Close to Northumberland’s border with Tyne and Wear, the cosmopolitan town on Ponteland is packed with boutique shops, jolly pubs and plenty of good spots to eat. Quirkily named, Ponteland literally means ‘Island in the Pont’, the name of the river flowing through the town.
Alongside its shops and restaurants, are clues to Ponteland’s historic past. The skeletal remains of a 14th century Pele Tower still stand, while the town’s Blackbird Inn houses the basement of a 14th century tower known as Ponteland Castle which was ransacked by the Scots in 1388. Visit the inn’s Tunnel Room where a secret tunnel is supposedly bricked up behind the fireplace. It is said to connect the basement with St. Mary's Church.