One Hour From: Newcastle

From Vindolanda to vindaloo

Follow in the footsteps of the legions and lose yourself in the hills.

Follow in the footsteps of the legions and lose yourself in the hills.

Hadrian's Wall

Built by the Romans in AD122, Hadrian's Wall strides proudly across the Northumberland landscape. The forts at Chesters, Housesteads and Vindolanda have spectacular remains of garrisons where thousands of Roman soldiers defended the northern frontier of their empire. Don't miss the Roman Army Museum.

By car: A69, then B6318; journey time approx 45 mins. By train: Carlisle line to Hexham, then Hadrian's Wall bus service; approx one hour.

Kielder Water and Forest

Since the 1920s, Kielder's massive man-made forest has cloaked the lonely North Tyne Hills. Now it also hides Kielder Water, the UK's largest man-made lake. Explore the lake by ferry, the forest on foot or by mountain bike on one of the many trails. Deep in the forest are many artworks, including James Turrell's acclaimed Skyspace.

By car: A69 to Hexham then A6079 and B6320 to Bellingham and follow signs; approx one hour.

The North Pennines

Known as England's last wilderness, this vast area is full of beautiful valleys such as Allendale, South Tynedale and Weardale. Or simply go for a scenic ride along the A686, which has to be one of the world's greatest drives.

By car: take the A69 to the valley of your choice; approx 45 mins.

Hexham

The skyline of historic Hexham, founded in the seventh century, is dominated by the medieval towers of the Abbey and the 14th-century Moot Hall. Nearby, the Old Gaol, built in 1332, houses the Border History Museum, which tells of the strife between the Border Reivers of England and Scotland, who ruled in the area until the end of the 16th century

By car: A69 and follow signs; approx 30 mins. By train: hourly service; approx 45 mins.

Corbridge

Corbridge was where the legionnaires went for a big night out. Today's village, just east of the Roman town, features many period buildings, including the Vicar's Pele, a fortified tower-house dating from the 14th century and the church of St Andrew. Have a curry at The Valley, a renowned Indian restaurant in the Old Station House, which runs special "Passage to India" curry trains from Newcastle.

By car: A69 and follow signs; approx 30 mins. By train: hourly service; approx 45 mins.

Northumberland National Park

Some say there is nothing there and that is why they like it. England's least populated area includes the best parts of Hadrian's Wall, miles of walks and castles and fortifications galore, not to mention a wide range of landscapes leading to the Cheviot Hills. The Once Brewed Visitor Centre, which takes its name from the nearby Twice Brewed Inn, tells you all you need know. If you are lucky you might spot a wild goat.

By car: A69 or A696; approx one hour.

Malmaison Hotel Newcastle (0191-245 5000: www.malmaison.com) offers rooms from £79 at weekends. GNER trains (08457 225 225; www.gner.co.uk) offers returns from London from £33. Europcar (0870 607 5000; www.europcar.co.uk) offers weekend car hire from £68. Further information from Hexham Tourist Information Centre (01434 652220). Or call Hadrian's Wall Country 24-hour brochure hotline (01434 652364).

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