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Northumberland: A Catalyst for Castles in England

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Northumberland is located on the border of England’s wildest countryside and Scotland’s rugged landscape. Northumberland is a county found in the North-East of England. It has many a tale to tell of its diverse, dramatic, and distinguished past. Due to its location on the Scottish Border and proximity to mainland Europe, Northumberland has faced countless battles, invasions, discoveries, and adaptations. For that reason is one of the most beautifully unique counties you can experience in Britain. From its rolling green hills and UNESCO World Heritage Site to bright starry skies. Here you can also enjoy the Castles around every corner. Every day spent in Northumberland can fill you with awe and wonder. It will undoubtedly reveal some of the best-kept secrets about Britain’s history, the universe that surrounds us, and the animals, flora, and fauna we share our home with. 

Roman Beginnings

Hadrian’s Wall Photo by Glynis Shannon

Hadrian’s wall. It is a defensive fortress built by Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. It served to protect the new English lands of the Roman Empire from Scottish attackers. The wall took more than 7 years to complete. It stretched for 73 miles between the cities of Wallsend (Northumberland) and Bowness-on-Solway (Cumbria). The wall formed the original border between England and Scotland. While the current border is now further north and the wall has collapsed, Hadrian’s famous defensive fortress became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. The fortress still draws thousands of visitors each year! It is an excellent place for a picnic on a sunny day. It offers unbeatable views of Northumberland and its stunning scenery. However, if you are a fan of hiking, it is the perfect place for a long walk!

Catalyst for Change

The “Kingdom of Northumbria” was long known as the “Catalyst of Christianity” in England. It was the nation’s first monastery built on the holy island of Lindisfarne in 635 AD. by Saint Aidan. The monastery became the home of Saint Cuthbert, who would become the Bishop of Lindisfarne in AD 684. The monastery Influences the writings of the famous Lindisfarne Gospels in the early 8th century. From this small island off the coast of Bamburgh, According to history they say that Christianity reached the farthest reaches of England. It brought a new way of life, new kingdoms and new cultures to the British Isles. Today people can visit the island. However, many visitors choose to walk along the seabed at low tide, following in the famous footsteps of pilgrims, Vikings and Englishmen throughout its long history.

Lindisfarne Priory Photo by Jonathan Cannon

Countless Castles

Northumberland is home to more Castles than any other County in England. it makes it the perfect destination for any history-lover, aspirational architect, or explorer. Alnwick and Bamburgh are perhaps two of the most well-known and popular Castles in the region. Alnwick is the second largest inhabited castle in the whole of the UK. With almost 1000 years of history waiting to be discovered, there is plenty to do and see. From its spectacular gardens to its breath-taking architecture and intriguing secrets, However, countless movies and television productions, including the Harry Potter series and Downton Abbey, used Alnwick Castle.

Slightly further up the rugged Northumberland coastline lies Bamburgh Castle. It stands proudly above the sandy shoreline for over 1,400 years. The Castle is steeped in history, myth, and legend. it becomes the first Castle in the world to fall to the ravages of gunpowder during the War of the Roses! From its defensive fortress, you can stand and gaze across the North Sea. Looking at the marvel of the English coastline and the pivotal Island of Lindisfarne, you can stand in the footsteps of countless Royals, Vikings, and Saints.

Bamburugh Castle . Northumberland
Bamburugh Castle Photo by Paul Edney

Starry Skies

Further inland lies Kielder Forest and Observatory. it is the second-largest area of dark skies in Europe. Over 20,000 people visit the Observatory each year. Here, they can learn about the starry skies above us and how humanity has used the stars to guide our movements and inspire our discoveries. Kielder Forest is also the perfect location for a magical weekend away, home to Northern Europe’s largest man-made lake. Whether you are an animal fanatic, thrill-seeker, or avid hiker, Kielder is a haven for all things nature. it allows you to take a step back from the busyness of everyday life and take a breath of fresh air. 

Northumberland: England’s Best Kept Secret?

The County of Northumberland is one of the most diverse counties in the British Isle., Its vibrant history forming a unique culture difficult to find anywhere else in the World. Friendly locals, gorgeous landscapes, and awe-inspiring history make this County one of the top places you should visit. Also is one of England’s best-kept secrets. Whether you’re visiting for a day, a week or a month, every day spent in Northumberland can be filled with something new and exciting. It will leave you feeling inspired by the powerful stories of its people, its nature, and its culture. 

in conlcusion, if you want to know more about the author’s travel experiences, look at Undaunted Adventure. 

However, if you want to know more about the culture of other places, look at our Blog.

Author: Charley Allison

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