Located at the southern tip of the Northumberland National Park, Haltwhistle is a small community of just under 4,000 people that has access to many activities in the area that are worthy of viewing. In a zone that might be considered “castle central” and in close proximity to Hadrin’s wall to the north of the town (a major tourist stop for many visitors), the area is easily reached by traveling the mainNewcastle to Carlisle road or by taking the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway line.
With so much offered in the area to hikers, cyclists, canoers, fishermen, and families Haltwhistle makes a terrific home base for scheduling numerous day trips for visiting all of the various sights to be seen in the area. With the Northumberland National Park offering some of the most scenic views and vistas in all of the U.K. there is much to see from beautiful lakes nestled in the rolling hills to a wonderful section of Hardin’s Wall called Cawfields Roman Wall situated on a steep slope with sheer crags to the north, with turrets and an impressive mile castle, which was most likely built by the Roman Second Legion.
Those that have seen the seemingly endless expanse of Hardians’s wall in this area also know that the section of the wall around Haltwhistle is perhaps the most spectacular. Coming from the east along the spine of Whin Sill from the lake at Crag Lough, to Haltwhistle Tower, this area of the wall is often considered to be the most complete. This area also makes claim to being the geographic center of Britain between the Irish Sea and the North Sea. To further make claim to this, a hotel in the centre of Haltwhistle is named the “Centre of Britain Hotel.”
Going back to the notion that Haltwhistle just may be “castle central” due to the wide variety of historic properties nearby, one can easily travel to view Thirwall Castle, Unthank Hall, Blenkinsop Castle, Featherstone Castle, and Bellister Castle. Another historic point of interest in Haltwhistle is the Church of the Holy Cross that was built in the thirteenth century. Situated below Haltwhistle’s Market Place and having panoramic views over the river and the valley, this North Country church has a font dating back to 1676 with curious carvings for your investigation.
Celebrating the heritage of the Roman occupation, the Roman Army Museum (Carvoran) at Hadrin’s Wall makes history come alive in this museum close to the Walltown Crags section of the wall. Reconstructing items like life-sized Roman figures, objects, and more they also feature a very special 18 minute “Eagles Eye” film in which you get to soar over Hadrin’s Wall to see its many forts and mile castles may have looked during the Roman times. Don’t let the small town size of Haltwhistle fool you – there is much to do when visiting this historic area.