NewcastleGateshead’s fascinating past can still be experienced today in the historic remains and monuments as well as many heritage sites across NewcastleGateshead and Northumberland.

Whether you’re a history buff with an aptitude for all things ancient, a Geordie looking to unearth NewcastleGateshead’s rich history, or you’re just on the hunt for some English Heritage sites and National Trust places to visit in Northumberland and Gateshead, the North East is home to a whole host of unmissable historic places to explore.

Uncover the tall tales of NewcastleGateshead’s incredible past, scale the ruins of a twelfth-century priory or discover the haunted passageways that wind beneath the city streets; there’s no shortage of historic sites in the North East. Below we’ve listed just a few of the best historic venues to visit in the North East and Northumberland.

Hadrian’s Wall

Built by a team of 15,000 men in less than six years, the North East’s famous Hadrian’s Wall attracts flocks of tourists each year who revel in its masterful engineering. The wall is one of the oldest Roman artefacts in Britain spanning the full width of the North from coast to coast. The iconic structure threads through miles of Northumberland countryside and there are plenty of excellent opportunities to visit the remains of bathhouses, turrets, shrines, galleries and museums along the way; all demonstrate the significance of the Roman occupation on the landscape and culture of the North East. Head to Segedunum, the ruins of the Roman fort at Wallsend, or National Trust site Sycamore Gap walking trail, which has appeared in a number of TV shows and films. Wherever you choose to discover Hadrian’s Wall – and it’s possible you’ll stumble upon it as you wander through Newcastle’s bustling city - this cornerstone of North East history is not one to be missed!

Newcastle Castle

Having recently reopened to the public following an extensive renovation, the Newcastle Castle Keep has been subject to widespread interest over the years. In fact, research continues to reveal the castle’s captivating and occasionally gruesome history. Visit the Castle Keep to enjoy picturesque views teamed with eye-opening tales of the castle’s past from which the city of Newcastle inherits its name. Why not put your craft skills to the test during one of their workshops? From teapot and hip flask making to calligraphy, there’s plenty on offer at Newcastle’s Castle Keep, whatever your interests.

Literary and Philosophical Society

Bookworms can revel in Newcastle’s stunning Literary and Philosophical Society. Opened in 1825, the Literary and Philosophical Society attracted the likes of leading thinkers such as Robert Stephenson, Lord Armstrong and Charles Parsons. Indulge in their selection of over 160,000 books, as you sit beneath the stunning dome lanterns that dominate the ceiling. The society’s notorious architecture plays host to regular art exhibitions, musical performances and stimulating debates. All events are open to the public and many are free, making this an excellent choice if you’re on a budget.

Saltwell Towers

Nestled in the heart of Gateshead’s Saltwell Park, Saltwell Towers is one of the UK’s finest examples of a Victorian Park. Stretching across 55 stunning acres of landscapes, woodland and ornate gardens, Saltwell Towers also offers public sports facilities, a refreshment house and an education centre. The park is open from dawn to dusk all year, including public holidays. This is the perfect spot to while away your weekend as you stroll around the stunning grounds, and top your visit off with tea and cake at Bewicks Tearoom.

Alnwick Castle

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. The origin of Alnwick Castle dates as far back as the Norman period and it has since been a military outpost, a refuge for evacuees and even a film set. In fact, Alnwick Castle was famously the setting for many scenes in the Harry Potter franchise. Once you’ve discovered the spot where Harry and his friends learned to fly broomsticks, join the hustle and bustle of life in the Fourteenth century as you dress up in medieval costume and interact with Alnwick Castle’s town folk. In the Artisans Courtyard, you can try your hand at authentic medieval crafts or put your bravery to the test with the Dragon Quest. Ideal for Harry Potter fanatics or families seeking fun and educational days out in NewcastleGateshead, this riveting venue also offers group admission tickets.

Beamish Museum

In the early 1950s, Dr Frank Atkinson was inspired to create an open-air museum for the North East having visited Scandinavian folk museums, and thus Beamish Museum was born. Beamish Museum is a widely cherished North East gem, allowing visitors from all over the world to travel through time and experience the past first-hand. From 1820s Pockerley to a 1940s farm, Beamish is an immersive and captivating experience that’s sure to please all the family. The 1900s Pit Village is a must-see, particularly for those with an interest in the North East’s rich coal mining heritage. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’ll have time to see it all in one day, tickets to Beamish are valid for 12 months after your visit, so you can return within a year for free.

Victoria Tunnel

Descend into the atmospheric depths of NewcastleGateshead’s hidden heritage. The Victoria Tunnel, built in 1842, was once used to transport coal. This was until 1939, when the tunnel was converted into an air-raid shelter. Tours of the tunnel run regularly throughout the year and offer an authentic insight into the past. Experience the sights and sounds shared by those who sought shelter during World War II, or listen to spine-tingling tales of the ghosts that lurk between the tunnel’s stone walls! Who knew there was so much history to be discovered underground? Just don’t forget to book your tickets online and in advance, as it’s not possible to buy tickets on the day.

Gibside National Trust

If you’re seeking beautiful National Trust places in the North East, look no further than Gibside, an Eighteenth century landscape garden in the heart of Gateshead. Perfect to while away a summer’s day, this rural escape is a short journey away from Newcastle city centre, and surrounds a striking three-storey chapel. Complete with a walled garden, greenhouse, Georgian bridge and the ruins of a bathhouse and hall, Gibside’s blend of stunning gardens with neo-classic architecture is unforgettable. If you fancy something further afield, there are plenty of National Trust places in Northumberland, including Wallington Hall, Cherryburn and the extraordinary Cragside.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

The architecture of Belsay Hall was heavily influenced by the temples of ancient Greece. Consisting of rocks from the quarry on the Belsay Grounds, the hall was finished in 1817 and is now one of the most notable English Heritage sites in the North East countryside. The hall’s original kitchen is home to the Belsay Hall Tearoom, which is the perfect place to unwind once you’ve finished exploring the castle and enjoying its incredible views. Ticket prices are £9.50, however full English Heritage memberships are available and offer unlimited access.

Lindisfarne Priory

One of the oldest English Heritage sites in Northumberland, Lindisfarne Priory consists of extensive ruins that are dominated by the Twelfth century priory church. This stunning setting is drenched in history, and sits just moments from the coast. In fact, if you visit on a clear day, you’ll spot Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands in the distance. This is an ideal spot for a picnic on a summers’ afternoon. Top off your visit with a wander around the Lindisfarne Priory Collection, populated by incredible Anglo-Saxon stonework.

Are you searching for places that are historic or part of the National Trust in Newcastle, Gateshead and Northumberland? Let us know where your historic hot-spots are by tweeting us at @altweet_pet.

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