explore northumberland

Uncover the beauty of Northumberland

Layside finds itself nestled in one of the most picturesque spots in Northern England, offering an array of activities that cater to all, regardless of your physical capabilities.


Northumberland, England, is  known for its rich history and stunning landscapes, and below are just a few recommendations that combine both.


Vindolanda, just a short walk from Layside, is one of Europe’s most important Roman archaeological sites, comprising of at least 8 forts of which several were thought to be occupied before Hadrian’s Wall was built. Established from around AD85-90 and serving as a key military outpost during the Roman occupation of Britain, it is renowned for the exceptional preservation of artefacts due to the unique soil type.

Home of the infamous Vindolanda Tablets, visitors to the site may gain a fascinating glimpse into Roman military and civilian life on the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. 

The Sill

Located less than a mile from Layside, the Sill is an ideal starting point for visitors wishing to explore the surrounding countryside. Celebrating the natural and cultural heritage as well as the history of the Northumberland landscape, the Sill aims to inspire people of all ages to connect with nature through exhibitions, interactive displays and guided walks.

Offering a café, gift shop and outdoor areas with stunning views of the countryside, the Sill is a great place to plan and begin your Northumberland adventure!

Hadrians Wall

Hadrian’s Wall was built under the reign of Emperor Hadrian from AD122 to mark the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

Majestically covering almost 80 miles coast-to-coast, the UNESCO World heritage Site is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites in Britain. What remains of the mighty Hadrian’s Wall provides visitors with a visual monument of engineering excellence. There are so many areas to explore and experience, with forts, milecastles and barracks to conquer. Visitors who come to Hadrian’s Wall never forget its drama, history and beauty.

Sycamore Gap

Visible from Layside, Sycamore Gap lies within a remote section of Hadrian’s Wall. The iconic lone sycamore tree stood in the dramatic dip in the landscape until recently – its loss now felt by so many. It was solid and resilient and represented the life blood of the National Park despite the harsh and rugged landscape around it. It’s silhouette has been captured by so many and will remain the logo and symbol of Layside.

The felled tree has been looked after by the National Trust, and hopes remain that seeds taken will grow – and signs of life sprouting from the stump give rise to the possibility that the tree will reappear in generations to come and once again preside over this amazing landscape.


Approximately 10 miles from Layside, the picturesque and historic market town of Hexham dates back to the Roman times, and grew around the Abbey which was founded in the 7th century.

The medieval Abbey itself serves as the centrepiece of the town and the cobbled shop-lined streets, bustling market place, galleries and art centres, as well as the Old Gaol make it well worth a visit.


Known for its rich history, quaint streets and well preserved Roman remains, the picturesque village of Corbridge is a lovely place to explore. Once an important Roman town, the village is home to extensive Roman ruins including a fort and a civilian settlement.

The 17th century bridge spans the river Tyne and connects Corbridge with surrounding countryside and its medieval streets host a wealth of independent shops, galleries and boutiques.


There are a huge number of places to visit and explore in the region, with Layside being the perfect base! Just a few ideas below but so many more places to discover within easy reach – do get in touch if you need more information!


Hadrian’s Wall Cycleway (National Cycleway Route 72) stretches for 174 miles between Ravenglass and Tyneside, 33 miles of which runs through Northumberland and touches some of the most stunning sections of Hadrian’s Wall. The challenging route passes the door of Layside, so we are ideally placed for those wishing to explore on two wheels. The route is well signposted and offers a mix of both on-road and off-road cycling suitable for varying abilities.

Secure bike storage is available at Layside – please ask us for details.


From the comfort of Layside, you can make the most of the fresh, breathtakingly beautiful wilds of Northumberland!

From the Hadrian’s Wall trail and throughout the Northumberland National Park there are walking routes and paths to follow to suit every level of fitness.

We will gladly share our favourite places to walk, or various ideas for self-guided walks are available to view or download. Alternatively guided walks may be available starting from the Sill Visitor Centre.  

Dark Skies

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park covers 572 square miles and is Europe’s largest area of protected night sky with exceptionally low levels of light pollution. On clear nights visitors can see thousands of stars, the Milky Way, planets, meteor showers and under optimal conditions even the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

The park hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year including stargazing evenings, astronomy talks and guided night walks. 


With gorgeous and unspoilt beaches, magnificent castles, splendid seaside towns and quaint fishing villages, the Northumberland coastline is worth a visit. From Hogwarts and Harry Potter at Alnwick Castle, to Craster Kippers, Seahouses and Holy Island, there is much to experience.

Located off the Northumberland coast, the Farne Islands are a group of small islands known for their remarkable wildlife. The islands are home to thousands of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. Visitors can take boat trips to the islands, observe the birds up close, and even spot colonies of grey seals.


Home to England’s largest forest and the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe, Kielder Water & Forest Park is a playground for cyclists, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. A haven for wildlife lovers, the 600km of coniferous forest provides a home for roe deer, red squirrels, ospreys and crossbills with otters often seen close to the water.

Kielder is host to some of the best dark skies in England with the Kielder Observatory at the heart of the forest offering stargazing sessions and telescope viewings.


A vibrant city to explore, Newcastle is known for its rich cultural heritage, lively arts scene and friendly locals! Characterised by its warm hospitality, the city boasts a vast array of restaurants and waterfront bars and dining as well as live music, theatre and performing arts.

Newcastle has a rich artistic heritage and is home to numerous art galleries such as the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the Laing Art Gallery and the Hatton Gallery.


Book your stay at Layside

Check availability and book securely via our online booking platform – or get in touch with us at Layside if we can answer any queries or help with your booking. We will look forward to welcoming you to the heart of Northumberland!

Baggage Transfer

Hadrian’s Bags

We recommend Hadrian’s Bags for all your baggage transfer needs! This service runs from February through to the end of October and will pick up and drop off your baggage at all accommodations along the 84 mile Hadrian’s Wall Path.

Hikers in Forest

What Our Guests Had to Say About Layside…

We welcome your feedback and all comments are considered in an effort to continually improve on the guest experience at Layside

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