Switch off the TV and have some quality family time here in Northumberland National Park. There are lots of free and low-cost family days out that kids, and big kids, will enjoy. History, geography and geology are brought to life in the great outdoors.
Before you come
Have a family film night watching Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves, so you’re ready to see where it was filmed at Sycamore Gap.
Trips in the Northumberland National Park will be packed with fun come rain or shine thanks to two new story walks from Tale Trails.
Exploits such as skirmishes with the Saxons, robbing gold from the Romans, catapulting into a Roman milecastle and exploring ancient hill forts will fill young minds with wonder.
The two Tale Trails based in the National Park are set in Cawfields and in Yeavering Bell in Wooler. Botha are fantatsic family walks based around a fun story and a hand drawn map for kids.
At Cawfields, heroes Mungo and Bran visit a large Roman fort, a milecastle, turret tower remains, Celtic standing stones and one of the best sections of Vallum (defensive ditches) along the wall. Great Chesters fort also contains the last standing Roman altar on Hadrian’s Wall.
While at Yeavering Bell, they visit a large Iron Age hill fort, the site of an Anglo-Saxon palace and a Bronze Age burial cairn. The hill fort on top of Yeavering bell is a truly amazing place with fantastic far reaching views. This trail really does offer the walker a fantastic window into the past lives of our islands ancestors.
Black Middens Bastle House
Near Gatehouse. Free. Visit for: A chance to discover a ruined fortified farmhouse known as a bastle. It was attacked in 1583 by the Armstrong family. For more, click here.
The Garden Station
Near Hexham. Free. Car parking. Toilets. Café. Visit for: A relaxing stroll in the charming woodland gardens planted around a restored railway station. The café displays pictures by local artists and visiting exhibitions. For more, click here.
Hexham. Free. Visit for: Exploring the Anglo-Saxon crypt, taking in treasures such as the historic Frith Stool and to ascend the Medieval Night Stair. For more, click here.
Hexham Moothall and Gallery
Hexham. Free. Visit for: Drink in the historic atmosphere of the vaulted cellars as you enjoy the art collections of local artisans and artists. School groups can arrange to visit the Moot Hall itself.
Did you know? The Moothall was the location of the banquets and trials of the Archbishop of York in the 15th century. It was a safe haven during Border Reiver raids.
Near Holystone. Free. Visit for: A curious small pool rumoured to be where the Anglo Saxon Saint Ninian baptised many early Christians. A stone cross placed in its centre by the Victorians adds to its sense of mystery.
Otterburn. Free. Car parking. Toilets. Safe. Visit for: A glimpse into the weaving trade that used to thrive here. See the mill workings and a collection of archive materials. For more, click here.
Did you know? The Queen’s pram blanket was woven here.
Tower Knowe Visitor Centre
Near Kield. Free. Car parking. Toilets. Dogs allowed. Safe. Visit for: A great introduction to the fun of Kielder Water and Forest Park. The Explore gallery’s interactive guide gives some great tips about the best ways to enjoy this beautiful area. For more, click here.
Near Holystone. Free. Visit for: Seeing for yourself the evidence of Northumberland’s violent past in this ruined fortified farmhouse. Owners would take refuge from the raids from the Border Reivers and soldiers, housing livestock on the lower floor and living above them. With thick walls and a stone spout to pour molten lead on enemies, it was an imposing target for would-be raiders.
Did you know? The infamous Northumbrian Piper, James Allan, was born here in 1734. He was jailed for stealing a horse and died there in 1810.
- Hexham: At Bell Terrace, East End Dene Park, Tyne Green, Priestlands Dene and The Sele
- Haydon Bridge – The Copse and The Showfield
Generate some great memories with a family picnic! You can make it a day-long adventure following one of our Top Ten Picnic Walks. If you just want to park up and use a picnic table, then take a look at Picnic sites.
Attractions with admission charges
Click on the attraction names below to find out more information.
- Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
- Chillingham Castle
- Cragside House
- Chesters Roman Fort and Museum
- Falconry Days
- The Heritage Centre at Bellingham
- Hexham Old Gaol
- Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum
- Kielder Observatory
- Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens
- Mr George’s Museum of Time
- Roman Army Museum (Carvoran)
- Vindolanda Roman Fort
- Wallington House, Gardens and Estate