Northumberland is a vibrant, historic, natural and spectacular hidden gem within the British Isles.
The county has a very diverse geography. To the north, the border with Scotland is formed by the gentle Cheviot Hills with stunning valleys channeling fresh water streams as they form the county’s rivers flowing east to the North Sea (including, the Coquet, Breamish, Tweed, Wansbeck and Blyth). Its eastern boundary is the magnificent Northumberland coast with its long beaches and dunes encrusted with the mighty castles at Lindisfarne, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh. The county’s ancient past means castles feature prominently (together with fortified farmsteads, know locally as bastle houses; and grand country houses) – they include, the Newcastle itself, Alnwick, Belsay, Ford, Chillingham, Norham and Warkworth.
Encased within these borders is the vast and unspoilt Northumberland National Park. The western centres of Haydon Bridge, Hexham and Corbridge with the vast moors of Allendale surround the sources of the mighty River Tyne and are home to key links to our Roman past with the ancient barrier that is Hadrian’s Wall and various Roman era forts and villas (like Vindolanda). The wall ends in the east at Wallsend (known as Segedunum).
To the south, the Tyne flows to the urbanised heart of the ancient county and the regional hub, Newcastle upon Tyne (click the city’s arms to the right for full information from my friends at Wikipedia®) famous for its venerable Royal Grammar School (author is alumnus!), brown ale, bridges and Geordie indigenous people (of which the author is very proud to include himself!) then on to the sea at Tynemouth. This city powered an empire with inventions, engineering, rail, steel, coal and ship-building. Famous names like Stephenson, Collingwood, Percy, Armstrong, Swan, Hunter, Grey and Blackett are known globally. Today it is a fun-loving, friendly and contemporary home city with a welcoming soul and which does not take itself seriously, at all!
The above is my own brief introduction to my homeland. I whole-heartedly recommend a visit to all my readers should the opportunity arise (click on the ‘Information‘ sub-page for my recommended information sources and other tit-bits).
Finally, please see my personal ode to Northumberland by clicking here.