Manage Cookie Preferences

To understand how people use our site and improve your experience on our website, we use cookies. Please choose which types of cookies you’re happy with – you can change your selection at any time. To learn more, read our Cookie Policy.

12 Hidden Gems Of Northumberland

  • By Matfen Hall
  • February 07, 2024
  • Northumberland

Northumberland is home to a range of beautiful locations for you to explore during your stay at our magnificent country estate. While internationally-renowned landmarks, photogenic countryside and award-winning towns are tempting places to visit in Northumberland, here we provide you with those that lie off the beaten track and create equally remarkable moments.

Historical landmarks

While the world-famous Hadrian’s Wall carves a path through stunning landscapes and stretches from one coastline to another, the Roman forts that lie a short drive away from our estate are comparatively lesser-known, but are no less incredible.

Chesters Roman Fort is widely regarded as the best-preserved Roman cavalry fort in Britain, as Vindolanda offers you the chance to explore the remains of a settlement that dates back to the third century and provides a comprehensive insight into life in Roman Britain.

History buffs will also enjoy visiting the Abbey in Hexham, which lies less than 15 miles away from Matfen Hall. The Abbey boasts a selection of priceless artefacts to examine and interactive experiences the whole family can take part in. 

Hexham Old Gaol, meanwhile, proudly stands as the oldest purpose-built prison in England, with an original dungeon for the brave at heart to step into, making this one of the most memorable places in Northumberland to visit. 

An honourable mention must go to Chillingham Castle, Britain’s most haunted historic castle, which allows guests to take part in guided ghost hunts and tours.

Award-winning towns

While Hexham has been regularly voted the happiest place to live in England, nearby Corbridge is an equally handsome market town, offering vintage-inspired cafes, traditional country pubs and artisanal bakeries to explore. A picturesque place to spend the day, Corbridge is truly a hidden gem situated within the majestic Northumberland countryside.

For an extra option, Ponteland also offers a leisurely day out. Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens also boasts extraordinary architecture to admire, while their Grade I listed gardens provide a brilliant backdrop for those family photos.

Captivating Countryside

With landscapes that roll on for days surrounding us, the jewel in Northumberland’s crown is ideally located for adventurers to put their boots on and take in some truly breathtaking sights.

Kielder Water and Forest Park provides days of true exploration with a number of trails that will spoil you with captivating scenery. When night falls, its Observatory provides a uniquely magical experience, as the whole family can lie back and gaze upwards at a sky full of stars.

For an adventure that takes you truly off the beaten track, Hareshaw Linn is the quintessential hidden gem of Northumberland. Not many, even those local to the area, are aware of this trail, which is home to red squirrels, great spotted woodpeckers, badgers and even Daubenton’s bats, before leading you to a magical waterfall.  

Beautiful Coastlines

With a coast full of amazing castles and charming seaside towns, it’s hard to choose one place in Northumberland to recommend.

While Bamburgh – complete with a castle that has starred in Hollywood blockbusters – offers even more history to uncover, Alnmouth provides natural beauty to appreciate. But, for a charming coastal town that boasts marine wildlife, Newbiggin-by-the-sea is the perfect beach to visit.

Only 40 minutes away from our majestic estate, a venture to this part of the coast is certainly worth it, if only to find the intriguing Couple statue, as they look out to sea, and to take in breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

While Northumberland does boast some world-famous monuments and attractions that have made their mark on celluloid, it is the hidden gems that can make your stay truly memorable. A more off-the-beaten-path approach also allows you to appreciate the natural beauty and rich history of the region.


Begin planning your stay in Northumberland here.

Stay up to date

To be kept up to date with offers, events and news from the Matfen Hall Estate, sign up to our email newsletter below.

Sign up

Our website uses cookies to help personalise your experience. By clicking "Accept all", you consent to our use of cookies. You can choose to control which cookies we use at any time, by clicking "Manage Preferences". If you choose not to accept some cookies, please note you may experience more limited functionality on our website. To learn more, read our Cookie Policy.