Northumberland, United Kingdom

Northumberland is a star spot for film-makers and directors: this bucolic corner of England is home to some impressive landmarks. Silver-screen stalwart Alnwick Castle, recognisable to Harry Potter and Downton Abbey fans alike, has it’s own CGI-beating backdrop of the Pennines’ peaks. Nearby, Hadrian’s Wall is a paradise for history buffs – follow with a walk in leafy Border Forest close by – and the imposing interiors of Hexham Abbey are bathed in stained-glass-coloured light. Bring your flat cap and rifle for grouse season, or get stuck into mountain-top walks with moody views. For postcard-starring coastal lunches, drive to the beach at Bamburgh, where the ancient castle is more than a match for its famous neighbours.

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When to go

As England’s most northerly county, Northumberland is Scotland-level chilly during the winter months, but wonderfully scenic. Bring thermals and a hat, and brave the coastal walks to earn your fireside crumpets.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Newcastle’s airport is nearest, around 25 miles away and well-served by budget airlines EasyJet and Vueling.
  • Trains

    The closest train station is in Newcastle, which is a roughly 40 minute drive away. Both Great Northern and Virgin Trains run services to here from other cities across the UK, including Edinburgh, Durham, York, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and London.
  • Automobiles

    Northumberland is easily accessible by car, which is handy if you want to travel around the county. The drive from London – via the M6 – takes about five-and-a-half hours. If you’re flying to Newcastle and driving from there, rent a car at the airport branch of Enterprise (www.enterprise.co.uk) for the half-hour trip.