Towns and villages
Northumberland is England's most northerly and sparsely populated county. Northumberland means "land north of the Humber" and once covered an area stretching from Dumfries to South Yorkshire.
The area has a very long and bloody history, due to its proximity to Scotland and has fallen under Scottish hands at least once as the border shifted over time. The more populous towns are either market towns (Amble, Hexham, Alston) and others are mining communities (Prudhoe, Ashington) before the collapse of the industry.
Northumberland is the only county with a particular kilt style and dance (due to the Scottish roots?) and has its own dialect, different from the famous Geordie of Newcastle.
You generally need a car to get about in Northumberland as it is a rural county. There are some regular bus services on the main routes mainly served by Arriva Northumbria. Bus timetables can be found at Nexus' website for services to and from Tyne and Wear and traveline can help you with other routes. There is a cross-county train service from Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle, stopping at towns in the Tyne Valley, including Prudhoe, Corbridge, Hexham and Haltwhistle.
Trains from Newcastle stop at Morpeth, Northumberland's county-town.