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Northumberland & County Durham Overview
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Top Sights in Northumberland & County Durham

Few places can compete with Northumberland & County Durham for sheer variety. Its vast coastline of sandy bays, dune-backed beaches and lively resorts offer-up all the classic seaside thrills, while inland you'll discover unspoiled forests, meadows and moorlands speckled with sights from throughout Britain's past. So if you're keen to experience a holiday in Northumberland, rest assured - you won't be disappointed.

Grandest among them is Hadrian's Wall, a world-heritage site and a bucket list favourite, but other must-sees include Durham Cathedral, Alnwick Castle, Holy Island and majestic Bamburgh Castle.

Northumberland holidays aren't just about exploring ancient wonders, however, there are cutting-edge cities too, like Newcastle upon Tyne with its first-rate galleries, concert hall and nightlife.

Reasons to Visit Northumberland and County Durham

  • Remote sands or lively resorts, the choice is yours
  • Alnwick, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh
  • Delicious Craster Kippers and Doddington Dairy Ice cream
  • Five holiday parks fit for family fun!
  • Theme parks, petting zoos and much more
A family walking along the beach holding hands

Breathtaking Beaches

Beach fans are well catered for in Northumberland and also along the County Durham coast. With Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Longsands receiving Blue Flag Awards this year, these are well worth a visit, for the combination of lively seaside towns and impeccable sand alone.

However, if you’re looking to escape to some untouched stretches of coast, then why not spend the day at Druridge Bay? Close to Cresswell Towers Holiday Park, Druridge is one of our favourite beaches, and once thought to be a possible site of invasion during the Second World War - so keep an eye out for some fortifications dating back to that era.

Blue skies over Alnwick Castle in Northumberland

History & Culture

The areas of Northumberland and County Durham have been fought over for millennia, and there are the castles and fortifications to prove it, from the Roman era through to the Viking age and beyond.

Taking in castles such as the ones at Bamburgh and Alnwick are a must, but arguably the most unmissable historical site in the whole region is Holy Island of Lindisfarne, just off the coast towards the northern end of the county. Crossing the causeway at low tide to see the historic Priory and spot the local wildlife is an unforgettable day out. Further south, we recommend visiting the Royal Navy Museum at Hartlepool, which includes a beautifully preserved 19th century warship.

Cloudy skies over the Angel of the North

Amazing Attractions

South of the River Tyne lies the impressive Ocean Beach Pleasure Park - the largest theme park in the North East, which features white-knuckle fairground rides, laser quest and go karting - enough for a high-quality day out.

Further inland, the Angel of the North is the region’s most iconic structure, and is well worth a quick stop off to pose for some photos. There’s so much more to see all across the region - click the link below for some of our top picks.

Surfers walking into the sea with surfboards

Outdoors & Adventure

Northumberland holidays are the holy grail for mountain bikers, with plenty of thrilling trails to be found inland around Kielder Forest - taking advantage of the untouched natural beauty that abounds in this part of the county.

If water sports are more your thing, then surfing tuition is available at hotspots such as Beadnell and Amble. Finally, there are plenty of hiking trails along the coast - where you could discover a deserted beach to rest your weary legs on.

Fish and chips in a tray on a pebble beach

Treat Yourself

Seaside food with a twist is the order of the day along the North East coast. Sample some Craster Kippers in the village of the same name, or indulge in a plate of hot pan haggerty - a super simple potato-based dish that’s sure to fill you up.

In terms of fish and chips, just down the coast from our Whitley Bay Holiday Park is Marshalls at Tynemouth, which is a consistently highly rated chippy - look out for the blue plaque that commemorates the time Jimi Hendrix got chips from the establishment while on tour in the North East in 1967!

A view of Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland

Stunning Scenery

You’ll feel a world away from your worries when taking in the landscape along the coastline and further inland.

Whether you’re admiring Lindisfarne and Holy Island from afar or up on the wild moorland of the Northumberland National Park, an escape to some picture-perfect scenery is never far away in this part of the world. For a true scenic experience, we recommend rising early and watching the sun rise from the North Sea, bathing the unspoilt landscape in dramatic light and colour.

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