 – extending from Wallsend on the Tyne in the East to the Solway Firth on the lower western fringes of Scotland. Today, travellers can get a taste of its former glory by visiting holiday attractions like Chesters Roman Fort near Hexham or the recently refurbished Roman Vindolanda which sits on the road to Carlisle and one of the most distinguished Roman Army Museums in Britain.

Lindisfarne and Holy Island are also worth a visit. Lindisfarne is a tidal island a few miles east of Berwick Upon Tweed and can be reached by a causeway at low tide. The island also plays host to a romantic 16th-century castle, which offers spectacular views and is managed by the National Trust. Lindisfarne Priory, original home to the Lindisfarne Gospels, was an important centre of early Christianity, and the home of St Cuthbert.

Super Sightseeing:

  • Hadrian's Wall ~ 2000 years old wall separating England from Scotland. Trails for walkers & museums and forts for history buffs. Visitor Centres include Vindolanda Museum, Chesters Roman Fort and Housesteads Fort.
  • Alnwick Castle ~ The castle featured in the Harry Potter movies. Also houses one of the largest private art collections. Medieval music and entertainment, a Knight's Quest, lost cellars, Battleaxe to Broomsticks Tour, archery, crafts and stunning gardens.
  • Kielder Water and Forest Park ~ Northumberland is home to Europe's largest man-made lake and England biggest forest. 250 square miles of parkland and nature reserves. Visitor Centres at Tower Knowe, Leaplish and Kielder Castle. Activities include watersports, walking, mountain biking, fishing and orienteering. Climbing walls, zip wire, King Swing, high ropes course and other adventure activities on offer at Calvert Trust Kielder - north of Hexham.
  • Lindisfarne ~ Also known as Holy Island. This ancient christian site is accessible by the 'Pilgrim's Way' causeway at low-tide. Home to a nature reserve, 16th Century Castle (National Trust) and the ruins of an ancient priory (English Heritage) - all with visitor centres. Spectacular coastal views and original home to the Lindisfarne Gospels. Near Berwick Upon Tweed in Northumberland.

Northumberland Holiday Ideas © 2011 Room4U