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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – over 780 entries as of June 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.

North East England

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Alnwick Castle dates from the 11th century and has been in the hands of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, since 14th century.  The castle is one of the most visited in England, steeped in the Percy family history with gruesome discoveries to be made as well as magnificent state rooms.  It is often used for filming and has starred in Harry Potter and Downton Abbey, for example.  The castle also houses a number of special exhibitions, including the Regimental Museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Adjacent to the castle is the Alnwick Garden, a formal garden built around a huge cascading fountain and featuring one of the most astonishing tree houses you will ever see.

Location/Address: Alnwick
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE66 1NQ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Alnwick Castle website
Tip/Nearby: Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh
Primary Management: Independent – Historic Houses member

Antony Gormley's iconic steel sculpture near the A1 south of Gateshead. It weighs 200 tonnes, is 20 metres high and has a wingspan of 54 metres.

Location/Address: Durham Road
Low Eighton
County: Tyne & Wear
Post Code: NE9 6AA
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: Angel of the North, steel statue and daffodil
Tip/Nearby: Access from the A167.
Primary Management: Local Authority
ARBEIA Roman fort and museum

Arbeia Roman Fort stood guard on the south bank of the Tyne, guarding the sea route to Hadrian's Wall. The fort is situated in what is now a residential area, with a primary school opposite. It was originally built in the 2nd century AD and, with variations and rebuilding (the fort was destroyed in the late 3rd/early 4th century, for example), was occupied until the Anglo-Saxon period. There is a good museum, reconstructed gateway and living quarters (which are a bit tatty) and the excavated outline of the fort.

Location/Address: Baring Street
South Shields
County: Tyne and Wear
Post Code: NE33 2BB
Main Historic Period: Roman
Link to featured article: Arbeia upon Tyne
Useful Website Address: Arbeia's website
Tip/Nearby: Wallsend is just across the river
Primary Management: Local Authority

Bamburgh is most famous for its castle. Fortified since ancient times, it perches on a massive, 180-foot (55 metres) high lump of basalt and is one of Northumbria’s most iconic images. But Bamburgh is an attractive little village in its own right, with plenty of watering holes, the RNLI Grace Darling Museum and the Church of St Aiden. The beach is simply wonderful and, if not always warm enough for bathing, it is lovely to walk along it, paddling as you go, or have a quick kick-about with the kids.

County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE69 7DF
Main Historic Period: N/A
Useful Website Address: Bamburgh's website
Tip/Nearby: Lindisfarne
Primary Management: Local Authority

Bamburgh Castle is one of the dramatic icons of Northumberland's coast.  There has been a fortress on the rocky crag poking out into the North Sea since before the Anglo-Saxons invaded. The Normans built a new castle, and its bloody history continued.  But the present building owes much to Victorian restoration and idealism. And thanks for that goes to wealthy arms manufacturer and dealer William Armstrong, whose family still live there.  Bamburgh is a popular visitor attraction, is 'bursting with history and has also featured in several film/TV productions.

Location/Address: Bamburgh
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE69 7DF
Main Historic Period: All
Useful Website Address: Bamburgh Castle's website
Tip/Nearby: Holy Island is just to the north
Primary Management: Independent – Historic Houses member

Barnard Castle was founded by Bernard de Balliol in the 12th century and the ruins of this once mighty fortress dominate both the town named for it and the river Tees. Balliol College, Oxford, was named after Bernard's ancestor, John, and John's son (another John) was briefly King of Scotland. Afterwards, the castle came into the possession of the powerful Earls of Warwick - the Neville family - and subsequently, through marriage to Anne Neville, it then came into the hands of the Duke of Gloucester - Richard III. Later, it fell into disrepair and is now a spectacular ruin in an impressive setting.

Location/Address: Scar Top
Barnard Castle
County: Co Durham
Post Code: DL12 8PR
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: The Bowes Museum, Egglestone Abbey
Primary Management: English Heritage

Beamish is an astonishing open air museum, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s & 1940s.  It was the vision of Dr Frank Atkinson, the museum’s founder and first director, who could see the industrial heritage of the north east fading away and set out to preserve it.  So, in 300 acres on the site of a Durham coalfield, you will find a town from the 1900s, a pit village, colliery, Edwardian railway, 1940s farm – and more.  Many of the buildings have been painstakingly relocated from their original sites and rebuilt; others are faithful replicas.  There are thousands of exhibits, many of them working, and the museum is further brought to life with the help of costumed re-enactors.

Location/Address: Beamish
County: Co Durham
Post Code: DH9 0RG
Main Historic Period: Edwardian
Useful Website Address: Beamish Museum website
Tip/Nearby: Washington
Primary Management: Other
BROCOLITIA, Temple of Mithras

The remains of a Temple of Mithras, the Persian god of light and truth, stands near what is left of the Roman fort of Brocolitia, or Carrawburgh, on the route of Hadrian's Wall. It was built in the 3rd century and subsequently desecrated, probably by Christians. There was once another temple nearby, dedicated to Coventina, a local water goddess, and a nymphaeum – a monument dedicated to nymphs - but nothing is to be seen of these now.

Location/Address: Humshaugh
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE46 4DB
Main Historic Period: Roman
Link to featured article: Brocolitia Mithraeum
Tip/Nearby: Park in the Northumberland National Park car park (fee payable) on the south side of the B6318 about 3.75 miles west of Chollerford.
Primary Management: English Heritage

Monument celebrating the life of Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, born in Newcastle in 1748. An able officer who served in the American War of Independence and Napoleonic Wars, Collingwood was Nelson's 2IC at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and took command when Nelson was fatally wounded. His statue looks out across the mouth of the Tyne. Four cannon flanking the steps of the monument were taken from his flagship, HMS Royal Sovereign.

Location/Address: Pier Road, Tynemouth
County: Tyne and Wear
Post Code: NE30 4DD
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Tynemouth Priory
Primary Management: Local Authority

Cragside was the home and creation of William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong, arms manufacturer and international arms dealer. The house is full of over-the-top Victorian opulence and also illustrates Armstrong's ingenuity and progressive thinking. Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity - and a new Archimedes screw has been installed to demonstrate this. The grounds are extensive - there are several walks of varying length and rigour - and the gardens are a delight.

Location/Address: Rothbury
County: Northumberland
Post Code: NE65 7PX
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: Cragside
Tip/Nearby: Wallington.
Primary Management: National Trust
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