Tel: 01665 510777
Home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, and the largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor, the castle has over 700 years of history. Familiar from Blackadder and Harry Potter films, it has regular archery, falconry and magical history events.
Further information: www.alnwickcastle.com
Discounted tickets can be purchased from the hotel reception.
Tel: 01668 214515
This lofty, impregnable, 11th-century coastal castle sits high on a volcanic outcrop with impressive views over the Northumberland coast from its battlements. Interesting collections of china, furniture, paintings and armour as well as an aviation museum.
Further information: www.bamburghcastle.com
Belsay Hall & Gardens
Tel: 01661 881636
This Greek Revival villa plus medieval castle ruins are set in 30 acres of Grade 1 Listed gardens, unaltered for over 200 years and containing exotic species, rhododendrons, a Magnolia Terrace and Quarry Garden, the latter inspired by the quarries of Sicily.
Further information: www.english-heritage.org.uk
St Nicholas’ Street, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 232 7938
The Norman keep is on the site of the original wooden castle (which gave ‘Newcastle’ its name) in a strategic position high above the river Tyne. Fantastic city views from the battlemented rooftop plus nearby Black Gate, medieval gatehouse.
Further information: www.newcastlecastle.co.uk
Tel: 01669 620333
Country home of Lord Armstrong, the armaments king and Victorian inventor and whose partner, Andrew Noble, lived at Jesmond Dene House. Cragside was the world’s first house to be lit by hydroelectricity; its flamboyant rooms include early examples of a hydraulic lift and telephone system while extensive grounds include a rock garden and rhododendron labyrinth.
Further information: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside
Palace Green, Durham
Tel: 0191 334 3800
Norman motte-and-bailey castle - and, together with the Cathedral, a World Heritage Site - in a stunning position overlooking the River Wear. Previously the home of the Bishops of Durham, now part of Durham University (founded 1832), visits are by guided tours only and include Great Hall, Kitchen and Norman Chapel.
Further information: www.durhamworldheritagesite.com/architecture/castle
Palace Green, Durham
Tel: 0191 386 4266
Considered England’s finest example of Norman architecture, in a magnificent position overlooking the River Wear, it forms a World Heritage Site together with the adjacent Castle. Highlights include the tombs of St Cuthbert and Venerable Bede, the Tower and the Monks’ Dormitory.
Admission: Free, donations accepted
Further information: www.durhamcathedral.co.uk
Built for Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD122 as the northern outpost of the Roman Empire and now a World Heritage Site, the wall stretches 73 miles from Segedunum Fort, with its reconstructed bath house, at Wallsend in the east, to the Solway Firth on the west coast. Numerous Roman camps, forts, museums and milecastles, including Housesteads, Chesters and Vindolanda as well as the Hadrian’s Wall national trail and cycleway.
Further information: www.visithadrianswall.co.uk
Holy Island of Lindisfarne
Semi-island (cut off twice daily by tides) and home to 7th-century St Cuthbert, the sights include the ruins of the Norman Priory, Lindisfarne Castle and Gertrude Jekyll garden, beaches, bird life and Heritage Centre with copies of the famous Lindisfarne Gospels.
Further information: www.lindisfarne.org.uk
Tel: 01670 773600
17th-century hall with Palladian exterior and Italian rococo interior, including Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Surrounded by Capability Brown landscaped parkland with a walled garden.
Further information: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington