If you really want to escape the crowds in England, Northumberland is the place to run to. Fewer people live in Northumberland than in many London Boroughs, and yet it’s the sixth-largest county by area. With no cities, Northumbrians live in fishing ports, distinguished market towns and far-flung hamlets in the deep valleys of the Northumberland National Park.
Castles are almost ten-a-penny here, and a lingering reminder that battles and sieges were a part of life in this region for hundreds of years. Some like Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle are family-friendly days out with quirky re-enactors, while many others are spectral ruins that complement the untamed countryside perfectly.
Lets explore the best places to visit in Northumberland:
A market town full of poise, Alnwick has terraces of limestone flat-fronted townhouses with second-hand bookshops, coffee shops and pubs.
The big sight is the town’s castle, which is the second-largest inhabited castle in the UK, after Windsor.
You’re free to poke around in the summer, and there’s extra incentive for Harry Potter fans as the property was Hogwarts in the movies.
You’ll also be spellbound by The Alnwick Garden, landscaped hedges and flowerbeds around a water cascade.
To arouse morbid curiosity there’s a Poison Garden growing hemlock, foxglove and the plants to make ricin and strychnine.
Also, make excursions to the castles at Chillingham, Edlingham and Dunstanburgh and to experience the awesome beachscapes at Low Newton and Embleton Bay.