Disclaimer: The UK is still under national lockdown restrictions, which means that, currently, non-essential retail, hospitality and entertainment venues are closed, as are most accommodation services and attractions. Please be sure to check current restrictions and guidelines before visiting.
You may recall us recommending visiting Corbridge in our lockdown guide to the top things to do in Newcastle and the North East. Well, we realised that Corbridge has so much to offer that we decided it was time to create our complete guide to Corbridge to help you make the most of your visit to our lovely little town.
With an end to lockdown 3.0 in our sites, as well as the upcoming Easter holidays, many of us are starting to turn our sights on things to do and places to go once we can finally leave our own backyards. Northumberland is full of pretty little history towns worth visiting, but in our opinion there are none quite as pretty or interesting as Corbridge.
As you might guess when you arrive, Corbridge is a town steeped in history. Its origins go all the way back to Roman times as a Roman garrison town on Hadrian’s Wall. Later, it evolved into a place of great importance during the Anglo-Saxon era and maintained this importance throughout Medieval England.
Unsurprisingly, Corbridge is a perfect place for history buffs to visit.
It's also surrounded by beautiful countryside that would make the perfect location for a romantic outdoor picnic.
Of course, Corbridge has more to it than just its history. There is much more that this town has to offer, so much more.
Let’s get started, shall we?
There are a number of public transport links that will get you into Corbridge. We’re on the Tyne Valley railway line so it is super easy to get here by train, though for many people, it will require changing over at Newcastle Central Station.
From Newcastle Central Station, you will need to get the Northern Rail train to Carlisle which stops at Corbridge station. From here it is a ten to fifteen minute walk to the centre of Corbridge.
Of course, if you’re travelling from Carlise to Corbridge, you would get the eastbound train to Newcastle and disembark at Corbridge station.
If you’re visiting us by bus via Newcastle then the fastest service to get is the X85 that runs from Newcastle Eldon Square to Newbrough, stopping in Corbridge at The Angel Inn.
Alternatively, there is the X84 that runs from Newcastle Eldon Square to Hexham that stops at The Angel Inn and the Market Place. There is also the number 10 bus that runs from Newcastle Eldon Square or Central Station to Hexham that stops in Corbridge at Station Road and Hill Street.
If you’re visiting us by bus via Carlisle, you would need to get the 685 service that runs from Carlisle to Newcastle, stopping in Corbridge at The Angel Inn.
If you are driving to Corbridge, then from the north the most direct route is to take the A1 south to Newcastle, then the A69 west. For the more scenic route, take the A68 south from Hawick to Corbridge, then the B6529 into Corbridge, though it’s worth noting that this route isn’t the easiest of driving, being an old Roman road and full of hidden dips.
From the south, take the A1 north then the A68 for Corbridge at junction 58. Alternatively, you can ignore that junction, then take the A69 westwards on the edge of Newcastle.
From the east, you need to take the A69 from Newcastle toward Corbridge, Hexman and Carlysle, then take the B6529 into Corbridge. Similarly, if you’re travelling from the west, take the A69 marked from Carlisle to Corbridge, Hexman and Newcastle, then take the B6529 into Corbridge.
There is paid parking for 3 hours available in the following locations:
There is also an option to park for half an hour for free, but you will still need a ticket. Charges apply for between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday to Saturday.
Corbridge and its surrounding areas are so picturesque that you're spoilt for choice when it comes to walking routes.
First and foremost, Corbridge is a fantastic base location for walking Hadrian’s Wall or exploring Hadrian’s Wall country. There are also fantastic cycle routes along Hadrian’s Wall for cyclists to enjoy.
For river walks, there is really none better than the riverside walk from Corbridge to Hexham. Approximately 5 miles in length, this walk is absolutely perfect for hikers and dog walkers alike. Starting in town and crossing the picturesque seven-arched Corbridge bridge across the Tyne river, you continue following the path along the floodbank which will take you past the Corbridge Roman Town. Picking up the trail along Devil’s Water you will see a stunning set of waterfalls and eventually pass Dilston Castle, a ruined 15th century tower house. After walking the trail through Dukeshouse Woods, finally, you will reach your destination in Hexham town centre.
Alternatively, if you want your walk to stay in Corbridge, you could take the circular walk around Aydon castle and its surrounding countryside.
The Corbridge Village Trust have also put together an approximate 6 mile circular walk that takes you around Corbridge so you can see all of the town's natural and historical features. This in particular would be a great walk to take, especially if this is your first time visiting Corbridge.
As well as walking and cycling to take in all the beauty that Corbridge and its surrounding area has to offer, there is still more to explore and enjoy!
For keen golfers, you could swing your day away on the championship courses at the nearby De Vere Slaley Hall.
For history buffs, you are truly spoilt for choice! As well as being able to visit the remains of theCorbridge Roman garrison town where you can explore the military compounds and the civilian town, there is also a fantastic Roman museum where you can learn even more about how the Romans in Britain lived.
There is also the gorgeousAydon Castle which, though one of the lesser celebrated Northumbrian castles, is well worth a visit. This almost entirely intact medieval building is a perfect example of a 13th century English manor house as it is almost entirely unaltered from when it was built. Be sure to pack a picnic and enjoy an unforgettable family day out here.
