In the north-east lie the counties of Northumberland, Yorkshire, Durham, and Tyne and Wear.
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Within Yorkshire’s borders are the national parks of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Ruins of medieval abbeys, village churches and wilderness walking are on offer. Scenic villages, historic churches and abbeys and stately homes add to the mix.
The county was home to the Bronte sisters. Oliver Cromwell is buried at Newburg Priory. Castle Howard, a British Treasure House, is a stunning stately home. Other historic homes include Duncombe Park, Beningbrough Hall, Burton Agnes, Burton Contable, Harewood House, and Nostell Priory.
The city of York is famous for its minster, its Railway Museum, Castle Museum, Treasurer’s House, city walls and more. The spa city of Harrogate is well worth at least two days stay. Towns worth a visit include Richmond, Helmsley, and Whitby with its abbey perched high on a hillside. When touring the county don’t miss Fountains Abbey and Studeley Royal, a full day’s experience. In fact you could tour for a month in this county and not see it all.
Northumberland is bordered by the Pennines in the west and the sea in the east. Moorland and hills make up Northumberland National Park. Another outdoor area worth at least a few days visit is Kielder Water Forest Park. Its many attractions appeal to all ages.
Castles that once guarded the border are open to visitors. Among them are Chillingham, Etal, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh, Warkworth, and the famous Alnwick Castle with its 20th century garden sure to delight visitors.
Durham county’s cathedral sits proud on a high hill above the river Wear in the town of the same name, once ruled by the Prince bishops. Beamish Open Air Museum is a great family attraction and worth a two day visit. The charming market town of Barnard Castle is home to castle ruins perched above the river Tees. Be sure to put Raby Castle now a stately home on your list to visit. And don’t overlook the county’s heritage coast and its walking path.
Tyne and Wear’s main city, Newcastle/Gateshead, is a cosmopolitan mix of museums, historic buildings, theatres, and shopping. There’s so much to see in this area of England that you need to schedule at least a week. Along the coast the attraction is sandy beaches, lighthouses, and walking trails.
The National Glass Centre is a different kind of attraction. You can sign up for a learning session or watch others hard at work. Nature lovers can visit the Washington Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre while history buffs will want to visit the home of George Washington’s ancestors.
The county has many attractions related to the famous Bede, father of English history.
Photos by Barbara Ballard. Reminder: all photos on the website are copyrighted and may not be used without written permission.