The historic capital of Redesdale

Elsdon, the historic capital of Redesdale, is the perfect Northumbrian village. It has an ancient parish church, a tower house and even the remains of a castle.

The houses which gather round the teardrop-shaped village green make it the largest settlement within the boundaries of the National Park.

It’s a great starting point for many walks into the surrounding countryside.

History of Elsdon

The name Elsdon comes from Elli’s or perhaps Aelf’s valley.

Elsdon used to be on the main road leading from Newcastle to Redesdale and beyond. All that remain now are the earthworks of the Norman ringwork and bailey castle that once stood on the Mote Hills.

The village was often raided during the time of the Border Reivers. In one particularly savage raid in 1584, 14 men were murdered, 400 prisoners were held for ransom and 400 cows and oxen and another 400 horses were taken.

The village Pele tower is one of the best examples left in Northumberland. It dates from 1900 with walls nine feet thick.

Old School House Tearoom

This tea room has become an essential pitstop since Marion and Allan Graham opened in 1978. There’s a wide range of cycling memorabilia to take in while enjoying your refreshments.

The legendary homemade Gibbet Cake is a great energy boost for tackling the hilly roads out of Elsdon.

The Mote Hills

Mote Hills is exceptionally well preserved and is considered to be the best example of a motte and bailey castle in Northumberland.

It was built by Robert de Umfraville, not long after the Norman Conquest and stands on a natural spur of a hill.

Getting here

By car

From the A1, take the A696 to Elsdon.

By bus

The Saturday-only 808 service runs to and from Newcastle.