Once the haunt of marauding Vikings 1300 years ago, nowadays Hexham proudly holds the title of England’s favourite market town – as voted by Country Life magazine.
The town centre here is filled with winding streets with Hexham Abbey, the keystone of Hexham’s assets, at its hub. This flourishing place of worship was founded by the Northumbrian saint and bishop Wilfrid in 674.
Pay a visit to Hexham’s Old Gaol – an imposing stone cube, built in 1333 as England’s first purpose-built prison. The building’s history – and that of its infamous inhabitants including the Border Reivers – is told in full, gruesome glory across its four floors.
Cheer on a winner at the races. Hexham racecourse is built on a hill overlooking the town, so as well as getting a good view of the racing, enjoy grandstand views of the rolling countryside surrounding the town too.
Hexham enjoys a buzzing arts and cultural scene. Take a stroll around the town’s many galleries. Catch a performace at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, a magnificent Victorian building facing Hexham Abbey which attracts the best international and national artists from music, drama and dance.
Go shop in Hexham’s many eclectic independent shops while a browse through the town’s market stalls will yield many a bargain. You’ll find market stalls every day of the week in Hexham’s ancient Shambles while the Market Place - sandwiched between the Abbey and the town’s 15th century Moot Hall - hosts a full market every Tuesday and Saturday. Stock up on local produce too at Hexham’s twice-monthly acclaimed farmers market too.
Bookworms should make for the Hexham Book Festival when writers descend on the town in a literary extravaganza.
Hexham is the perfect springboard to the area’s unmissable attractions including Hadrian’s Wall and Kielder Water & Forest Park.