Nestled between Scotland and the rest of England lies the stunning and often overlooked gem that is Northumberland, also called Northumbria. Often referred to as “England’s best-kept secret,” this breathtaking destination is steeped in history, natural beauty and charm that rivals even the most popular tourist attractions. Read on to discover the multifaceted treasures of Northumberland and see for yourself why it is quickly becoming a must-see destination for tourists worldwide.
Northumberland’s rich history can be traced back to Roman times, with its most famous landmark being Hadrian’s Wall. Built in A.D. 122, this remarkable piece of history stretches over 73 miles, marking the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. Today, visitors can explore sections of the wall by foot or discover its many forts – including Vindolanda, Housesteads and Chesters – which provide unique glimpses into ancient Roman life.
The region is also home to numerous enchanting castles. Among them is Alnwick Castle — one of Britain’s most iconic castles and well-known as the filming location for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter film series. Bamburgh Castle is another stunning fortress perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the North Sea, adding dramatic flair to an already picturesque area.
For those seeking an encounter with Mother Nature, look no further than Northumberland’s majestic coastline, spanning over 60 miles of pristine beaches and rugged cliffsides. Visitors to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) can enjoy memorable strolls along sandy shores or even cherish a bit of solitude at one of the many hidden coves scattered along the coast.
Enthusiasts of wild landscapes shouldn’t miss out on visiting Northumberland National Park — England’s most tranquil national park — featuring fabled forests, serene moorlands and ancient heritage sites such as Yeavering Bell hillfort. Famous for being England’s least visited national park, this untouched sanctuary provides respite from bustling cities while offering countless opportunities for adventure through hiking, cycling or even stargazing within Europe’s largest protected Dark Sky Park.
Charming Villages & Picture-Perfect Scenery
A journey to Northumberland would not be complete without experiencing its charming villages that exemplify English countryside living at its finest. Rothbury, Seahouses and Craster are just a few examples worth exploring.
In addition to its quaint homes and cozy pubs brimming with welcoming locals reveling in regional lore, these villages serve as gateways to some spectacular sights. Prepare yourself for impressive coastal walks leading toward legendary Dunstanburgh Castle or treat your taste buds with some locally smoked kippers in Craster.
Culture & Wildlife Encounters
Last but not least, those wanting more than just visual delights will find rich experiences waiting in Northumberland’s cultural offerings. Arts aficionados can indulge at The Alnwick Playhouse or dive into local pottery scenes at Muddy Fingers Pottery or Bardon Mill Pottery Studio.
Animal lovers will find their nirvana at Farne Islands — located just off the coast near Seahouses — where they can witness colonies of Atlantic grey seals basking in their natural habitat or marvel at fantastic birdlife, including thousands of puffins during breeding season.
With so much hidden treasure lying within this oft-overlooked region in England, it should come as no surprise that the secret of Northumberland is fast getting out there among intrepid travelers searching for authentic experiences steeped in beauty and history. When planning your next UK getaway, remember that this captivating corner tucked away between nations is waiting to be explored – just make sure you keep quiet about it!