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Alnwick Castle

Alnwick, Northumberland
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.

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh, Northumberland
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

Belsay, Northumberland
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

Castle Keep

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

Cragside

Rothbury, Northumberland
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

Durham Castle

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

Durham Cathedral

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

Hadrian’s Wall

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

Northumberland

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

Wallington Hall

Cambo, Northumberland
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