Northumberland Villages including Bamburgh, Seahouses and Alnmouth…
The rural North-East English county of Northumberland is best known for its historic castles, miles of stunning coastline and spectacular scenery. Northumberland – as the name would suggest – is the northernmost county in England and is located on the border with Scotland in the North East.
It is a sparsely populated county with picturesque villages dotting the rolling hills. The county is characterised by its famous battlefields, quaint fishing towns and idyllic traditional villages. It is shrouded in rich history and full of hidden gems to discover.
With some of the oldest villages in the country, and possibly in the world, read on to find out more about the best, most beautiful villages to visit in Northumberland.
Table of Contents
Acting as a gateway to the Farne Islands, Seahouses is more than just a pretty little fishing village to pass-through. The bustling harbour with its colourful houses, shops and cafés is the perfect place to taste some traditional fish and chips.
You can even go horseback riding on the shore! Be sure to keep an eye out for seagulls, puffins and the occasional dolphin playing in the waves.
The thriving coastal town of Amble is an ideal place to sample fresh seafood and even go on a fishing adventure on a chartered fishing boat.
Take in the surrounding views of endless Northumberland coastline or wander through Harbour Village, home to retailers selling everything from local delicacies and drinks to artisanal crafts and jewellery.
You’ll find the seaside village of Craster under the picturesque backdrop of the ruins of Dunstaburgh Castle. Be sure to stop off at the harbour and visit The Joly Sailor Fisherman pub overlooking the sea to taste the local delicacy, traditional smoked Craster Kipper.
Famous for its mighty ancient castle overlooking the village and the sea, the Northumberland village of Bamburgh is a treasure-trove of historic relics and stories of its turbulent past.
Visit the Bamburgh lighthouse and rockpools on the village’s very own sheltered sandy beach, or simply wander the sand dunes that stretch out for miles along the coastline.
Nestled below the magnificent, historic Warkworth Castle, the quaint little village of Warkworth is a popular choice for visitors. You can even take to boat across the river to visit the medieval Hermitage.
A spectacular building carved into the rock cliff face, covered in green moss, and twisted tree roots which giving it a mysterious, otherworldly appearance.
For incredible views of the Tyne Valley, be sure to visit Heddon-on-the-Wall. Well positioned by the route of Hadrian’s Wall, this village is best known for its Roman connections.
Venture a couple of miles outside the village and you’ll find Prudhoe Castle, a Northumberland fortress and Norman castle, perfect for a picnic and afternoon stroll.
This little market town is home to terraces of limestone fronted townhouses, manicured gardens and the second-largest inhabited castle in the country, which featured in the Harry Potter movies as Hogwarts.
For anyone morbidly curious, there’s also a Poison Garden which grows dangerous plants such as hemlock, foxgloves and plants used to make strychnine and ricin.
Located on Hadrian’s Wall, the idyllic village of Corbridge has a rich history. Take a walk along the village’s main street, lines with designer boutiques and vintage-style shops, or snack on local treats at the charming. market square.
If you’re visiting in the early summer, be sure not to miss the annual Corbridge Festival in June, a family festival with live music, street theatre and home-brewed ales and ciders to taste!
If your idea of a picture-perfect seaside village features clusters of colourful cottages, golden sand beaches and stunning coastline views, you won’t want to miss Alnmouth.
Home to a host of wildlife, the Alnmouth Marshes are an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and is the best place to go bird spotting in the area. The village is also home to the country’s oldest 18-hole golf course.
The village of Elsdon, with its traditional parish church and lush village green looks like it’s been plucked from a British postcard. Located right on the edge of Northumberland National Park, you’ll experience the beautiful scenery and wilderness the county is known for.
Home to the incredible Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, this little village is a magnet for visitors and nature lovers. The beautiful gardens of Belsay Hall proudly hold an extensive collection of exotic plants and rhododendrons, all growing in their own little microclimate.
Be sure to make your way up the spiral staircase in this Grade I-listed building for sweeping views of the surrounding area.
Best known for its golden sandy beaches and curved bay which forms a natural harbour, the village of Beadnell is perfect for water sports such as paddle boarding and windsurfing.
Venture into the village to find quaint little cottages, old-style lime kilns and a 13th century chapel, as well as a variety of pubs and restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
Ford & Etal
This pair of picturesque Northumberland villages is home to an array of charming thatched cottages, medieval castles and even an old-style steam railway.
Walk the flower-lined trails around the village, marvel at stunning murals at Lady Waterford Hall or visit the historic Flodden battlefield nearby. There’s no shortage of things to do at Ford & Etal.
If you’re a railway enthusiast, be sure not to miss the village of Wylam. The village is the birthplace of world-famous railway pioneers George Stephenson, inventor of the ‘Rocket’ railway locomotive.
Check out the Wylam Railway Bridge or have a stroll around Wylam Jubilee Field park and garden for a leisurely afternoon walk.
The village of Otterburn is most commonly known as the site of a famous historic battle; The 1388 Battle of Otterburn, where the English army suffered defeat against the Scots. It remains ‘till this day, one of the most well-known medieval battles in British history.
If you’re looking for a village to experience a classic seaside holiday, look no further than Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. Home to the county’s longest promenade, gold sand beaches and abundant wildlife, this quiet coastal village is the best place for a summer getaway.
Be sure to check out the UK’s oldest lifeboat station which is still in operation today.
Berwick-upon-Tweed is the most northern settlement in England boasting plenty of beaches to wander around. Fisherman’s Haven, Cocklawburn and Berwick-upon-Tweed beaches are perfect for taking in the stunning coastal scenery.
The small town’s proximity to Scotland also makes it a great place to learn about the rich history relating to the Engand/Scotland border wars which took place over a number of centuries.
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
The known as either Lindisfarne or the Holy Island, this ancient tidal island is a mysterious place which can be reached by foot during low tide via an old route known as the Pilgrim’s Way.
Make sure to keep an eye on tide times, as you visit the castle and priory established in the 600s. The island remains a place of pilgrimage and a holy site.
Located directly on the wall, Hexham is the perfect place to learn about Northumberland during Romain times. Walk the halls of Hexham Abbey to take in the 12th century Early English Gothic architecture or explore the crypt below that bears ancient Roman inscriptions.
Located on the county’s western fringe, the remote village of Kielder is far away from the hustle and bustle of Northumberland. Astronomy enthusiasts will love the telescopes at Kielder Observatory, and history buffs can enjoy the 1775 Kielder Castle.
The village is even host to Europe’s largest man-made forest, at Kielder Forest Park.
As you can see, there is a whole host of pretty villages and hidden gems in England’s northernmost county. From quaint little seaside villages, fishing ports to mystical islands and battlefields with a rich history, there’s a lot to explore in Northumberland.
Which village would you most like to visit?