Monday, 4 March 2013 3:15 PM
Northumberland is a fantastic UK holiday destination for anyone with a keen interest in history. From stunning castles to the world-famous Hadrian's Wall, there are attractions guaranteed to delight and fascinate young and old alike. Discover the top sites with our guide below.
First of all, let's take a look at Hadrian's Wall. Arguably, this is the most celebrated historical attraction in Northumberland, as well as being one of the best-known in the country. Spanning some 73 miles between Wallsend and Bowness-on-Solway, the wall dates back to 122 AD and initially took just eight years to finish.
Once upon a time, this was England's most defended border; today, it is one of the UK's most visited attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian, and today a lot of the surviving sections – including some of the best-preserved – can be seen in Northumberland.
If you want to blend your historical discovery with exploring the landscape, combine your visit with a walk along Hadrian's Wall Path. Spanning 84 miles, this National Trail could easily be the focal point of your holiday, but you could also simply decide to walk a section of it instead. You can find accommodation near to the wall and walking route here.
If you love castles, Northumberland is county that cannot fail to impress. Its Heritage Coast is a particular treasure trove for this kind of attraction, so it is a good idea to start your trip here. You can find out more about some of the best places to visit below.
Boasting a dramatic coastline location in Craster, Dunstanburgh Castle dates back to the 14th century. In its heyday, it was one of the county's most impressive fortifications, and remains a dramatic sight today.
Nowadays, however, the castle has fallen into ruin. A trip here will allow you to discover the remainder of the building, and to explore the gatehouse, as well as the Lilburn Tower. Indeed, the latter is a particular highlight, thanks to its exceptional views across the coast.
It's also worth remembering that there is also a large picnic area here, which, when combined with the view, is an attraction in its own right. Families might find this a particularly good spot for a morning or afternoon out, which you can then follow up with a leisurely coastal walk.
As one of the best-known buildings in Northumberland, Bamburgh Castle is a truly wonderful place to visit. In the past, it was home to the kings of ancient Northumbria; today, it has been restored to its former glory.
This restoration was carried out by industrialist Lord Armstrong around 1900, and it is thanks to this that tourists can enjoy such a fantastic site today. Looking incredibly imposing from the outside, the castle also houses some fabulous artefacts, including armour, paintings and furniture. In fact, there is more than 2,000 items to see in total, as well as 14 splendid public rooms.
Visit in the summer and you're likely to notice archaeologists working on the site. Previously, the grounds around the castle have been a veritable treasure trove, concealing historical gems like the Bamburgh Sword. So, make sure you add a trip here to your itinerary!