Hexham is an ancient market town in Northumberland, on the southern banks of the River Tyne, 25 miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. As you explore the town from your holiday cottage in Hexham, it is easy to see why it has won multiple awards, including ‘England’s Favourite Market Town’. The bustling medieval centre is packed with charming independent businesses and unique historical landmarks. Narrow side streets are home to antique shops and galleries, and there is a weekly market and twice-monthly farmers’ market, where you can pick up the freshest meat, cheese and vegetables from the surrounding countryside.

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The Dale Cottage is a luxury cottage just off the town square in the Northumberland village of Allendale, a pet-friendly cottage that sleeps up to five guests, featuring exposed stone walls, underfloor heating, wood burner and wall-mounted Freeview TV in the sitting room, and rear garden.

Offering spectacular rural views across the North Tyne valley, 13th-Century Grade I listed Haughton Castle Farmhouse from the era of 1260 is a superb rural retreat for a cottage holiday in Northumberland. Pets welcome.

The Coach House is a Gold Award Winning detached Georgian house dating back to 1817. The pet-friendly cottage lies beside the river near Bellingham and boasts an open fire, exposed beams, a stargazing platform, loads of character, a tennis court and beautiful gardens with views of Northumberland.

Hexham is perhaps best known for its magnificent Gothic abbey, which dominates the landscape at the edge of the marketplace. It stands in the beautiful Sele Park and has been a place of worship for more than 1,000 years. There are plenty of other striking landmarks, such as the Shambles, a listed covered market built in 1766, and Moot Hall, a 15th century gatehouse which once formed part of the town’s defences. Behind the hall, the Old Gaol was one of England’s first prisons, built in 1330, and is now an excellent museum where the punishment of its prisoners is documented.

Self-catering holidays in Hexham would be incomplete without a visit to the town’s racecourse. Set on a hilltop overlooking the town, it offers spectacular views as well as exciting events throughout the year. If you fancy an evening out, see what’s on at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, a graceful Victorian building with a packed programme of music, drama and dance. Hexham holiday cottages are perfectly located for making day trips into the rugged Northumberland countryside. Hadrian’s Wall and Kielder Water and Forest Park are both a short drive northward, while the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies directly to the south.