From castles to cathedrals: the best historical sites in the North East

Madeleine Raine shares her favourite historic sites to visit in the North East

Madeleine Raine
26th February 2020
The North East of England is one of the most iconic and beautiful regions that our country has to offer. We are spoilt for choice not only with our expansive coastline but also country attractions and buildings that date back to the medieval period. The North East of England is the perfect place to explore both modern and historic sites, making it a true hub for British life and culture.

Alnwick Castle

Image Credit: Matthew Hartley from Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (no changes made)

The most popular historic site that is situated very close to Newcastle itself is that of Alnwick Castle. Built in the eleventh century, this country house has been home to numerous gentile families for centuries. After Windsor Castle, it is the second largest occupied house in England. Whilst part of this castle is still occupied by the current duke and duchess, it still prides itself in acting as a tourist attraction, welcoming thousands of visitors every day. Adorned with extravagant furnishings and paintings this castle has served not only visitors but also the movie scene for decades. Most famous for its place in Harry Potter, this castle has also been home to the set of Downton Abbey and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Durham Cathedral

Image Credit: Tom Pennington from Geograph (CC BY-SA 2.0) (no changes made)

Another famous North Eastern landmark is Durham Cathedral. Durham itself is rich in both history and culture, with its cathedral bearing no difference. Also built in the eleventh century, this cathedral has always been the central attraction of this small market city. Serving as both a religious institution tourist site, Durham Cathedral attracts thousands of visitors from all around the globe every month. This cathedral has also collaborated in the Durham Lumiere scheme since its debut in 2009, augmenting its revenue and popularity particularly in recent years. A light festival encompassing the city every two years, Durham Lumiere sets its centre at the cathedral, promoting various artistic representations from the projections of the Lindisfarne Gospels on its walls to the manifestation of thousands of hanging clothes beneath its roof.

The Victoria Tunnel

Image Credit: CDC from Wikicommons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (no changes made)

The Victoria Tunnel that exists beneath the city of Newcastle is an attraction that despite being bathed in history is often neglected. Opening in 1842, this tunnel served to transport coal from the Town Moor to the River Tyne. Serving less than twenty years, the tunnel was unfortunately closed in 1860 until the beginning of the Second World War when it was re-opened to the public as an air-raid shelter. Spanning 2.4 miles, this tunnel is still intact today and still receives visitors yearning to learn more about our coal-mining region.

The North East of England is a beautiful region that often does not receive as much publicity as its competitors. We are incredibly fortunate to have a breath-taking coastline that most have access to within an hour’s drive. Our region is home to countless stately homes and castles that remind us of our past and heritage, as well as country parks and forest trails for nature lovers. Whether you love nature, sport or history, this region has so much to offer and really is the gemstone of this country.

Feature Image Credit: Sheldon Dan from

(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)
AUTHOR: Madeleine Raine
MA History student with a BA in English Literature and History. Lifestyle writer and avid traveller who has recently branched out to also cover news articles. Twitter @RaineMadeleine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ReLated Articles
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap