Pretty ‘hidden gem’ village with Roman ruins and ‘the best Italian food outside of Italy’ 4 hours from London

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London is a fantastic place, but every now and then a weekend break is in order. And this Northumberland village is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend away.

Corbridge has many activities. Make your first stop Aydon Castle, a 13th-century mansion. The place has seen its fair share of history, from being sacked by the Scots to being occupied by the English and converted into a farmhouse.

The beautifully preserved castle is ideal for a family outing. It’s surrounded by stunning forests to explore and the walled orchard is great for a picnic, and Google reviewers call it an “unexpected gem of a place.” And if you feel like seeing more history, go to Corbridge’s Roman City.

It is part of Hadrian’s Wall But unlike the more fortified parts, Corbridge was once a bustling town where the Romans stocked up on supplies. Today you can walk the streets and imagine what life was like back then. There is also a museum where you can see all the armor and jewelry that was discovered on site.

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The Roman ruins at Corbridge are very well preserved

One reviewer said: “Fascinating piece of history, it was great to walk through the ruins and put ourselves back in the shoes of the Romans and imagine what we would have experienced back then.” And for nature lovers, check it out Dilston Physical Garden. The charitable herb garden is about teaching herbal medicine.

There are several paths to explore and you can learn all about herbal medicine while seeing some beautiful sculptures. One reviewer said: “An absolute gem. Beautiful, whimsical, informative – I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a garden visit so much and I walked away with buzzing ideas for my own garden. The staff was nice too: I mentioned that I was hoping to find a horseradish root on the plant stand, but there wasn’t one – so they dug one up for me!”

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And when you get hungry, go to Il Piccolo. The Italian restaurant serves all types of pasta from carbonara to lobster cannelloni. They also have a pizza menu with something for every taste, from spicy tomatoes to gorgonzola and pear. And if that’s not enough choice, the main menu has plenty to choose from, like whole seared sea bass or saffron chicken. One reviewer called it “the best Italian meal I’ve had outside of Italy with wonderful homemade tiramisu” and another said it was “an absolute gem of a restaurant”.

how to get there

Corbridge is four hours from King’s Cross by train, with only one connection in Newcastle. And driving north takes five hours.

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