Go back in time with Northumberland's most interesting sites
Published: Friday 24th Aug 2018
Written by: The Grace Darling Holidays Team
Northumberland really is the perfect spot for history lovers, boasting an impressive array of castles, historic estates, market towns and even an island featuring a Priory established around 600AD. There’s so much choice but here are our top picks...
You can’t come to Northumberland without a visit to the medieval market town of Alnwick (pronounced ‘annick’), the town itself is a delight, with an array of interesting individual shops and winding cobbled streets. Alnwick has its own iconic castle - construction on this stunning feature began in the 11th Century and it really is like stepping back in time. The castle’s own history is quite fascinating, and it will be recognisable to many as it featured as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Throughout August, events focussed on the castles history are running, like Knight’s week, Medieval Life and Storytelling week. Alnwick Garden too is a stunning and relaxing way to spend your holiday, why not take tea in the world’s largest tree house?!
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a stunning tidal island which has to be seen to be appreciated. With an unrivalled history, the Priory, Castle, ruins, breath-taking scenery and views should not be missed. The museum tells Holy Island’s story, from the times of the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Viking raids and the life of traditional islanders. Cut off twice a day from the mainland, the island has a number of Christian retreats and it is easy to see why – the unique feeling of peace and beauty the island imparts is tangible.
Why not sooth your soul with the vast natural beauty of Northumberland National Park. It covers a quarter of the county itself and it’s sometimes hauntingly remote countryside is littered with archaeological sites suggesting its rich history – from prehistoric remains, Roman monuments, 15th century military forts and keeps and of course Hadrian’s Wall to the very south. The Park offers many guides and resources but the guided walks really do mean visitors both see and explore the best historic spots of this unique area. For many, you can just turn up and go, for more information visit https://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/things-to-do/get-active-outdoors/walking/guided-walks/
Ashington Colliary and Woodhouse Museum offer something completely different. Exploiting Northumberland’s coal since at the end of the 19th Century, it ran for over 80 years, and at its peak, employed over 2000 miners. Although the mine closed in 1984, very little has changed and visitors can explore the authentic experience of the miners and the heart of their community. Highly rated on TripAdvisor, the museum and buildings are excellently arranged and the centre offers guided tours and unique exhibitions such as work by The Pitman Painters – art by local minors depicting their own lives.
Grace Darling cottage hideaways will offer you the perfect place to rest your weary feet after a day’s exploring! Whatever the size of your party, wherever you choose to base your holiday, we have the ideal self-catering cottage waiting for you.