England amazes me. Just when I think I’ve seen a lot of it, I find entire counties I didn’t know existed. Like Northumberland. And then I visit and discover I’ve been missing out on an amazing corner of England. So I keep going back and finding things to love about it. And naturally, I want to share them with you. Because there are some incredible places to travel in Northumberland and you should see them.
Places to Travel in Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost county in England and sits just across the border from Scotland. Since I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Scottish Borders lately, I’ve also been in Northumberland a lot. And for good reason. There’s so much to see in this part of England, from stunning coastal castles to beautiful rolling hills. So below are 9 places I’ve found that I hope will inspire you to travel here.
You can read more about Northumberland in Lonely Planet Great Britain, too. If you’re in the UK, get it here. If you’re in the US, get it here. I’ve had a copy since I moved to London, and I’ve used it to plan a lot of my trips.
1. Alnwick Castle
Perhaps the most famous place in Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is not only stunning in its own right but also known for being a filming location for the Harry Potter movies and Downton Abbey. I visited earlier this week to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the A Lady in London blog, and it was amazing to see the gardens and state rooms.
2. Holy Island
Another place with a stunning fortress, Holy Island is known for the hilltop beauty of Lindisfarne Castle. But there’s a lot more to it than that, from Gertrude Jekyll’s stunning garden to the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory. Add to that the fact that the island is only accessible via a causeway from the mainland at low tide, and even getting there is an adventure.
Up the coast from Holy island, Berwick-upon-Tweed is steeped in history. The border town has changed hands between England and Scotland countless times, and its thick city walls and fortifications testify to its turbulent history. But there’s a softer side to Berwick, too, from the beautiful lighthouse to the trail following the paintings of artist L. S. Lowry.
4. Bamburgh Castle
Back down the coast, Bamburgh Castle is one of the most stunning fortresses in Northumberland. Sitting on a cliff above a beach, it’s not only striking because of its location, but also because of its beautiful interiors and legendary history as the seat of the Kings of Northumbria.
5. The Cheviot Hills and Northumberland National Park
Far from castles and towns, the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland National Park are some of my most beloved places to get out into nature in England. With gorgeous views and lots of woolly sheep, the Cheviots deliver on all my favorite fronts.
6. Hadrian’s Wall
Equally removed from the bustle of town life, Hadrian’s Wall is one of my ideal places to travel in Northumberland. I’m a huge fan of Roman history, and this is one of the finest examples of it in England. And it’s not just the wall, either. There are Roman forts, archaeological sites, and museums to explore along it, too.
I discovered Craster by accident, but I’m glad I did. My boyfriend and I were looking for somewhere to eat after visiting Alnwick Castle, and Craster seemed to have a cluster of good seafood restaurants. In we drove, and when we arrived we discovered a pretty seaside village with the best lobster I’ve had in a long time.
8. Dunstanburgh Castle
As an added bonus, Craster has stunning views of Dunstanburgh Castle. Sitting right above the shoreline on the Northumberland Coast, this 14th-century ruin dominates the landscape. Its keep also offers great views up and down the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
9. Chain Bridge Honey Farm
Perhaps the quirkiest place on my list, the Chain Bridge Honey Farm is not only known for its bee products, but also a colorful collection of vintage vehicles ranging from tractors to caravans. The most delightful of them is a bright green vintage double-decker bus that houses a hidden cafe.
And that’s what I love about Northumberland: it keeps surprising me. There are still a lot of places I want to discover—the house and gardens at Cragside come to mind—and I can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful county.
How about you? What are your favorite places to travel in Northumberland?
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