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Holidays in Hexham

A friendly market town with a rich history

Hexham at sunrise

Lying south of the River Tyne, Hexham is a pretty market town in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, with a varied past that dates back to the seventh century.

The oldest part of Hexham is the crypt of the original monastery, which was founded in 674, and takes many stones from nearby Roman ruins such as Hadrian’s Wall. It is believed that Ælfwald, king of the Northumbrians, was killed here in 788, and Hexham has also been a battle site during both the Wars of the Roses (1464) and the border wars that took place between England and Scotland (13th-14th century).

Hexham Abbey

Perhaps Hexham’s most significant historical site is Hexham Abbey, which contains parts of the town’s original Anglo-Saxon monastery. The majority of the Abbey was built during the 11th century, though much of it was rebuilt during the 19th century. The Old Gaol, built in 1333, is also a delight to visit. Across four floors, visitors can discover the history of the building as well as the stories of its infamous inhabitants who were locked up there over the centuries.

Fancy a flutter? Hexham Racecourse is located just south of the town, and is the most northerly National Hunt (steeplechase) racecourse in England. From here visitors can also enjoy grandstand views of the surrounding countryside.

Hexham is an excellent place for shopping too, with an eclectic selection of independent shops found in its town centre. Market stalls can be browsed every day of the week in the Shambles while the marketplace hosts a full market every Tuesday and Saturday. Plenty of leisure facilities can also be found in the town including a swimming pool, bowling alley, golf course, cinema and theatre.

If you’re looking to explore Northumberland to its fullest, Hexham is an ideal place to base your holiday. It is within easy reach of Hadrian’s Wall, the remnants of the famous wall built between England and Scotland by the Romans. Kielder Water and Forest Park is also close by, offering England’s largest forest and the largest manmade lake in Northern Europe. Walking, cycling, sailing and water skiing can all by enjoyed here, while wildlife lovers will delight in seeing red squirrels, ospreys, roe deer and much, much more.

“A pretty market town in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, with a varied past that dates back to the seventh century…”

Hexham has a wide choice of places serving food and drink, from welcoming pubs to restaurants specialising in international cuisine. Bouchon is a very stylish French restaurant and perfect for a romantic meal out, while Danielle’s Bistro is a quirky eatery popular with the locals.

Make sure you visit the town’s Tourist Information Centre during your visit for even more information on what is happening in the area.

Take a look at our collection of Hexham cottages for even more Northumberland holiday inspiration.

While you’re there

The Old Gaol

Built in 1333, the stories of this jailhouse and its inhabitants unfold here across four floors

Hexham Abbey

The town’s oldest building, with a history dating back to the seventh century, founded by Wilfrid, the Bishop of York

Hexham Racecourse

Enjoy a day at the races at the town’s racecourse, one of England’s most northerly

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