There’s a reason why Northumberland was recently voted the best National Park in the World and that’s because it’s steeped in history. Northumberland is known for being Britain’s best kept secret, with its untouched rugged countryside, unspoilt white sandy beaches that go on for miles and miles and its magical castles, and historic mediaeval towns. Northumberland is truly unique, and the best part is that few knows its here!
With over 70 castle to visit, Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England.
Unlike other National Parks visitor numbers are still very low, even the world famous Hadrian’s wall doesn’t attract the attention you would think it would.
Here at Overland Adventures we’ve pulled together a quick stop tour guide from our personal experiences that you could use to plan your routes if you were to hire one of our Landrover Defender Campers.
A few nights in Northumberland could be a great way to start your adventure, with a one night stay on the coast you could visit some of the main attractions like the medieval town of Morpeth, before venturing up to visit Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden. From there take a a 15 minute journey over to the coast to pitch up at Craster or Beadnall where you can have a BBQ on the beach and a walk along the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle, truly one of the best coastal walks in Great Britain. The next day pack up and before heading North or West a must is a visit to the truly breath-taking Bamburgh Castle. Its stunning coastal village will be one of the highlights of your journey.
A little further up the coast you come across The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, steeped in history. Dating back to 635AD when Saint Aiden travelled from Iona to found his monestary on the Island of Lindisfarne which became an integral part of spreading the Christian message worldwide.
If the weather isn’t so great on the coast or you are are more into walking and cycling then a trip inland won’t disappoint.
Head into the Northumberland National Park where you’ll find Kielder Water & Observatory, another of our favourite destinations in Northumberland. It has the largest manmade lake in Northern Europe and vast areas of forest land with special spots for wild camping as well as one of the North’s best mountain biking areas.
For those wanting to stretch their legs there are some amazing walks around. The Pennine Way cuts straight through the middle and The Cheviot Hills would be a nice one to tick off as it’s our highest hill. My favourite walk is Windy Ghyl. You don’t get the high rugged mountains of the Lake District or Scotland but the scenery and sense of wilderness makes this well worth a visit.
Head South to discover Hadrian’s Wall and what it has to offer. A must if you’re here in Northumberland. There are some wonderful campsites along the wall. If a bit of retail therapy with a bit of heritage is of interest visit Hexham or the incredible Corbridge – an upmarket medieval town steeped in history with quirky shops, galleries and cafes. A stop off at The Angel in Corbridge will delight – it has a great menu!
From here, depending on how long you have one of our Defender campers for, you could either head back to base, stopping off off for a bite to eat at one of the countries best restaurants, Hjem, or had across to the Lake District.
If you fancy discovering a little more of Northumberland you could do the Northumberland 250. To experience the trip fully we would advise taking 3-4 days, it can be done quicker but why rush?
Our Top Ten Places to Visit in Northumberland
- Bamburgh Castle
- Alnwick Castle & Gardens
- Kielder Water, Forest & Observatory
- The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
- Hadrian’s Wall
- Northumberland Coastal Drive
- Northumberland National Park
- Cragside House & Gardens
- The Cheviot HIlls
- Wallington Hall
Find our more about Overland Adventures and book one of our Land Rover Defenders here