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    Once a mediaeval kingdom under the Angles, Northumbria used to denote a wide area stretching from the Humber Estuary in the south, west across the country to the River Mersey, and north into south east Scotland at the Firth of Forth. Now the extent of Northumbria is limited to the eastern coast of England, with its northern-most point at Berwick-upon-Tweed; but Northumbria still retains its rugged reputation. Once the northern limits of the Roman Empire, Northumbria still boasts more castles that anywhere else in England.

    Things to do in Northumbria
    To the north east of the region, the Northumbria National Park offers walkers and wildlife-watchers a tranquil and remote space, with the Cheviots at the northern border with Scotland, areas of rolling moorland and forest - including Kielder Forest, the largest man-made woodland in Europe - in between, and reaching down to the Roman fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall in the south.

    Now designated as a World Heritage Site, and perhaps the finest Roman monument built in Britain, the 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall are a popular trek for long-distance walkers, and also for keen cyclists, who follow Route 72 of the National Cycle Network. There are also well-established cycle trails through Kielder Forest, and along the east coastal extremities of the region.

    High Force Waterfall on the River Tees sees the full power of the river plunging over the 71ft precipice of the black rock of Great Whin Sill, and down into the wide pool below; although it is not the highest waterfall in England, it makes a dramatic spectacle for visitors.

    Top Destinations

    Alnwick – Promoting itself as at the heart of Northumbria, any visit to the historic market town of Alnwick would be incomplete without a trip to the amazing fortifications of Alnwick Castle and the surrounding majesty of Alnwick Gardens, the latter the recent creation of the Duchess of Northumberland. Alnwick Castle has been the home of the Percy family, latterly the Dukes of Northumberland, for more than 700 years.  Meanwhile, on the road from Alnwick to Rothbury, the picturesque ruins of the 14th century Edlingham Castle lie close to the river, and are carefully maintained for visitors by English Heritage.

    Berwick-upon-Tweed – At the northern-most tip of Northumberland, the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed changed hands repeatedly before finally falling to the English in 1482. The fine Elizabethan town walls were constructed to ensure protection from the invading Scots, and are now the only intact walls of their kind remaining in England.

    Lindisfarne – St Aidan founded his monastery on ‘the Holy Island’ in 635AD, and Lindisfarne has been a centre for spirituality ever since.

    The Angel of the North – Antony Gormley’s huge, futuristic steel sculpture of an angel was constructed between 1994 and 1998, and stands on the southern edge of Low Fell, near Gateshead, overlooking the A1 and A167 roads into Tyneside, and the east coast mainline rail route. The copper element in its construction gives the statue its distinctive red patina, and at 20 metres in height, the Angel is taller than a five-storey building, with wings of 54 metres in width.

    Bamburgh Castle – Once the seat of the Kings of Northumbria, this vast castle spans nine acres across a high plateau of volcanic rock, overlooking the Northumberland coastline, 45 metres above sea level.

    Beamish Museum – Famous for its open air reconstructed buildings, dating from Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods, and for its professional, costumed re-enactments, the Museum has prided itself on being a ‘living museum’ for more than 40 years.

    Hartlepool – Originally a village close to Hartlepool Abbey, the modern town of Hartlepool is famous for being the home of the creator of the cartoon pigeon-racer, Andy Capp, and the former constituency of Peter (now Lord) Mandelson.

    Durham – Lying to the south of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Durham boasts a most magnificent cathedral. Durham Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tomb of St Cuthbert lies within the cathedral and is still a place of pilgrimage.

    Newcastle-upon-Tyne – The Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside, also known as ‘Newcastle Quayside’ and ‘Gateshead Quays’, is an area of dockland along the River Tyne that has recently been redeveloped into a vibrant centre for the arts and entertainment. Site of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, The Sage Gateshead and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the Quayside is now a major local attraction, with numerous events and entertainment options taking place all year round.

    Stanhope – Situated on the banks of the River Wear, with a strong industrial and mining heritage, the town of Stanhope boasts a pretty 12th century church, while a 18th century castle stands in the centre of the town, possibly on the site of an earlier, mediaeval motte and bailey castle.         

    Hexham – A thriving market town, Hexham was one of the many border settlements to suffer in the wars between Scotland and England. Hexham Abbey, the 15th century Moot Hall and the Old Gaol are three particularly notable buildings in the town.

    Barnard Castle – Once the site of a now-ruined Norman castle, this town is also home to the Bowes Museum, a purpose-built public art gallery; in addition to fine art, the museum is well-known for its textiles and tapestries, and the grand, French style architecture of the building itself sits somewhat incongruously in the local landscape.


    Recently updated properties

    photo of Snugglers Cove , Beadnell, nr. Seahouses, Beadnell, Northumberland
    Close to sandy beachThis refurbished semi-detached bungalow offers cosy holiday accommodation on one level. The property sits just 200 yards from the church and 300 yards from the golden sandy beach. Beadnell is ideal for ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pet friendly

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    photo of Graham's Lodge , 33, king street, seahouses, northumberland
    4* SELF CATERING HOLIDAY HOME IN THE QUAINT VILLAGE OF SEAHOUSES. DECORATED TO A HIGH STANDARD THROUGHOUT WITH ALL MOD CONS 3 Bedrooms ( 2 doubles, 1 single with adult size double bottom bunk & childs size on top ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 7
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of Low Tide , Beadnell, Beadnell, Northumberland
    This contemporary holiday home is set in the heart of this popular harbour village making a perfect retreat for couples. With great attention to detail throughout, boasting a large steam shower cubicle, it is ideally ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of Chestnut Cottage , Iveston, nr. Lanchester, Consett, County Durham
    This charming, detached former Hemel, close to the owners' home, lies just 1½ miles from the historic village of Lanchester and only 10 miles from Durham. Lanchester is steeped in history dating back to the 12th ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of Broomstick Cottage , Elsdon, Otterburn, Northumberland
    4 steps to entrance. Ground floor: Living room with wooden floor/dining room/kitchen with tiled floor. 1 double (6ft) bedroom. Shower room with toilet. Spiral stairs to first floor: 2 single bedrooms, both with Velux and ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££

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