Our History & Heritage
A view across to Holy Island

Our History & Heritage

Our History & Heritage

Our History & Heritage


History and Heritage intinerary map


Northumberland is famous for its castles and Hadrian’s Wall, and there is so much to see there that we have given them itineraries of their own! This itinerary shows you more of our history and heritage; spanning thousands of years there is a lot to discover!


1.    The route of the South Tynedale Railway crosses the Northumberland-Cumbria border, with the main station situated in Alston. It is the North of England’s highest narrow gauge railway and has a new Discovery Centre telling its fascinating history.
2.    The Lord Crewe Arms is nestled in the picturesque medieval village of Blanchland on the border with County Durham. This historic hotel offers a delicious British pub menu showcasing seasonal, home-grown fare. Stop for a bite to eat or make it your base, with 21 rooms it is the perfect countryside getaway for groups.
3.    Hexham Abbey’s story began over 1,300 years ago, which you can see brought to life in their interactive exhibition, housed in the recently restored former monastery buildings. They also have a gift shop and can provide catering for pre-booked groups.
4.    While in Hexham town, visit the Hexham Old Gaol – the oldest purpose built prison in England. Learn about the rebellious Border Reivers and go down to the dungeons if you dare.  
5.    The Heritage Centre at Bellingham offers further insight into the Border Reivers, as well as the history of the locals and their traditions.
6.    On the same site as the Heritage Centre is the Carriages Tearoom, which continues the exhibition space, but also offers the unique opportunity for refreshments onboard the 1957 Mk 1 train carriages.
7.    Woodhorn Museum & Archives is Northumberland’s biggest museum and offers free entry. Take a journey through Coal Town to discover the area’s mining heritage and see a collection of paintings by the Pitmen Painters, whose story was made into a hit Broadway play.
8.    Just a few minutes away is Newbiggin Maritime Centre, which documents a very different side of Northumberland’s heritage. This museum sits right on the coast, overlooking the bay at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, telling the story of this historic fishing village.
9.    The Ford & Etal Estate is a real beauty of a place. The estate is home to two chocolate box villages and a variety of visitor attractions including Northumberland’s oldest working watermill, the Heatherslaw Light Railway and Lady Waterford Hall which is a true ‘hidden gem’.
10.    Travel over the causeway to Holy Island where Lindisfarne Priory tells the story of St Cuthbert, the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Viking invasion. Remember to check the tide times for crossing the causeway when organising your trip.

Tourist Information Centre

We have 11 Tourist Information Centres across the county.

Contact Details

Hopefully this itinerary has given you some ideas for planning your group visit to Northumberland. If you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to contact Natalie at Northumberland Tourism – your group travel liaison.

groups@northumberlandtourism.co.uk          01670 794900

Places in this itinerary

Travel through the Pennines

Ride on the North of England’s highest narrow gauge railway winding from Alston through the picturesque South Tyne Valley.

We have a Discovery Centre, gift shop and the “Buffer Stop” cafe serving freshly made food.

For timetables and news of special events visit www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk

The Lord Crewe Arms

Set in the midst of the North Pennine Moors, The Lord Crewe Arms Hotel, Pub and restaurant  is the very epitome of a countryside escape.

Arial View of Hexham Abbey
NE46 3NB

Hexham Abbey welcome visitor groups with some unique and exclusive experiences alongside our comprehensive offering.  We provide hosted tours, audio guides, out of hours access to our 7th century Crypt, and also catering options using our many historic rooms.  Onsite alongside the Abbey we have an interactive exhibition, cafe and shop.

You'll be captivated
NE46 3NH

Explore the oldest purpose built prison in England and discover the violent border life of the reivers.

Heritage Centre at Bellingham
NE48 2DF

Award winning Heritage Centre at Bellingham

NE48 2DG

A unique dining experience on board 1950's train carriages.

The historic Woodhorn site
NE63 9YF

Discover Northumberland's proud industrial heritage at a stunning historic site featuring art by the famous Pitmen Painters and an exciting exhibition programme. 

Newbiggin Maritime Centre
NE64 6DB

Newbiggin Maritime Centre, on the beautiful Northumberland coastline, offers a unique experience for visitors with a museum, a café and a shop.

Heatherslaw Light Railway
TD12 4TJ

A short drive from Berwick-upon-Tweed, the Scottish Borders and the holy island of Lindisfarne, this vast rural estate set in magnificent countryside is steeped in history, being home to a variety of attractions, activities, tearooms and gift/craft shops. Visit for a couple of hours or a whole day.

Lindisfarne Priory
TD15 2RX

Cross the water to Holy Island and step into one of England's holiest places. Visit the shire of St Cuthbert, weave through the priory ruins and imagine the serenity shattered by Viking invasion.

Map of places in the itinerary

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