Corbridge also has some great art galleries to visit for the artistically inclined. First and foremost is the Balman Gallery which is in the Listed Town Hall Buildings on Corbridge on Princes Street, which has five rooms over two floors full of art to explore. On Main Street, housed within Corbridge Antiquities is the James Alder Fine Art Gallery.
Located just a short distance away in Dalston is the fascinating Dilston Physics Garden. This is a unique and modern physic garden that has over 800 medicinal plants and herbs. As well as being a nice place to wander around in, it does a great job of teaching visitors about the history and unique benefits of different plants and herbs over the years and how they can still be used today.
Dating to the Victorian period, Corbridge has had a reputation for being a great place to shop. Today, many of those original shop fronts are still visible when you visit. Even today, one of the things Corbridge is known for is the number of boutique and independent shops you will find here.
Whether you’re looking for unique gifts, art, literature, fashion or homeware, chances are, Corbridge will have something for you.
For gifts and homeware, you can’t go wrong with browsing Acanthus, 1884 or Circe Flower Shop Inc. There is also Corbridge Cookware, Corbridge Garden Shop and Corbridge Works Gallery. Watsonia Florists are also worth a visit if you want to pick up a bouquet to take home or to liven up your holiday home.
For the fashion-conscious, there is Finale for ladies footwear and accessories, Chapter 28 for everything from loungewear to occasion wear, Jessie Juniper for accessories and, for the men, Blades Menswear and Shorts of Corbridge.
Corbridge also has some great antique stores, such as Corbridge Antiques Centre and Vintage At The Tower.
Finally, there is Forum bookshop which is at the heart of Corbridge in Market Square and has been an independent bookshop for almost 40 years.
You might be surprised to learn that Corbridge has a good variety of places to eat and drink in.
For good, traditional pub grub, you won’t go far wrong by stopping at the Angel Inn. Located in the centre of Corbridge, this dog-friendly pub is perfect after a hard day’s walking.
We would also highly recommend The Rat Inn. Don’t be put off by the name - this is a charmingly lovely country pub with a fascinating history. Most importantly, they serve award-winning food using locally sourced ingredients.
If you’re looking for more of a fancy meal, you absolutely should give Il Piccolo a visit. This delightful taste of Italy is Corbridge’s most loved restaurant. As well as a fine wine selection, their pasta dishes and pizza are second to none!
For those who just want a quick bite and a cup of tea or coffee, we recommend stopping in at the Tea and Tipple. Or, if you want to stock up on fresh, healthy hike snacks, we’ve got just the just place. Stobo’s grocers are a family-run business that have a great supply of fresh fruit and veg every day.
If you’re planning to stay a couple of days in Corbridge, there are plenty of lovely hotels and B&Bs to choose from.
The Angel Inn is also a charming historic coaching inn that offers overnight stays. Or, for B&B options, there is the charming Pear Tree House B&B (which also has a self-catered option) or the Fellcroft B&B to choose from.
For self-catered holiday accommodation, you can choose from Bridge House Cottages, converted in a stunning mansion house overlooking the river, Mr Fogg’s Village Hideaway, a luxury holiday cottage in the centre of Corbridge, or a beautiful restored holiday let flat on 22a Hill Street.
If you’re more of a camping or caravanning disposition, we would highly recommend Wellhouse Farm, situated 4 miles east of Corbridge which is a small family-owned working farm. It offers a choice of 45 pitches for tourers, tents, caravans or motorhomes. The pitches have electric hookups, hardstandings, an internal road and a newly built amenities block with toilets, shower facilities, dishwashing and laundry and a main reception area, all of which has disabled access.
Of course, as you might have already guessed from this guide, there are even more places worth visiting close to Corbridge.
To begin with, we absolutely must recommend visiting Hexham. There is an absolute wealth of places to visit and activities to do with the family.
If you’re looking for more culture and history, you should absolutely visit the stunningly beautiful Hexham Abbey. Alternatively, for more Roman history and Hadrian’s Wall exploration, why not visit Chesters Roman Fort?
Or, for more family-friendly activity based Hexham adventures, you can also visit Alpaca Encounters and Allout Adventures, which includes quad bike riding, paintball and “segway safaris”.
For similar outdoor adventure activities, we also recommend taking a trip to Go Ape in Matfen which offers zooming through the air on zip-wires or partaking in their thrilling high ropes course. For quieter activities, you can enjoy a game of golf at Matfen Hall or take a pamper session at their spa.
Corbridge is also surrounded by a good number of National Trust manor houses, castle and reserves that are always worth a visit if you have time. As well as Matfen Hall and Slaley Hall there is Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and Hareshaw Linn National Park in Bellingham.
Of course, for those looking to venture further afield, we have a handy guide to Northumberland's best destinations and picnic spots you should check out.
As this complete guide to Corbridge shows, you will certainly not be lacking in things to do when you visit.
Roman historians will love the Roman garrison town and museum or, if medieval castles are more you style, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Aydon castle. Likewise, hikers have a number of great routes to walk here in and around Corbridge.
Of course, with all that walking and adventuring, you’ll quickly build up an appetite! Don’t forget,you can always pop into our bakery to pick up some delicious treats for the road to keep you going or as a treat at the end of the day!
Ah, the great British tradition of afternoon tea! So popular, it even took off up here, in the generally regarded "salt of the Earth" North East.