Hadrians Wall - Castles and Gardens

Dunstanburgh Castle

National Garden and Red Cross GardensScheme

Admission : Small admission fee (for charity)

Open : Check the website to find out where gardens are open.

The National Garden Scheme is a charity which raises money for charity by opening gardens for the public. Most of the gradens are private and this is your only opportunity to visit them. Most of the gardens are only open for one day.

Allen Banks

Allen Banks, Near Bardon Mill, Northumberland

Admission : Free - parking (pay and display) (National Trust)

Many miles of paths through beautiful walks through ancient woodland and alongside the Steward gorge .

Aydon Castle

Aydon Castle, Near Corbridge, Northumberland.

Admission : English Heritage

A beautiful example of a fortified 13th century manor house. The castle stands above a steep wooded valley whose peaceful setting of the castle belies its eventful history.

Belsay Hall

Belsay Hall, Belsay, Northumberland (14 miles North West of Newcastle).

Admission : English Heritage

Belsay has a ruined medieval castle and an imposing Greek Revival villa which was built in the early 1800's. The house is unfurnished to display the fine craftmanship, but also gives it an eerie feel.

For many people the highpoint of Belsay are the magnificient gardens with the rugged. The romantic Quarry Garden, was created in the quarry where stone was cut for the hall, has ravines, pinnacles and sheer rock faces inspired by the quarries of Sicily.

Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle, Carlisle.

Admission : English Heritage

Carlisle Castle occupies a position long fortified; the site having earlier been occupied by a sequence of Roman Forts. The first castle was built of wood by William Rufus; and was rebuilt in stone in the twelth century. Occupying a key position on the western end of the frontier with Scotland, it played a leading part in the wars with Scotland and it's fortifications were constantly updated as a result.

The castle was the site of the last siege in British history when it's garrison of Jacobites tried to hold out unsuccessfuly against the Hanoverian army in 1746. The Jacobite survivors were imprisoned in the castle, and you can still see the legendary ‘licking stones’, which they desperately licked for moisture in order to stay alive.

The castle is also home to the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment Museum.



Gibside, Near Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield, Newcastle

Admission : National Trust

Large 18th century wooded gardens, with over 15 miles of trails and a great childrens play ground.. Concerts are sometimes held here in the summer.

Lanercost Priory

Lanercost Priory, 2 miles North East of Brampton, Cumbria.(685 bus)

Admission : AEnglish Heritage

Lanercost was built by the Augustans, the priory suffered badly in the Anglo Scottish wars being sacked at least four times. The priory was finally dissolved by Henry VIII but the church is still in use as the local parish church.

Prudhoe Castle

Prudhoe Castle, Prudhoe, Northumberland.

Admission : English Heritage

Prudhoe Castle was built in the 1100's to defend an important crossing of the Tyne. After two sieges by the Scots, a massive stone keep and hall were added. It was last attacked in 1640. In the 19th century it was restored and a manor house within its walls.

Tynemouth Priory and Castle

Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear (metro - Tynemouth).

Admission : English Heritage

Set on a steep headland where the Tyne estuary meets the sea are the remains of this castle and priory. Besides the castle it's a good place to watch the boats coming up the Tyne.

Thirlwall Castle

Thirlwall Castle, near Greenhead, Northumberland.

Admission : Free (Northumberland National Park)

The castle was built by John Thirwall in 1330's. The site isn't a natural strongpoint, but the surrounding hills provided good look outs to spot border raiders The castle was mainly made of reused stone from Hadrian's wall. It's now in the trust of the national park authority. The National Park Website has got alot of information (including local legends) about Thirwall castle and other archaeological sites in the National Park.


Cambo, Morpeth, Northumberland


Admission : National Trust

Beautiful Mansion set in lovely grounds with both formal gardens and woodland walks. There's a hide to watch for wildlife as well as a good childrens playground (closed in winter) and a farm shop selling local produce. The gardens are especially well known for the four stone Griffin heads.

The property has quite a number of events ranging from mini beast hunts from children to Northumberland Pipers. Wallington sometimes stages open air plays in the evening.