Northumberland is renowned across the globe for its gorgeous coastline, rugged landscape and wealth of unique wildlife-spotting opportunities. A postcard-worthy county by anyone’s standards, there’s no denying Northumberland has plenty to offer when it comes to natural beauty - but what about its architectural assets?
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Britain’s rich medieval heritage or feast your eyes on some of the UK’s most timeless and extraordinary architecture, Northumberland’s unspoilt beauty is only matched by its exhaustive lineup of beautiful landmarks. From impenetrable fortresses to grandiose country homes, take a peek inside five of the county's most beautiful buildings - more than enough incentive for architecture lovers to visit Northumberland!
The dramatic fortification that is Bamburgh Castle can be found perched atop a volcanic outcrop, 45m above sea level, and a journey through these magnificent castle grounds promises to astound. Home to 14 public rooms, as well as over 2000 weird and wonderful artefacts, you can visit this mighty fortress for a chance to embrace the region’s rich heritage - and the building’s staggering scale, combined with breathtaking views of the unspoilt Northumberland Coast, makes this a truly unmissable attraction for self-confessed architecture buffs.
A photo posted by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) on Dec 29, 2015 at 6:23am PST
This one-of-a-kind Northumberland attraction was described back in 1880 as “a palace of the modern magician” and was once the family home of Victorian industrialist and inventor Lord Armstrong. Boasting one of Europe’s largest rock gardens, a number of beautiful, meandering streams and an array of fantastic animal and plant life - including the elusive red squirrel and a rhododendron forest - you’ll find no shortage of natural beauty when exploring Cragside’s Gardens and Estate. But it’s Armstrong’s enormous collection of British art, ceramics, furniture and gadgets that design lovers will relish an opportunity to see first-hand.
In the picturesque Northumbrian town of Hexham, you’ll find the parish church known of Hexham Abbey - founded in 674 AD and now home to a cosy café, top-notch gift shop and variety of hands-on experiences and exhibits for the family. The stunning abbey houses some truly incredible medieval architecture - including carved misericords, a beautiful frith stool decorated in Celtic patterns, and the enigmatic Night Stair (consisting of 35 worn stone steps). Atmospheric and impossibly detailed, you’ll enjoy exploring every inch of this much-loved local attraction.
A photo posted by Visit Northumberland (@visitnorthumberland) on May 25, 2016 at 6:14am PDT
Found nestled in the heart of Northumberland, near the peaceful town of Morpeth, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens offers the dramatic contrast of rugged ruins and gorgeous Grecian architecture. Belsay’s vibrant heritage gardens are well worth a visit, whatever the season - but it’s inside the medieval castle and luxurious mansion, linked by this sublime garden, that you’ll find something truly special. Belsay Castle is a Grade 1 listed building, once home to the Middleton family and originally constructed in the year 1370. The superb manor house, however, was built between 1810 and 1817 in a Greek Revival style - and is now displayed without any furnishings, offering visitors an authentic, unobstructed look at its staggering craftsmanship.
Chillingham’s 12th century stronghold is a short drive from the outstanding Northumberland Coast and is surrounded by impeccable Italian gardens, originally laid out in the 19th century by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville. A popular venue for weddings and private functions, tours of Chillingham Castle are available throughout the year. Ongoing restoration works mean that visitors can see intricate metalwork, masonry and ornamental plaster restored to their original beauty - and a thorough exploration of the Great Hall, dungeon, armoury, chapel and torture chamber promise a diverse and fascinating snapshot of this ancient fortress. Find out more with our summer campaign 'It's in our nature'. Tag your photos on Instagram using #ItsInOurNature This blog was compiled by the interior design experts at Tiles Direct