Hexham Sunset

The north-east region of Northumbria has so much to offer – and that’s partly why three of our parks are sited there. Each of this trio is within close proximity of Hexham and, in fact, the Causey Hill Holiday Park is located in the historic town.

In this edition of our blog we’ll take a trip around the region and pick out a few spots which we think are worthy of some of your time when you’re looking for things to do in Hexham. Places to while away a day, or a few hours, to make the most of your off-park time while at Causey Hill, Elm Bank or Village Green.


What to do in Hexham


1.   Hexham Old Gaol

You may be surprised to learn that Hexham is the location of the earliest purpose-built prison in England, established in 1333, and a museum since 1980. Set in the historic Tyne Valley and built using stone from the Corbridge Roman site three miles away, the Old Gaol is now a Grade I listed building. There’s education and plenty of fun to be had, here – you can try out the stocks, visit the prison house and learn about Medieval crime and punishment. The Old Gaol is also home to the Border Library Collection (a wide variety of photographs, books, poetry and music about the border territory). It is always closed for the winter, opening at the end of March to welcome in Spring and Summer visitors.


2.   Vindolanda

Northumbria is strong with history, and the remarkable Vindolanda is one of the most popular historic sites along Hadrian’s Wall. In fact, this former castrum (i.e. Roman auxiliary fort) is thought to pre-date the wall, having been established circa 85 AD. Its purpose was to guard the Stanegate – the Roman road which stretched from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. These days it’s an impressive visitor centre which includes heavily excavated Roman ruins, plus the Chesterholm Museum which conserves and displays finds from the site. The gardens include full-sized reconstructions of a Roman temple, a Roman shop, a Roman house and a Northumbrian croft. There is also a café, and a shop in the museum to purchase souvenirs. Vindolanda is one of the most rewarding days out in the region.


3.   Roman Army Museum

If Vindolanda proves to be not quite enough of the Empire for you, then the Roman Army Museum will give you plenty more to enjoy, with genuine Roman artifacts including weapons and tools on display, plus a large timeline of Hadrian’s Wall, life-sized replicas and a 3D film showing the past and present, plus a gallery devoted to the emperor Hadrian himself. The museum is sited next to one of the most complete sections of Hadrian’s Wall, so it’s the perfect spot for lovers of ancient history. Admission is very reasonably priced.


4.   Museum Of Classic Sci-Fi

Now that we’ve recommended a few historic sites, it’s time to focus on the future! In the village of Allendale, a few miles south west of Hexham, is the Museum Of Classic Sci-Fi – which features over 200 original props, costumes, artworks and artefacts from films and television. This collection includes life-sized Daleks, a Tardis, props from the Star Wars and Alien film series, and displays featuring Star Trek, Planet Of The Apes, Gerry Anderson and Marvel Comics. The Museum Of Classic Sci-Fi will be exciting for older visitors who fondly remember these films and TV series, but youngsters may also find some amazing things to see, which pay testament to the effort that goes into creating our entertainment. The museum is open all year round (though only on selected days through the winter), and the small but charming Allendale has some good places to pop for a bite to eat.


5.   Cherryburn

About 12 miles to the east of Hexham is Cherryburn, the farmstead where renowned 18th-century Northumbrian artist and naturalist Thomas Bewick was born. His intricate wood engravings revolutionised print art in Georgian England, and they continue to inspire artists to this day. The traditional farmhouse at Cherryburn is now a museum dedicated to Bewick’s life, and features an exhibition and an unrivalled collection of original artworks. Cherryburn recently underwent a major garden renovation and is now an accessible space with plenty of seating, as well as wheelchair-friendly and pushchair-friendly paths. This is a really great spot to visit to spend a bit of time ‘slowing down’ and enjoying nature, in and of itself (in the garden) and through the prism of one of our country’s finest artists (in the house).

When you’re wondering what to do in Hexham, Northumberland, then the suggestions we’ve made offer a great start – but there really is so much more. The region is absolutely rammed with Roman ruins, great pubs, quirky visitor spots and social history. There’s so much choice on offer of things you can explore and enjoy when you want to spend a day away from Causey Hill, Elm Bank or Village Green. Get in touch with us now if you require more information about any of our parks.