A warm welcome awaits you in the shadow of Hadrian's Wall

A Day Out In Hexham

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If you would like to go camping in Hexham why not visit our Northumberland campsite Herding Hill Farm? As well as touring and camping pitches, we have a range of glamping options including wigwams with hot tubs.

One of the favourite places to visit for many of our North East campsite guests is the beautiful and ancient market town of Hexham. Located in South-West Northumberland on the banks of the River Tyne, Hexham is approximately 25 minutes by car from Herding Hill Farm Camping and Glamping Site and is therefore ideal for camping in Hexham. Hexham can also be accessed via a 15-minute train journey from Haltwhistle Railway Station which is a short walk from the campsite.


Welcome To Hexham Sign


In 2005, Hexham became England's favourite Market Town and in 2011 Countryfile Magazine named it as one of their top 5. In 2019 it was named the happiest place to live in Britain following a survey by Rightmove.  Hexham is one of Northumberland's most picturesque towns, with the 12th Century Hexham Abbey dominating the marketplace and a fantastic range of shops and restaurants, all in a beautiful location. It is therefore a fabulous location for camping in Northumberland. 

Once the haunt of marauding Vikings 1300 years ago, you will find plenty of history including the 12th Century Hexham Old Gaol, the oldest purpose built prison in England, the 14th Century Moot Hall and the medieval and quirky streets to wander.

Hexham also has a buzzing arts and cultural scene. There are lots of galleries and opposite Hexham Abbey is the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre. It’s a lovely Victorian building which attracts the best international artists from music, drama and dance. 

Hexham is surrounded by the dramatic Northumberland landscapes and the area is famous for being Hadrian's Wall Country. Taking a glamping stay in Northumberland, staying in a wigwam with hot tub at our Hexham campsite Herding Hill Farm therefore serves as an excellent base from which to explore the entire Tynedale Northumberland region.

There are plenty of places in Hexham to park but parking by the Hexham Abbey is easy to find. You can purchase a parking disc from one of the shops or parking machines which will cost you £1.00 and can be used in many of the Northumberland short stay car parks in the area but always check the parking information to ensure you comply with the regulations for that site.


Queens Hall in Hexham


Hexham Abbey

Completed in AD678, Hexham Abbey is one of the earliest seats of Christianity in England​ and remains at the heart of the Northumberland market town to this day. Discover treasures and artefacts that span the ages, climb the centuries-old Night Stair, explore the Anglo-Saxon Crypt or simply take part in a service or one of the many events the Abbey holds. Experience for yourself the special qualities that keep Hexham Abbey at the heart of the town.


Hexham Abbey


Other attractions at Hexham Abbey include 'The Big Story' visitor centre which opened in 2014 and brings Hexham Abbey's 1,300 year history alive for adults and children alike. Children can dress up as Augustinian Canons or build their own Gothic arch, while adults can follow the development of the Abbey and the monastic buildings from their beginnings to the present day. Complete your visit with a stop at the Refectory Café to enjoy a snack, lunch or afternoon tea, call in to the well-stocked Abbey shop which sells a range of gifts or take a stroll in the pretty Abbey Grounds before returning to the comfort of your wigwam with hot tub.


Inside Hexham Abbey


Hexham Old Gaol

Just across the square from the Abbey is the dungeon of Hexham Old Gaol which was England’s first purpose-built prison in the 14th Century. Built in 1333 using stone from the Corbridge Roman site, it has an interactive museum where you can learn about the raids of the Border Reivers. A Scheduled Ancient Monument, the Hexham Old Gaol offers a fun and educational experience for all when you are camping in Hexham. Try out the stocks (if you dare), visit the prison house and learn about medieval crime and punishment on a day out with a difference. This is also a great rainy day activity in Northumberland.

Hexham Old Goal


Shopping

Hexham has long been famous for its excellent shopping, there are a huge number of independent traders and also the wonderful weekly market and the twice monthly Farmers Market, both which take place in the lovely Market Square and sell a range of food and crafts from Northumberland producers. The town centre is steeped in history and has many quaint side streets with interesting, quirky shops and galleries hidden away behind every corner to explore. Taking your time and wandering the picturesque streets offers a relaxed shopping experience you don't find in many places these days. Hexham is also blessed with a good choice of supermarkets, with the main three all being located near the main route into the town near the Wentworth Leisure Centre. Here there is a large Tesco, Waitrose and an Aldi.


