Heritage

From spectacular castles and stunning gardens in the north and west, to industrial history sites in the south east, Northumberland has a rich history which can be felt wherever you go.

Visit Holy Island of Lindisfarne, known as the cradle of Christianity, or follow the mighty northern frontier of the Roman Empire at Hadrian’s Wall. See the unique Elizabethan walled town of Berwick upon Tweed, the former royal fortress of Bamburgh Castle or explore Hexham Abbey.

With heritage attractions both built and natural, Northumberland attracts visitors from all over the world.

Heritage open days

Northumberland hosts free heritage open days each year. This is a chance to explore heritage sites and see their hidden historical gems. It is England’s biggest and most popular voluntary cultural event with many attractions to bring local history to life, including:

  • bus trails

  • photography exhibitions

  • tours

  • walks

  • talks

The open days are part of a national dedication to England’s architecture and heritage. To see the full list of events and for more information, please visit the Heritage Open Days website here.

Heritage venues and museums

Active Northumberland funds museums in the county to support their services. These are:

The collections in these museums are hugely significant to the population of the county, including the world famous Pitmen Painters Gallery at Woodhorn and the remarkable collection at Northumbrian Pipes within Morpeth Chantry.

We also support three volunteer-led museums:

Other museums