From Capability Brown to stargazing, we've picked some facts about Great Northumberland which we hope will rouse your curiosity and inspire your next holiday or short-break.

Northumberland's unique breed of cattle are rarer than giant pandas

Chillingham Wild CattleFound at Chillingham Park near Alnwick, Chillingham Wild Cattle are true survivors. 

This unique herd of wild cattle are believed to be the sole descendants of herds that once roamed the forests of ancient Britain. It is thought they have been living at Chillingham for more than 700 years. 

The cattle are natural clones. Not only are they genetically identical to each other, each one has received identical genes from its sire and its dam which is a unique phenomenon among wild living animals. 

The fierce winter of 1947 almost wiped them out entirely, reducing the herd to just 13. Thanks to the conservation efforts of a specially formed association, the herd now boasts approximately 100 animals - the total world population. 

Chilllingham Wild Cattle are completely untamed. In their lifetime, these remarkable beasts are never touched by human hands, and they are not not even treated by a vet. Their lives are kept completely natural and wild.

As a result, they can be dangerous and visitors are only able to see the cattle when accompanied by the warden.

Earl Grey tea originated in Northumberland

Not only famed for grand architecture and landscapes, Northumberland is also the birth place of many notable figures of British history. 

The most prominent figure is the British Prime Minister, Charles 2nd Earl Grey. He came from a long established seat at Howick Hall, Gardens & Arboretum.

For some, Earl Grey is known for being Prime Minister during the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For most, he is better known for the eponymous tea, Earl Grey tea. This was blended at the request of his wife Lady Grey, using the addition of bergamot oil to offset the strong taste of lime in the local water.

Six miles east of Alnwick, you can visit the spectaular gardens of Howick Hall which feature exotic plants grown from seeds collected annually around the world. 

Northumberland officially has the largest protected area of night skies in Europe

Sycamore Gap credit Cain ScrimgeourIn 2013, a section of Northumberland was awarded Gold-tier International Dark Sky status. This means the sky above Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park was officially recognised as Europe’s largest area of protected night skies.

Thanks to minimal light pollution and great conservation efforts, Northumberland proudly offers some of the best stargazing experiences and clearest night skies in England. With the naked eye, you'll see roughly 2,000 stars shining bright like diamonds on inky black skies and easily trace the fuzzy arc of the Milky Way.

The sky over the protected landscape of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also a fantastic window into the aurora borealis, aptly nicknamed the Northern Lights. This breath-taking natural phenomenon is usually saved for a trip to Norway, Iceland or the Arctic Circle - not any more! 

Top tip: the autumn and winter months are the best time for stargazing, as the colder temperature creates clearer, darker skies. Discover our suggestions for a great autumn and winter stargazing break at NlandStars 

Northumberland was once the largest kingdom in the British Isles

Over a thousand years before Northumberland was affectionately known as ‘the last hidden kingdom’, it was known as the Kingdom of Northumbria. 

Following three centuries of Roman occupation until the early fifth century, small kingdoms such as Bernicia and Deira emerged. They combined to become Northumbria and, by approximately 700AD, Northumbria was the largest and most powerful kingdom in the land. 

It stretched from the Firth of Forth in Scotland to the River Humber (hence ‘north-Humber-land’).

Capability Brown was born in Northumberland

Capability Brown landscape at Alnwick CastleThe informal gardens of landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown are famed throughout the UK, but what many do not know is he was born in the little hamlet of Kirkharle in the heart of Northumberland.

He lived there until his early 20s, and it is now widely believed to be where a young Capability found his inspiration as the sweeping rural Northumbrian countryside is very similar to his renowned naturalistic style.

In honour of this British icon, head to Alnwick to see Brown’s work at Alnwick Castle and then marvel at the modern design of nearby Alnwick Garden

Be sure to include trips to other great Northumbrian gardens such as those found at Wallington and Belsay Hall.

All of this information and more can be found on Visit Northumberland

Looking for inspiration...

  • Type: Event
  • Category group: , Wildlife Events, Talk/Lecture, Star Gazing Events, Sporting Event, Shows & Displays, Outdoor Event, Music & Dance, Food Event, Family, Experience & workshops, Exhibition, Cycling Event
  • Start date: 07/07/2018
  • End date: 01/09/2018
  • Type(s): Events
Afternoon Tea
Food Event
Tea by the Sea, meet up with friends for an afternoon enjoying the stunning views over the bay while having...Afternoon Tea. ...

Highway Rat
Outdoor Event
Walking Trail with additional features for all the family, look out for the Gruffalo characters along the way. ...

