Other attractions

History lovers beware – aside from the endless fascinations of Hadrian’s Wall itself, there are many monuments, ruins, churches, priories, forts and grand homes to visit in this part of the world. You may need some extra time but this 2000-year-old story is worth it!

See Carlisle Castle, built on a formerly Roman site in the late 11th century and the scene of many bloody battles thanks to its close proximity to the border -  the city walls aren’t there just to look nice. Stick with Cumbria for a visit to Wetheral Priory Gatehouse, a 15th century building that has survived exceptionally well and was previously a Benedictine priory.

If you’re eastward bound, the castle of Newcastle is a must. Comprised of the Castle Keep, England’s finest Norman Keep, a fortified stone tower, and the Black Gate, a fortified gatehouse, the castle is built where the Pons Aelius, Hadrian’s bridge across the Tyne, once stood. Just a few miles upstream on the Tyne, Prudhoe Castle is another early Medieval monument built to guard against the threat of Scottish invasion. One of the most popular and peaceful non-Roman sites along the frontier is Lanercost Priory. Set in a stunning patch of rural Cumbria, this 13th century church is built of Roman stone and parts of it survive to its original height.

As well as the monuments themselves, the towns and villages scattered along the Wall offer a warm welcome to visitors, along with plenty of local history. Market town Hexham buzzes with cafés, shops and restaurants, plus a hearty dose of heritage. Hexham Abbey’s history winds back to the 12th century, while its Old Gaol, as the oldest purpose-built prison in England, offers a spine-tingling insight into medieval crime and punishment. By contrast, the charming settlements on the western coast offer an entirely different set of experiences. Bowness-on-Solway is a real highlight.  Built on the Roman site of Fort Maia, this pretty coastal village is complete with a Norman church and lies in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Further west still, the father of Robert the Bruce, the famous son who defeated the English at Bannockurn, is buried in the recently restored Home Cultram Abbey.

Hadrian’s Wall is the spine of history and heritage that defines this wonderful stretch of landscape but beyond the Wall, there’s much more to do and discover in this frontier land.

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Explore Attractions

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

With so much to see and do, a trip to Belsay is one of the best value family days out in North East England.

Belsay, Northumberland, NE20 0DX
01661 881636
Abbey grounds

Town park behind the abbey incorporating walls and ruins from the monastic buildings, bowling green, bandstand and recreational facilities.

Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland ,NE46 3NB
+44 (0)1434 652344
A World in Minature

This truly amazing museum contains one of the world's top three collections of quality miniatures, from remarkable 1/12 scale copies of antique furniture, paintings and china in beautiful room sett

Houghton, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA6 4JB
+44 (0)1228 400388
Aydon Castle

A beautiful 13thC manor house with strong fortifications against Scottish raiders, Aydon Castle stands in a secluded woodland setting.

Aydon, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5PJ
+44 (0)1434 632450
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Housed in a landmark industrial building on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, BALTIC is the biggest gallery of its kind in the world – presenting a dynamic, diverse and international p

South Shore Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 3BA
+44 (0)191 478 1810
Big Lamp Brewery

Micro real ale brewery with pub attached, housed in re-built stone pumping station (Listed building), with children's play area and adjacent to riverside country park and leisure centre.

Grange Road Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE15 8NL
+44 (0)191 267 1689
Brockbushes

A true jewel in Northumberland’s shopping crown, Brocksbushes Farm Shop & Tea Room offers a superb selection of fresh vegetables as well as their famed ‘pick your own’ fruit during the summer m

Corbridge, Northumberland, NE43 7UB
+44 (0)1434 632965

Standing proudly in the city it has dominated for nine centuries, Carlisle Castle was a constantly updated working fortress until well within living memory.

Castle Way, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8UR
+44 (0)1228 591922
Newcastle Castle

The Castle Keep is one of the finest Norman stone castle keeps or donjons surviving in Britain today. It is a scheduled ancient monument and Grade 1 listed building.

Saint Nicholas Street, Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 1RQ
0191 2306300
Life Science Centre

The Centre for Life is an award-winning science centre where imaginative exhibitions, interactive displays and special events promote greater understanding of science and provoke curiosity in the w

Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 4EP
+44 (0)191 243 8210
Carlisle Castle

Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life located within the ground of Carlisle Castle tells the story of Cumbria’s County Infantry.

Carlisle Castle, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8UR
01228 532774
Customs House

The cinema offers 1st run films. Facilities available for community performance opportunities. Workshops available at intervals throughout the year in the visual performing and creative arts.

Mill Dam, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 1ES
+44 (0)191 454 1234
Lanercost Priory

The beautiful and now tranquil setting of Augustinian Lanercost Priory belies an often troubled history.

Lanercost, Near Brampton, Cumbria, CA8 2HQ
01697 73030
Mr George's Museum of Time

Watch and clock museum, gift shop and repair specialist. The museum is based around the local children's stories of Mr George the clock man written by Diana Bell.

Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 0DF
01434 321776

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