Hexham is a parish and a market town in Northumberland, which is mostly known among the locals for having an excellent farmer’s market. However, the true attraction of this ancient town built by the Anglo-Saxons lies in its rich history, still represented by many historical spots that have significant archeological value. There’s even more on offer if you are willing to go deeper into the heart of the ancient forest nearby.
So, does all that make Hexham a good place to visit on your next weekend trip? If you like ancient forts, forgotten ruins, starry nights, and beautiful little towns in rural England, there are plenty of reasons to visit Hexham.
Transportation in Hexham is Surprisingly Convenient
There’s practically no shortage of taxis in Hexham, thanks to the easy availability of ecocabs; a local, green taxi company, dedicated towards providing transportation services to locals, tourists, and corporate parties alike.
Just book a taxi from Hexham to pick you up at Newcastle Airport and it will take you to your destination directly. You can find more information about the taxis via 600600.co.uk. People usually book taxis from Hexham to help them explore the nearby attractions, as they have a specific service dedicated to that as well.
Hexham Abbey is a Must Visit
Hexham Abbey is so ancient that the latest remodelling work done on it was completed over 900 years ago in the 12th Century, by the Christian Church of the time. Thankfully, the original Anglo-Saxon crypt is still very much present, and we can visit it even today.
What is even more amazing is the fact that Hexham Abbey bears signs of a civilisation, thousands of years older than both the Anglo Saxons and the new English Christians. The Saxons had built the original church from the ruins of a forgotten Roman settlement, the ruins of which can still be found at Corbridge. If you look at the art on the crypt’s walls and pillars carefully during your visit down there, you will find that the Roman-pagan influences are fascinatingly evident. There are very few other structures in Europe which have managed to preserve so many cultural and historical influences simultaneously, in spite of there being 1,000+ years between them.
Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
If the Hexham Abbey piqued your interest, get ready to be fascinated even more by Hadrian’s Wall, which is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can take a taxi from Hexham to get to the northern borders, but it’s only a few miles from the town.
Hadrian’s Wall is still more or less intact enough to help the onlooker understand what an ambitious project it was that the Romans had undertaken in or around 122 AD. To get a scale of the project in proportion to the timeline, consider the following facts.
• The wall stretches for a total of 73 miles, with a Roman, standard-sized, military fort every five miles
• As was customary of the Romans, each of the 73 miles is marked by milecastles
• In between each of the milecastles, there are two turrets, visible still today
Travel Through the Moorlands Inside the Northumberland National Park
While visiting Hadrian’s Wall, you must also visit the Northumberland National Park along the way since the path of the wall goes through the park. The soft, wet moorland found at the southern side of the wall begins to turn harder and rockier as we head further north.
Walk north far enough and you will feel the terrain getting significantly steeper, as you will now be entering the Cheviot Hills, which separate England from Scotland. However, to see the really interesting and fascinating side of the Northumberland National Park, you will have to head west, deeper into the dark forest.
Given that the National Park is Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park, those that camp far enough in the west at night near Cawfields will see stars that they cannot see from any other place in Europe. There is zero light pollution here, and even if stargazing has never fascinated you before, it will do so once you look up at night here. Also, keep in mind that if you do venture out into the western side of the Northumberland National Park in search of a pollution-free night sky, start early in the morning. Keller Forest is the oldest and most remote forest in all of England, so you don’t want to miss out on seeing the ancient forest, its trees, the low ground vegetation, and land formations due to a lack of natural light.
If Hexham is the kind of place that you will enjoy a visit to, start making your travel arrangements. From a general perspective though, in between the clear skies, the timeless relics, an ancient forest, and the surprisingly convenient transportation services, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be the perfect getaway for your next weekend away from home.
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