Have a go Archery
Family event
Follow in the footsteps of soldiers and try your hand at one of England's oldest skills. ...

Broomstick Training
Family event
Join our resident wizarding professors and take part in one of our famous broomstick training sessions ...

Pitmen Painters Unseen
Curated by artist Narbi Price, winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize, ‘Pitmen Painters Unseen’ brings together a collection of paintings by the celebrated Ashington Group, the ...

The Ashington Paintings
Discover an exhibition of new work by Narbi Price winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2017. ‘The Ashington Paintings’ glimpse at the histories of Ashington’s industrial ...

Chippendale 300 Exhibition 'The Paxton Style: Neat & Substantially Good'
To celebrate the tercentenary of Thomas Chippendale's birth, Chippendale 300 is a nationwide celebration of events inspired by the life, work and legacy of Thomas Chippendale, the most famous and infl ...

Great Exhibition of the North
Newbiggin Maritime Centre will be taking part in the Great Exhibition of the North, showcasing the art of local artists throughout the summer. ...

Osprey watch
Wildlife events
Join us to observe the beautiful Kielder ospreys. You can see all the action close up through a live camera feed ...

Cupcake decorating
Arts and Crafts
This cupcake decorating workshop is recommended to anyone - it's fun and incredibly relaxing and certainly not competitive! It doesn't matter if you have no experience whatsoever, everyone will be mad ...

Jesting with Zooted
Family event
With a hilarious blend of comedy, TRICKERY, fire-eating and sword-juggling, Zooted never fail to entertain and amaze. ...

Outdoor Event
Learn about the inspiration behind some Kielder's most iconic pieces as we take youoff the beaten track and into the forest, Each tour includes Silvas Capitalis (the Forest Head) and a selection of ot ...

Essential Wilderness Survival Skills
Outdoor Event
Learn the basics for survival in a forest environment with top northern bushcraft teacher, Bruce Ferguson - shelter, fire, food and water. Build a shelter using natural materials, learn a range of fir ...

Family Bushcraft
Outdoor Event
Build a shelter, light a fire, cook a meal, make something to take away. You’ll need to build a shelter, your own den in the woods ...

Chesters Bath-House
Centuries after the end of the Roman frontier, the lawless Border Reiver families dominated "The Debateable Lands" between England and Scotland for 200 years - raiding, robbing and pillaging. The than ...

Felton & Thirston Fair 2018
Family event
A traditional Village Fair with something for all ages. Fun Run, Dog Show, Music, Birds of Prey, Sports, Stalls, Craft & Flower Show, Bar, Teas, Burgers, Maypole Dancing, Interesting Cars, Raffle, ...

Family event
Be transported back to medieval times with the Trouvère Minstrels' traditional musical performances. ...

Wildlife and Osprey Motor Boat Cruise
Wildlife events
Enjoy a guided motor boat trip around beautiful Kielder Water, with experienced Calvert Trust staff and knowledgeable NWT volunteers ...

Family event
Step into the world of medieval falconry with two of the country's finest historical falconers. ...

Clay Pigeon Shoot
Sporting Event
Ready, aim, fire! Try your hand at clay pigeon shooting under the guidance of an expert instructor at one of our monthly events.  Whether your an absolute beginner or experienced shooter, you'll ...

July Open Evening
Shows & Displays
Join us for a glass of something sparkling and a stress-free stroll around the Hall and grounds. Meet our expert team who will be on hand to answer all of your questions help you visualise how magical ...

Ratty Ramble
Wildlife events
Come and join us for a couple of hours, we’ll talk to you about our project and take you out into the forest to look for signs of our recently released water voles and with lots of crossed finge ...

Chesters Bath-House
Enjoy a heart-thumping contest of skill as two teams of Roman soldiers fight to fend off their foe. With muscle and mastery they'll exchange blows with swords and shields and showcase their prowess at ...

Potter-Inspired Characters
Family event
Put on your best robe and meet characters inspired by the magical world of Harry Potter! ...

Secrets of the Wild - Wildlife Photography
Join professional wildlife photographer, , TV writer and presenter Neil Atkinson for a combination of indoor and outdoor practical tuition. ...

Tweed 1000
Colourful exhibition illustrating the turbulent history of Berwick-upon- Tweed and the Tweed Valley from the Battle of Carham in 1018 until the Union of The Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603. ...

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Shows & Displays
Deep in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside a terrifying mystery and legendary nemesis await the arrival of the world’s greatest detective ...

The Music and Dances of Northumbria
Music & Dance
The Alnwick Garden comes alive with the music and dances of Northumbria. A musical day out for all the family – Explore the beauty of the gardens whilst learning about Northumberland’s own ...

