Are there places you know and love which you hesitate to tell others about, because you are tempted to keep them to yourself? Places relatively unknown that you fear might become spoiled if discovered by too many? And yet, they are so lovely you can’t resist singing their praises!
Such a place, for me, is England’s northernmost county, Northumberland. Visitors looking for beautiful scenery here flock to the Cotswolds, the Lake District or to Devon and Cornwall. Those in search of our history look to London, Stonehenge, Oxford and Cambridge, or maybe Stratford on Avon. But if you seek both, Northumberland is the place to go.
It has a stunning coastline dotted with ancient castles, while inland is home to wild moorland, dark skies and of course to Hadrian’s Wall, the one-time edge of the Roman Empire.
For Tina’s Lens Artists ‘Home Sweet Home’ challenge I want to show you some of my favourite sights there. I hope you love the look of them. But please don’t visit, I wouldn’t want them to get too crowded lol!
Kielder is the largest artificial lake in the UK, surrounded by England’s largest forest. This is a Dark Sky Park, with an impressive observatory that hosts nightly star-gazing events.
Lordenshaws Hill Fort
On the moors above the small town of Rothbury you can still see the remains of an Iron Age hillfort built 2,000 years ago.
This is one of the best places to see Hadrian’s Wall. The wall once marked the border between Roman Britannia and the unconquered lands to the north, making it the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire.
Housesteads is one of the most impressive of the ruined Roman forts on Hadrian’s Wall. You can see the wall stretching away into the distance on the right.
This is a still-inhabited castle, the seat of the 12th Duke of Northumberland. It’s now best known as a filming location for Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and others.
For contrast, Warkworth is a ruined medieval castle. It dominates the small village of the same name, one of my favourites in Northumberland.
Warkworth Castle from Amble
Warkworth is just a mile from the coast and there are great views of the castle from the fishing village of Amble.
Amble has an attractive harbour offering boat trips, seafood eateries, and pastel-painted beach huts.
Bamburgh Castle from the beach
Bamburgh is much restored and still occasionally in use by the owning Armstrong family, descendents of the Victorian era industrialist William Armstrong.
Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island
Lindisfarne Priory was founded by St Aidan and was one of the most important centres of early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. Its ruins stand on Holy Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway that is covered at high tide (my featured photo is also of Holy Island). This is my favourite place in the county!
The Farne Islands
This group of islands lies off the Northumberland coast and can be visited on boat trips from Seahouses. They are home to important breeding colonies of seabirds and grey seals.
Dunstanburgh Castle in the mist
The weather may not always be wonderful, but there is always somewhere interesting to visit. Dunstanburgh is an impressive ruin on a headland a short walk from the fishing village of Craster.
PS. I will return to my recent Nepal trip for subsequent posts, but that can hardly be called my ‘home sweet home’. And no doubt many of you were ready for a change of scene!
I visit Northumberland frequently; these photos were taken between 2012 and 2020