Shopping in Hexham


Markets have been held in Hexham for centuries, continuing to this day with a thriving Farmers' Market held twice a month and stalls selling a variety of Northumberland produce located in in the Shambles almost daily. This covered market was built in 1766 by Sir Walter Blackett and is now a listed building. The Market Place was the site of the Hexham Riot in 1761.


Hexham market


Wardens and guests from Herding Hill Farm love to stroll through the medieval winding streets, with the many independent shops and lots of wonderful cafes and restaurants where we can relax with a cup of coffee and a cake. Sometimes, we fancy a stronger beverage and are spoilt for choice with lots of great pubs.


Parks and Walks In Hexham

As well as sightseeing and shopping, Hexham offers excellent opportunities for dog-friendly walks with or without a four-legged friend.  There is plenty of open space for the young ones to run around and let off steam and for you to have picnics or play games therefore it is a family-friendly place to visit in Northumberland.

If you would like some ideas of great walks you can do in or around Hexham, please speak to our Warden team who will be pleased to make suggestions. 

Restaurants in Hexham

There are numerous restaurants and cafes in Hexham, which is also proud to boast the Michelin starred restaurant Hjem, recently awarded Northumberland’s first Michelin star. Hjem (pronounced “yem” which means “home”) is located in the pub The Hadrian in the small village of Wall, which recently featured on Robson Green’s Channel Five show “Hadrian’s Wall with Robson Green” about walking the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall Path. According to Robson, the houses in Wall are believed to be built from stones from Hadrian’s Wall itself. Hjem has become renowned for its changing menu combining local Northumberland produce with Scandinavian values and cooking techniques in the hands of Alex Nietosvuori, head chef who is from Sweden and runs the restaurant with his partner Northumberland-born Ally Thompson. Huge congratulations to Alex and Ally!


Hexham parks map


The Abbey Grounds and Sele Park range from formal gardens featuring a pretty, traditional bandstand to woodland walks and the open grassy expanse of the Sele. Mature trees are present throughout providing shade in the summer, an explosion of colour in the autumn and the perfect frames for magical Christmas lights in the festive season. The park and gardens also feature a skate park, children’s play area, and public toilets. The neighbouring Hexham House Bowling Club within Hexham House Grounds is also very pretty and open to the public. All this, right in the heart of the town centre itself. An ideal place to relax with a picnic or enjoy a gentle stroll.


Hexham park


Tyne Green Country Park

If you are looking for a family-friendly day out in the North East, why not visit the Tyne Green Country Park? Set on the banks of the River South Tyne and just 15 minutes’ walk from Hexham town centre, this country park offers easily accessible walking and cycling routes west along the river and beyond, as well as space for picnics and BBQs. The park features an avenue of beautiful mature trees and lovely views of the 18th Century bridge and River South Tyne. There is a free public car park, children’s play area and public toilets. Also, the home of Tynedale Golf Club, with its Cafe located in the clubhouse. Come to Northumberland in mid-Autumn and see salmon leaping up the Tyne. There is also the busy Hexham Rowing Club and you will regularly see their members out on the water whatever the weather.


Tyne Green Country Park


If you would like a ‘flutter’ during your camping trip to Hexham, you can always visit Hexham Racecourse. Hexham Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing track located to the South of the town. Built on the top of a hill overlooking the town, we like to have a trip up there on the way back to Herding Hill just for the magnificent views of the beautiful rolling Northumberland countryside as well as a grandstand view of the racecourse.


Hexham racecourse


Other smaller towns and villages around Hexham include Corbridge, Riding Mill, Stocksfield and Wylam to the east, Acomb and Bellingham to the north, Allendale to the south and Haydon Bridge, Bardon Mill and Haltwhistle to the west. Newcastle upon Tyne is about 25 miles (40 km) to the east and Carlisle is 37 miles (60 km) to the west. If you want to come camping to Hexham, our Northumberland campsite Herding Hill Farm Camping and Glamping Site is a perfect base for exploring the North East, whilst enjoying the luxury of your own glamping pod with hot tub.