Welcome to Northumberland - The bustling market town of Morpeth on the old Great North Road out of Newcastle is also the self-styled "Gateway" to the county, providing access to its Heritage Coast as well as to the rural tranquillity of Mid-Northumberland, with its many rivers and burns twisting along steep wooded valleys and across wide open farmland, leading down from the heather-clad hills of the Northumberland National Park.
With the Roman wall to the south and coastal fortresses to the east, this part of the county boasts its own unique industrial, agricultural and even pre-historic roots, celebrated at various sites - from the colliery museum and county archives at Woodhorn, near Ashington, to the iron age hill fort and rock carvings at Lordenshaws, near Rothbury.
Amid the beautiful scenery, the winding lanes and the many traditional stone villages are also some of Northumberland's finest country estates, legacies of the spectacular wealth and vision of the landowners and industrialists who created them, including Wallington, Belsay and Cragside, all of which are open to the public.
For those who want a real escape from the modern world, the 3 long dales that lead visitors up towards to the Cheviot Hills and the border with Scotland - the Harthope Valley, Breamish Valley and Coquetdale - are all worth exploring, by car and on foot. With nothing but a few hill sheep and the odd grouse or skylark for company, many would argue that this is the real Northumberland.
Just a few miles from Morpeth are the coastal plains of South East Northumberland. This area encompasses the wonderful beaches of Druridge Bay 6 miles of golden sand, Newbiggin by the Sea undergoing a renaissance with the world class Sean Henry sculpture "COUPLE" positioned on the breakwater.