Seven amazing spots to visit in the North East in a motorhome

Holy Island

Located off the North East coast, Holy Island in Lindisfarne is a magical spot with a historic castle, pubs and cafes to enjoy on a leisurely afternoon.

Staggering views await as you cross the causeway to the island, which is home to spectacular wildlife including wildfowl in the autumn and wading birds in the winter. Pale-bellied Brent Geese also migrate here and grey seals can be seen sunbathing on the sands.

The 12th century Lindisfarne Priory was the epicentre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times. Today the ruins include the famous rainbow bridge which once led to a now-vanished tower.

Lindisfarne Castle, meanwhile, was used as a place to hoard weapons and watch the horizon for invaders back in the 16th century. Nowadays it is looked after by the National Trust, affording visitors striking sea views.

The island is completely cut off by the tide twice a day so it is vital you check for safe crossing times. Motorhomes are not permitted to park overnight – but vehicles up to a maximum of 3.5 tonnes are welcome to use the pay and display car park.


Kielder Water and Forest Park

Lovers of the night sky won’t want to miss Kielder Water and Forest Park, which has the largest expanse of dark night sky in the whole of Europe.

It’s a truly awe-inspiring location to view countless shooting stars and the Milky Way. If luck is on your side, you might even catch an aurora.

Kielder Water and Forest Park also boasts England’s largest forest and the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe, meaning there’s plenty to enjoy before sunset, too. Look out for ospreys, a unique collection of visual art and architecture and unusual wildlife such as badgers, roe deer, otters, red squirrels, shrews and seven species of bat.

There are several nature hubs along the way and even a virtual tour guide to ensure you don’t miss a thing.


The Angel of the North

Many frequent travellers will have seen the gigantic Angel of the North from the car window – but you really need to stand in its shadow to appreciate it fully.

Standing 20m tall and 54m wide, this iconic structure in Gateshead was built in 1998 and really does take your breath away.

It’s so close to the A1 that it is easy to reach by motorhome, so do set aside some time to get up close and personal.

Fun fact: the Angel is based on a cast of sculpturer Antony Gormley’s own body.


Bamburgh Castle

Once home to the Anglo Saxon Kings of Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle has been dubbed ‘the finest castle anywhere in the UK’.

The incredible fortress stands 45 metres above the beautiful coastline and is steeped in 1,400 years of history.

The breath-taking wooden ceiling of King’s Hall is the highlight of the visit, but there is plenty more to enjoy over the nine-acres site.

Bamburgh Castle is open all year round, 10am – 5pm (winter 10am – 4pm).


Newcastle Quayside

Newcastle Quayside once played a key role in the city’s industrial history as a commercial dockside. Today is it a buzzing hub of arts and culture – as well as hosting the region’s best bars and restaurants.

The Quayside is a fantastic place for scenic strolls and bike rides with plenty to enjoy on both sides of the River Tyne. Admirers of bridges are spoilt for choice with views of no fewer than seven of the North East’s most famous, including the iconic Tyne Bridge and ultra-modern Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Check What’s On pages for live music listings or the latest exhibitions at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, while the lively Quayside Market takes place every Sunday for unique souvenirs and street food.


Hadrian’s Wall

No trip to the North East is complete without taking in Hadrian’s Wall. Built by the Romans to keep the tribes of Scotland at bay, the wall stretches over 70 miles from coast to coast.

On the North East stretch of the wall you’ll find the Homesteads Roman Fort with unforgettable 360 degree views and Housesteads Roman Fort, where you can wander the barrack blocks and the hospital. Chesters Roman Fort, meanwhile, is the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain and has unusually well-preserved baths and steam room.

The Bellingham Camping and Caravanning Club Site in Hexham is a great place to base yourself while exploring the historic border divide, which includes modern facilities.


Penshaw Monument

You don’t have to travel to Athens to see an ancient Greek temple! The Penshaw Monument, officially the ‘Earl of Durham’s Monument’, was built in 1844 and is a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Greece’s capital.

Though many in the UK may not have heard of Penshaw Monument, it is so famous in the local area that it features on the crest of Sunderland Football Club.

It is floodlit which makes it particularly striking at night, providing picturesque views of the city lights and making it a popular haunt for photographers.

At certain times of the year The National Trust allows people to climb to the top of the monument via a hidden staircase but, be warned, it’s very steep.

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