Hexham is a historic market town in Tynedale, Northumberland, UK. Situated in a beautiful wide valley between the upland North Pennines and the rolling hills of the Northumberland National Park, Hexham is a bustling rural centre serving the local rural economy and visitors to the area. The old town, with its history of a Christian monastery, border wars and leather industries is now home to numerous shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
There is a railway that connects Hexham with Newcastle upon Tyne and Carlisle. Trains run roughly every 30 minutes, and take about 45 minutes from Newcastle, or about one hour from Carlisle. Occasionally there is a direct train from Glasgow which takes around three hours, but it is better to change at Carlisle for trains to Glasgow.
Buses serve Hexham including the 10 (every 30 minutes) which provides links to Newcastle, the MetroCentre and Prudhoe. Journey times are roughly 90 minutes on this route. The X84 and X85, which each run hourly, take about one hour but do not stop at Prudhoe or the MetroCentre. The alternative option is to use the 85 or 685, which again take roughly an hour. These also provide a bus link from Carlisle. There is one service on the 85 and 685 each hour.
In total, there are about five buses per hour from Newcastle. These are the 10 (two buses), the X84, the X85 and either the 85 or 685.
The nearest airport is Newcastle Airport. Despite its name, it is quite a long way out of the centre of Newcastle. To get to Hexham, avoid going to the centre of Newcastle and out again. Use instead the A69, particularly during busy times of the day. Taking a taxi is not recommended, because the fare will set you back roughly £40 from th Airport.
Bus AD122 parallels Hadrian's Wall between Hexham and Haltwhistle, ideal for one-way hikes then a ride back to your vehicle or lodging. It runs hourly, daily mid-Apr to Oct, weekends mid-Feb to mid-Apr and Nov to mid-Dec. The main stops from Hexham are Chesters, Housesteads, The Sill, Vindolanda, Walltown, Greenhead and Haltwhistle.
- 1 Hexham Abbey, Beaumont St, NE46 3NB, ☏ . Worth a visit. Parts of the church are more than 1000 years old.
- Historic places in Hexham include the Moot Hall.
- 2 Hexham Old Gaol. which has been converted into a museum devoted to the history of the Border regions of England and Scotland.
- Parts of Hadrian's Wall are within easy reach of Hexham. Sites worth visiting include Corstopitum (near Corbridge), Housesteads, Vindolanda and Chesters. There is now a long-distance footpath along the entire length of the Wall, starting in Wallsend and finishing in Bowness-on-Solway.
- 3 Battle of Hexham. The Battle of Hexham Levels took place just south of the town. The site can be explored on foot.
- 4 Chesters Roman Fort guarded the River North Tyne crossing 6 miles north of Hexham. See Hadrian's Wall for details.
- Drop in to the Queen's Hall Arts Centre: a cool theatre, art gallery and cafe.
- Visit one of the privately owned galleries in Hexham.
- See a film at the Forum cinema.
- Go for a walk along the banks of the Tyne at Tyne Green, next to the old bridge.
- Hexham Racecourse. Is situated on a hill near the town
- Go fishing in the Tyne, one of the best trout and salmon rivers in Britain.
There is a highly-regarded farmer's market every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 9:00am–1:30pm in the Hexham Market Place in the town centre. Everything is produced within 50 mi of Hexham, and the market has been named the best in the country by the National Farmers Union.
- 1 Bouchon Bistrot, 4-6 Gilesgate, NE46 3NJ, ☏ . M-Sa noon-2PM and 6-9PM, Su closed.
- 2 Saathi, 28 Priestpopple, NE46 1PQ, ☏ . 5:30–11:30PM.
- 3 Thai House Restaurant, 32 Priestpopple, NE46 1PQ, ☏ .
- Dipton Mill Inn (on the road to Whitley Chapel.).
- Langley Castle (on the A686 near Haydon Bridge.).
- The Rat, Anick.
- The Carts Bog (on the A686 near Langley).
- The Red Lion, Newbrough.
- The Boatside Inn, Warden.
Hexham has a large number of drinking establishments.
- 1 Tap and Spile, Battle Hill, NE46 1BH (in the main street of Battle Hill), ☏ . Has regular live music. This includes folk sessions on the third Thursday of every month, to which anyone can bring an instrument or their voice, or simply buy a drink and listen. The session begins between 7 and 8PM and usually continues until the pub closes at 11PM.
A similar session takes place just down the road at the Royal Hotel on the first Wednesday of each month.
For real ale fans, the historic Dipton Mill Inn in Hexhamshire dating back to the 17th century is a must. It has its own micro brewery with five of its ales sold in the pub, pulled by Geoff, who brews them. It has a sunken garden, real fires and serves home made food. The pub is frequented by the local farming community and travellers. It is at the junction of Dipton Mill Road and Guards Lane, NE46 1YA.
There are many hotels in and around the town:
- 1 The Beaumont, Beaumont Street, Hexham NE46 3LT, ☏ . Hotel with 33 rooms in Victorian building in town centre, with good restaurant. No dogs. The place is independently run and no longer part of Best Western. B&B double £120.
- The County Hotel.
Out of townEdit
There are also self-catering cottages for hire:
The nearest youth hostels are at Edmondbyers, Twice Brewed and Ninebanks.
As of July 2021, Hexham has 4G from all UK carriers. 5G has not yet reached town.
- The historic Roman sites of Birdoswald, Vindolanda, Housesteads, Chesters and Corstopitum are remains of military fortifications along Hadrian's Wall. Each has a museum and they can be accessed by the AD122 bus service which runs from April to October.
- Kielder Water is situated to the north-west within Kielder Forest. This large reservoir is used by anglers and boaters and the forest has mountain bike trails and forest walks. Boats can be hired, a ferry sails around the lake and there is a bird of prey display, a sculpture trail and visitor's centres.
- The Allen valleys are 10 miles away on the B6305 with their history of lead mining and The Forge, an art gallery and studios in the village of Allendale.
- Visit the Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey - a Soto Zen contemplative center. The abbey is in the beautiful West Allen valley a few miles outside Hexham and is home to about 80 ordained members of the sangha. Contact: +44 1434 345204 (between 9.30-11.15AM or 2.30-4.45PM every day)
- Alston is a small town 20 miles to the south-west on the A686 to Penrith and the Lake District. It has a narrow gauge steam railway popular with families and the Hub museum.
- The Pennine way passes to the west of Hexham, near Haltwhistle. The Hadrian's Wall Path passes to the north. Two long distance cycle routes come near Hexham: the coast to coast (C2C) and the Hadrian's Wall Cycle route (no. 72). The South Tyne cycle route follows the course of an old railway between Haltwhistle and Alston.
- In addition to Hadrians Wall, there are other historic attractions in the area like Wallington Hall, Killhope Lead Mining Museum, Belsay Hall, Belsay Castle, Prudhoe Castle, and Cragside.
- Explore the historic Bastle Houses