Rusty Bodkins
Family event
Join Rusty as he explains the life of a medieval archer, his weapons and training, then have a go yourself and see how well you do! (Small charge for ‘have a go’) ...

Pop-Up Ashington Group Hut
Join us for an exciting opportunity where everyone can have a go at making art in our artist-led Pop-Up Ashington Group Hut. This fun and family friendly experience is inspired by the hut where the As ...

Battlesteads Beer Festival
Food Event
The Battlesteads Beer Festival hosted by Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant is a celebration of the best drinks the North East has to offer, from ales, lagers and stouts to gins and ciders. Running f ...

Ride Out Saturday
Music & Dance
Ride Out Saturdays at the Holly Bush Inn. Drive out to the Holly Bush Inn, Greenhaugh and enjoy live music, full bar with real ales. BBQ food available. ...

Matt Cardle
Music & Dance
Matt Cardle is coming to Gallagher Park Bedlington! Free event for all the family ...

Living History with St Cuthbert’s Land
Family event
Bringing the archaeology to life with a living encampment and demonstrations including cooking and warfare. ...

Small Axe Woodcraft
Family event
Explore traditional woodworking techniques with Jon Purkins, have a go yourself or buy a piece of Jon’s stunning work. (Charges may apply) ...

Castle and Keep
Family event
Join our costumed master medieval falconers, Raphael Falconry at Warkworth Castle in Northumberland and be wowed by demonstrations of the Sport of Kings. Witness spectacular aerial displays of birds o ...

Alnwick Music Festival
Music & Dance
An 8 day festival of music, song and dance with performances on stage in the Market Place and other venues. ...

Erksine Regiment
The Erskine Regiment interpret and re-enact the life of soldiers of the 1640's - the bishops wars. Montrose's war and the English Civil War. (Included in admission) ...

Merle Yurt amoungst woods and fells
Family event
Join Wild Intrigue Expedition guides Heather Devey and Cain Scrimgeour for an evening at Wild Northumbrian, Thorneyburn. Immersed in a beautiful landscape, we will create delicious stone bake pizzas, ...

Chapterhouse Theatre Company present 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'
Shows & Displays
Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedy and the classic tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. ...

Family Bushcrafts Survival Challenge
Outdoor Event
A family survival adventure – stick together, solve the problems, learn the skills, stay alive. You’re light airplane has crash landed in dense forest hundreds of miles from civilisation. ...

Jensen's Summer Food & Craft Fair
Arts and Crafts
After the success of last years Summer and Christmas Fair, Jensen's have set dates for this year. With a range of arts, crafts, food and drinks stalls in our marquee and around the courtyard. A perfec ...

Medieval Life Week
Family event
An entertaining cast of characters shows you what life was really like in the middle ages, from skilled artisans and expert falconers to artful jesters and a frankly inexplicable alchemist! ...

Family event
Enter bustling marketplace of Artisans Courtyard and get hands-on with some of the best artisans in the country ...

Family event
Meet Doctor John Greene, the (allegedly...) celebrated medieval alchemist, with lots of peculiar apparatus and bizarre materials! ...

Night Safari
Wildlife events
Hunt for the elusive night life of the forest including bats, owls and creepy crawlies of all descriptions. Join professional naturalist, Dress for the weather, strong footwear, midge repellent and a ...

The Handlebards – A Midsummers Nights Dream
Outdoor Event
Join the Worlds first cycling theatre group as they perform a Shakespeare classic. ...

Public Release event
Wildlife events
Join us for the second water vole release of 2018. We'll show you the whole process of releasing voles and take you to some of the sites we have released at; there may also be the chance to release so ...

Red Squirrel Safari
Wildlife events
Search for red squirrels and discover their way of life in a changing world. Join professional naturalist, Bruce Ferguson, to track down one of Britain’s best loved animals, the red squirrel ...

The Clarence Household
Family event
The fantastic Clarence Household return for three days of living history, talks and superb demonstrations. (Included in admission) ...

Bywell Horse Driving Trial
Sporting Event
Competition Carriage Driving. ...

Clash of Knights
Feel the heat of this fiery contest as rival knights show their prowess at archery and swordsmanship. Brandishing blades and bows they'll face each other in a test of strength and skill. Explore the m ...

Forest wildlife safari
Wildlife events
Discover the secret life of the forest - join professional naturalist, Bruce Ferguson and uncover the tracks, trails and signs left behind by its secretive inhabitants from red squirrels and deer to i ...

Results: 53

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