The north-east of England is home to many beautiful places, from historic castles and famous islands to award-winning beaches and gorgeous city streets. It really does have it all. Living in the area means you can walk along sandy coastlines, explore the region’s past or hike through national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
If you thought you needed to visit other countries to see spectacular views, you were wrong. Caitlin Irwin talks us through some of the most beautiful places in the North East.
1. Holy Island
The historic Holy Island lies just off the stunning North East coast. Although this island is a mere drive away, high tides flood the causeway twice a day and cut it off from the rest of the world. With castles, old ruins and a reordered history, this place has a past like no other. Not only can you explore castles and walk on sandy beaches in this beautiful location, but the wildlife here is amazing too. A number of different birds, including puffins, can be found on the island, while seals and even dolphins have been spotted off the coast.
2. Bamburgh Castle
This magnificent castle towers over the North East village of Bamburgh. It spans nine acres above the coastline, providing amazing views both inside and out. Time Out called it ‘the finest castle anywhere in the country’ and it truly is one of the region’s gems.
3. Alnwick Castle
Recognise this? It’s no surprise if you do. Alnwick Castle was used in the famous Harry Potter films and in parts of the more recent Downton Abbey. Not to mention that it’s totally stunning. Take into account Alnwick Gardens and this is easily one of the most beautiful places in the North East.
4. Newcastle Quayside
With a series of bridges spanning across the River Tyne, the Newcastle Quayside is a place of spectacular beauty. Featuring the iconic Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge, it is one of the most unique stretches of river in the country. To admire the true beauty of the Quayside you can go right to the top of the world-renowned music and art centre that overlook the area. With spectacular lighting too there’s no place quite as magnificent for a stroll.
5. Grainger Town and Grey Street
With architecture from the 30s and almost half of the buildings listed as historically important, it is no surprise that these parts of Newcastle are some of the most beautiful places to visit in the North East. Grey Street has also been praised by the New York Times and was voted the finest street in Britain.
6. Hadrian’s Wall
Another simply stunning piece of history is Hadrian’s Wall. Built by the Romans to keep out the tribes of Scotland, the wall stretches over 70 miles. For the most astonishing sights it’s best to visit the pictured Homesteads Roman Fort where you can gather 360 degree views of the surrounding scenery. Another great spot for breathtaking views is the Birdoswald Roman Fort, from which you can see the longest continuous stretch of the wall.
7. Seaburn and Roker’s beaches
Home to the famous Sunderland International Airshow but a great place to visit all year round, these award-winning beaches truly are beautiful. Not only are the white, sandy beaches the perfect place to read a book, take a stroll or chill out with friends, there is also a selection of places to eat and drink along the coast. To truly experience the beauty of these beaches, wake up early in the morning or stay late at night and watch the sun set or rise along the sea front. It’s a sight you’d be sad to miss.
8. Kielder Water and Forest Park
A great place to explore and take photographs, Kielder is home to a huge lake and a fascinating forest. But the real beauty of Kielder comes out at night. The area, famous for its unpolluted starry skies, is actually the largest expanse of dark night sky in the whole of Europe. So if you want to see countless shooting stars, the Milky Way and more, you know where to go. If you’re lucky enough you might also catch an aurora, a wonderful natural light display in the sky.
9. North Pennines
The North Pennines, stretching north to south between Carlisle and Darlington, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you’re looking for some awe-inspiring views, look no further.
10. Northumberland National Park
This 400-square-mile National Park provides you with some of the most stunning places to wander and get lost in. It would be hard to mention all the best areas to visit, but to start off with you could walk along the Coquet Valley, wander through the Cheviot Hills or even climb up Simonside.
11. Penshaw Monument
Officially the ‘Earl of Durham’s Monument’, the Penshaw Monument was built in 1844. The beautiful floodlit structure is a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. It provides wonderfully picturesque views, particularly at night with city lights below. A hidden staircase inside one of the pillars also allows guests to climb to the top of the monument. This is a must for all – unless you suffer from vertigo… in which case we recommend you enjoy the views from on the ground.
12. Angel of the North
One of the North East’s most iconic sculptures, the Angel of the North is a gigantic 20m tall and 54m wide. Standing next to a creation of that size truly is breathtaking. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the North East.