North-East is the region stretching north of the Humber estuary as far as Berwick-upon-Tweed and encompasses the North Yorkshire Moors, the historic city of Durham, the vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the rugged north eastern coastline.
Landscape of the North East is wild and untamed. The north eastern coastline is made up of a series of dramatic headlands, which are home to an abundance of wildlife and dotted with ancient ruins, along with traditional seaside resorts such as Scarborough. Lonely islands, such as Holy Island lie off the coast, accessed via a causeway across shallow waters.
Inland, the vast bleakness of the Yorkshire Moors stretches southwards until it is offset by the beauty and history of the towns and villages of South and West Yorkshire, like the Pennine town of Huddersfield; dubbed the ‘poetry capital of the north’, the town produces a vast array of poetry publishers and is the birthplace of internationally acclaimed poet and playwright Simon Armitage.
History of the North East is both rich and turbulent. The monastic ruins and castles spread along its coastline and throughout the county of Durham bear the marks of invading Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans.
The county’s industrial heritage is evident in towns such as Middlesbrough, where iron and steel production once flourished; the names of local companies adorn famous landmarks around the world, such as Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Menai Suspension Bridge. The north east also has a rich literary heritage and the town of Darlington is an ideal starting point from which to explore the childhood home of classic author Catherine Cookson, acclaimed actress Dame Flora Robson and author Elinor Brent-Dyer of the ‘Chalet School‘ books fame.
Further south, York is home to the country’s mightiest medieval cathedral which once stood over the remains of a Viking settlement, now recreated at York’s Jorvik Centre. On the coast, at the old whaling port of Whitby, memories abound of explorers such as the old Arctic hand William Scoresby and Captain James Cook. Further south and west, the region moves closer to the present day. Harrogate exudes a gentle calm and elegance created by Victorian and Edwardian architecture, first built for visitors to the 19th century spa town.
Towns and Cities
Leeds Tourist Information Tel:0113 237 9222
A lively and entertaining city, Leeds offers excellent restaurants, exciting theatres, a wealth of cultural and music festivals and energetic nightlife.
Berwick-upon-Tweed Tourist Information Tel:01289 330733
The town boasts the most complete set of Tudor walls in Europe, erected upon the orders of Queen Elizabeth I to protect the town against attack.
Bamburgh Tourist Information Tel:01668 213678
The imposing 12th century Norman castle, perched on a 180ft crag, dominates the town and overlooks its fine, award-winning beach. The 13th century church of St Aiden contains the grave of Grace Darling, one of Bamburgh’s most notable former residents.
Pick of the Attractions
Segedunum Roman Fort Tel:0191 236 9347
Built on Hadrian’s Wall, the fort exhibits fascinating Roman remains and explains, with the use of the latest technology, how life was in Roman Britain.
Fountains Abbey Tel:01765 608888
This beautiful World Heritage Site is Britain’s largest monastic ruin and also the most complete Cistercian abbey, with over 800 years of history.
National Railway Museum Tel:01904 621621
The world’s largest railway museum is home to more than 300 years of railway history, from Queen Victoria’s favourite carriage to the Japanese Bullet Train.
Alnwick Castle Tel:01665 510777
This stunning medieval castle is the family home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Set in around 120,000 acres of countryside, the castle has been used a film location for several productions, including ‘Elizabeth‘ and the ‘Harry Potter‘ series of films.
Durham Cathedral Tel:0191 386 4266
The cathedral is one of the greatest Norman buildings in Europe and was one of the first sites in Britain to be awarded World Heritage Status.
Kirkstall Abbey/Abbey House Museum Tel:0113 230 5492
The late 12th century abbey is a unique example of early Cistercian architecture. The museum allows visitors to experience life in 19th century Leeds, with recreated streets and houses and audio visual technology.
Harewood House and Gardens Tel:01132 181010
One of the Treasure Houses of England this grand mansion and extensive estate is the home of the Earl and Countess of Harewood. As well as the Adam interiors with Chippendale furniture, outside there is the Capability Brown landscape, formal terraces and lakeside bird garden.