Northumbria is the colloquial name for Northumberland, This ancient kingdom covered a larger area in the 8th century, and is for my money, one of the best kept secrets England has to offer, 40 years ago one could have said this of Devon and Cornwall but alas not so today The climate in the South and West of England is generally speaking warmer due in part to the Gulf Stream, while in the North it tends to be more open, with higher terrain, lending itself to spectacular hill country, mountains, and valleys, the weather here being less predictable and at times more severe with greater amounts of Snow Fall in Winter!
A number of fine castles occupy prominent positions along the North Sea Coast, Bamburgh, Warksworth, and Alnwick, to name a few all owned by the Percy family dating back to medieval origins!
Hadrian’s Wall built by the Romans in the 2nd century A.D, is in the South of this most Northerly of English counties While Lindisfarne Holy Island is at it;s most North Eastern, Holy Island is just that a Holy Island much visited in the past and present day by religious groups wishing to see the very place that Cuthbert an 8th century monk lived and served his faith. An interesting fact is that this was the very first place on English soil the Vikings invaded in the late 8th century!
The Priory and Castle are the main features of the Island, and are a must to see! the Causeway which connects the island to the mainland is nature at it’s best, allowing one to access the island twice a day at low tide, which I personally find a fascinating natural phenomenon. One afternoon for my amusement, I sat and watched the tide rapidly covering the causeway, while day tourists were scurrying back to the mainland, by, car coach, and foot, all trying to beat the tide, sadly in the past some have not been quite so fortunate, by easily miscalculating the water depth, and no doubt to ones astonishment, a few have found their beloved Volvo or Ford floating out to sea with them in it!! I never witnessed this personally, but video is on you tube if you care to to view!
Inland one can find the Cheviot Hills, part of the Pennines, which are known as the spine of England, offering wonderful hiking trails and picture postcard scenic beauty! GPS is recommended in this the least populated county in England, Truly the last outpost!
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