There are more than 70 castle sites from romantic ruins like Dunstanburgh Castle and Berwick Castle to the splendour of Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle.
Then there are the likes of Hadrian’s Wall, Lindisfarne Priory and Cragside. Really, visitors to Northumberland are spoilt for choice!
Special events are being held at a number of them over the summer – or just enjoy the wonder of them in your own time. Take a look at some of the highlights….
1. Housesteads Crags, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
Stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, Hadrian’s Wall was built to guard the wild north-west frontier of the Roman Empire. Today you can explore the Wall’s rich history and its dramatic landscape at over 20 English Heritage sites.
Celebrate the release of Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans in cinemas by going on a quest at Chesters Roman Fort and Birdoswald Roman Fort (weekends only to Aug 4) to find out about Britannia’s gory past. Explore the site to find the question boards and answer all ten to claim your reward.
2. Warkworth Castle
Be king or queen for the day in this mighty Northumberland fortress crowning the hilltop above the River Coquet. Enjoy a day out and see how the powerful Dukes of Northumberland, the Percy family lived. Explore the floors and rooms in the magnificent cross-shaped keep which was once home to 'Harry Hotspur', immortalised as a rebel lord by Shakespeare, and bane of Scottish raiders. See spectacular river and coastal views from the castle walls.
The medieval myths and legends season is held on August 13-14, August 20-21 and August 28-29.
3. Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Island
Cross the dramatic causeway to reach the island of Lindisfarne. Follow in the footsteps of the ancient monks who built their priory here nearly 1,400 years ago, and explore the wild coastal beauty of Holy Island. Visit the museum and find out about a grisly Viking raid, the cult of St Cuthbert, and the beautiful medieval manuscript: the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Please note that the causeway floods at high tide so it is very important to check the tide times before crossing. Opening times can vary at short notice due to tidal restrictions.
Photo: Jane Coltman
4. Berwick Ramparts, Castle and Barracks
The remains of a medieval castle crucial to Anglo-Scottish warfare, superseded by the most complete and breathtakingly impressive bastioned town defences in England, mainly Elizabethan but updated in the 17th and 18th centuries. Surrounding the whole historic town, their entire circuit can be walked. Nearby are the 18th century barracks and, via a riverside path, the ruins of the 12th century Berwick Castle.
Photo: Kimberley Powell