Pictures of England
It's no secret that Northumberland is one of my favourite counties. I love its wide open spaces, the clear light and the history you trip over every time you turn a corner. Some of my favourite pictures of England were taken here.
Hadrian's Wall and its forts and staging posts make an astonishing walking or cycling holiday.
And not content with admiring the scenery, engineering skills and sheer determination of the Romans, you might get an even better idea of how people back then lived if you come across one of the groups of Roman re-enactors.
I'm always intrigued by their detailed knowledge of the period they choose to study. They make their own armour, clothes and even shoes exactly as the Romans would have done almost 2000 years ago.
Cradle of Christianity: Art Poster from AllPosters.com
Northumberland is one of England's great centres of early Christianity. When lands all around were ravaged by wars this county - and especially the Holy Island of Lindisfarne - promoted learning and study and produced some of the most wonderful books ever made.
The surviving copy of the Lindisfarne Gospels makes me wonder what other marvels there may have been, what treasures that were destroyed by time and tide and the violence of Viking raids and wars.
Warkworth Castle: Art Poster from AllPosters.com
For after the Norman conquest came the castles. As Norman fought Saxon, Englishman fought Scot and barons fought each other, they rose above the landscape proud, and strong and menacing.
None more so, perhaps, than Warkworth Castle high over the river Coquet. Once the scene of bloody massacre, it has guarded the river crossing and town ever since.
Dunstanburgh Castle: Art Poster from AllPosters.com
Northumberland's many castles definitely add drama to the skyline and inspire painters and photographers alike.
Some, like Dunstanburgh Castle are amongst the most photographed locations in England. The sea and Northumberland's clear light - not to mention the weather - continually change the mood and make photographing a joy.
I'd known about it - of course - but knowing about it does not prepare you for the impact it makes on the landscape.
For that you need to drive - minding your own business - from Gateshead towards the Pennines. Then unexpectedly, you'll catch sight of it. And gasp!
And while I might prefer the lonely moorlands and empty beaches to busy Gateshead, the Angel of the North is one of the most stunning pictures of England you'll see in that part of the country.
The poster store has more wonderful images of Northumberland for you to browse:
For more information about this beautiful county, visit the Northumberland page. Or try the following pages if you know where you're going:
- Alnwick Castle
- Warkworth Castle
- Dunstanburgh Castle
- Cycling in Northumberland
- Walking the Cheviot Hills