Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

Things to do

If ever a UK county was one big open-air theme park it's Northumberland. Not in a rubbish, inauthentic, queue-with-the-crowds kind of way, obviously – we're talking full-on history, heritage and adventure at a roster of world-class sights, museums and attractions. Take Hadrian's Wall for example – that's the actual, genuine, Roman-built Hadrian's Wall, complete with a stunning visitor attraction and archaeological dig at Vindolanda and the magnificently sited fort of Housesteads. If you want castles, Northumberland has at least a dozen to spare – and not just dramatic ruined ones like Dunstanburgh but all-singing, all-dancing battlemented, lived-in ones such as Alnwick and Bamburgh too. The Northumberland coast is a real highpoint, with miles of wonderful duned beaches stretching all the way up to the walled, fortified town of Berwick upon Tweed – itself, the most interesting of all the towns in the northeast of England, fought over for centuries but now carving out a more peaceful reputation as a 'slow town', big on sustainable tourism and locally sourced food and drink. Add to all this the gems of Alnwick Garden – Europe's finest contemporary garden – or a pile of stately homes or the fascination of a trip to Holy Island and you'll see that Northumberland really does have enough for weeks of travel and exploration. And that's before we even get to Northumberland National Park, the wilderness and 'Dark Sky' country that takes up most of the interior of the county. Did we say weeks? Make it months. Better start now.

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