Lumiere in Durham

The region has a vast range of activities. Everything from the lively nightlife of the Quayside in Newcastle to the solitude of the Cheviots - where you can still walk all day and hardly meet another person.

There is a great range of museums, art galleries and theaters - with the superb new Great North museum, the stunning new Sage concert venue and the Baltic art centre at the forefront of the region's regeneration.

Newcastle, the Metro Center and Carlisle are all major shopping centres. Northumbria and Cumbria also boast a huge number of artists and craftsmen. A good way of finding out about them is to look out for the Art Tour which is a network of artists in Northumberland, who open their studios for the public. Its a great way of meeting the artists, buying artwork and seeing the countryside at the same time. Finally the network of farmers markets and farm shops gives you a great opportunity of getting a taste of the local food.

Some of the most beautiful areas of the country lie near to Hadrian's wall. To the east lies the North Sea and the magnificent coastline of long empty sandy beaches stretching up the coast of Northumberland, past ruined castles to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. To the north are the bleak and empty hills of the Cheviots and the huge Kielder forest, while to the South lies the Pennines and, more distant,the beauty of the lake district. Finally at the western end is the solitude of the Solway Firth. All of this makes the region a gem for outdoor pursuits - whether its hill walking or mountain biking, fishing or bird watching the region can provide a wealth of opportunities.