Hexham

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Hexham - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Corbridge Roman Town

    The foundations of this important Roman garrison town (the farthest north in the entire Roman Empire) are brought to life with a lively audio commentary, plus occasional reenactments during the summer. The recently renovated visitor center houses the Corbridge Hoard, a surprisingly well-preserved collection of tools and personal possessions left behind by Roman soldiers in the 2nd century, as well as other objects found in and around the site. In particular, look out for three items: the Corbridge Lion, a free-standing sandstone sculpture depicting a male lion on top of a deer; the Corbridge Lanx, a large silver dish intricately engraved with mythological scenes; and a gambling soldier's "cheat's dice," which on close inspection features two ones and no six. Corbridge Roman Town is around four miles east of Hexham.

    Corchester La., Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5NT, England
    01434-632349

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £9, Closed weekdays Nov.–Mar.
  • 2. Hexham Abbey

    A site of Christian worship for more than 1,300 years, ancient Hexham Abbey forms one side of the town's main square. Most of the current building dates from the 12th and 13th centuries, and much of the stone, including that of the Anglo-Saxon crypt, was taken from the nearby Roman fort at Corbridge. Inside, you can climb the 35 worn stone "night stairs," which once led from the main part of the abbey to the canon's dormitory, to overlook the whole ensemble—look out for the drop of lead on the sixth step, a remnant from when the roof was set alight by a Scottish army in 1286. Also of note inside are the portraits on the 16th-century wooden rood screen and the four panels from a 15th-century Dance of Death in the sanctuary. You can find out more about the history of the abbey in the free, interactive exhibition The Big Story.

    Beaumont St., Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3NB, England
    01434-602031

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free; requested donation £3
  • 3. Chesters Roman Fort

    In a wooded valley on the banks of the North Tyne River, four miles north of Hexham, this cavalry fort was known as Cilurnum in Roman times, when it protected the point where Hadrian's Wall crossed the river. Although the setting is not as dramatic as the nearby Housesteads Roman Fort, this mazelike layout of surviving fortifications is said to be Britain's most complete Roman cavalry fort, while the military bathhouse by the river is the best-preserved Roman structure of its kind in the British Isles. The museum includes a fascinating array of artifacts, including jewelry and statues of river gods. Regular Roman-themed events are held here throughout the summer, from falconry to battle re-enactments.

    B6318, Chollerford, Northumberland, NE46 4EU, England
    01434-681379

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £9, Closed weekdays in Nov.–Feb.; closed Mon.–Tues. in Mar.
  • 4. Hexham Market Place

    Since 1239, this pretty square has been the site of a weekly market, held each Tuesday. Crowded stalls are set out across the square under colored awnings, attracting serious shoppers and souvenir hunters year-round. A popular farmers' market takes over on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. Even when there's not an official market on, there's often one or two food stalls set up.

    Market Pl., Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 1XQ, England
    01434-230605
  • 5. Old Gaol

    England's oldest purpose-built prison, dating from 1330, Hexham's Old Gaol houses fascinating exhibits about the history of the borderlands, including tales of the terrifying "reivers" and their bloodthirsty raids into Northumberland from Scotland during the 16th and 17th centuries. Photographs, weapons, and a reconstructed house interior give a full account of what the region was like in medieval times. A glass elevator takes you up and down four floors, including to the dungeon.

    Hallgate, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 1XD, England
    01670-624523

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £5, Closed Nov.–Mar., Mon. and Tues.
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