Northumberland County Council - Living in the area

Northumberland is England’s most northerly county, bordered by Scotland to the north and Cumbria to the west. A region with a rich heritage, it also boasts stunning coastline, beautiful countryside and picturesque market towns such as Berwick, Hexham, Morpeth and Alnwick.

There’s a real sense of history, with more castles here than anywhere else in England. Alnwick and Bamburgh are home to two of our best preserved examples, whilst there are many more romantic ruins such as Dunstanburgh, which add drama to the beautiful landscape. Holy Island is also home to a 16th century castle but known more for its medieval religious heritage, whilst the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall is enjoyed by tourists and walkers alike.

For many years Northumberland was known as a mining heartland, with whole communities centred around the collieries. As the pits have closed, the areas have undergone impressive regeneration, none more so than at Woodhorn, a visitor attraction celebrating the region’s mining heritage. This regeneration complements the outstanding natural beauty of the region, with sandy beaches, fishing villages and rugged coastline hugging the east of the county, whilst inland we have the rolling Cheviot Hills in the Northumberland National Park.

Traditionally, Northumberland has relied heavily on tourism as the foundation of its regional economy. Visitor numbers continue to rise, and the combinations of coast and countryside, rich heritage and new attractions mean than tourism continues to play a valuable role.

However, the region has also accepted the need for change, met this challenge and diversified, with regeneration encouraging new investment in the county. New technology and energy efficiency are just two such areas, complementing the county’s traditional strengths.

The North East offers a wide variety of housing, which is amongst the most cost-effective in the UK. Popular residential areas within Northumberland include:

Urban centres in South-East Northumberland such as Blyth, Ashington, Bedlington and Cramlington
Picturesque market towns including Alnwick and Amble in the north, Hexham in the west and Morpeth in the centre of the county
Rural villages such as Otterburn, Bamburgh and Allendale

If you have a family, many excellent schools exist in both the state and private sectors within the County. A full list can be found at the link below:


Northumberland offers something to suit everyone when it comes to history, culture and events. Some examples include:
In August 2016 we hosted the Tall Ships Regatta in Blyth which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the country and the globe
Residents’ Festival takes place every year offering free and discounted entry to top attractions to residents of Northumberland and NCC employees
Northumberland has more castles than any other county in the UK with some examples including Alnwick, Bamburgh, Warkworth and Dunstanburgh
Northumberland Live takes place in Blyth each year with chart-topping acts headlining and local bands also being given the chance to showcase their talents
Kielder Water is the third largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the world and the Observatory located there offers many public events
There are a variety of theatres including Alnwick Playhouse, the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth and Queen’s Hall in Hexham
Northumberland is famous for its walking and cycling routes so why not keep active by taking a guided walk along Hadrian’s Wall or taking a cycling or horse riding trek through Northumberland National Park

Find out more…

Get In Touch
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF
0345 600 6400