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, Morpeth) and others are former mining communities (Prudhoe, Ashington).
Northumberland has its own dialect, different from the famous Geordie of Newcastle.
The Northumbrian Pipes are a local folk instrument, similar to the Scottish bagpipe.
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.
Norham Castle (located in the village of Norham, about 8 miles from Berwick) is a romantically ruined castle, immortalised by Turner and Sir Walter Scott (in the poem 'Marmion') alike.