The most northern of the English counties, Northumberland reaches from the Scottish Border along the east coast just shy of Newcastle, and across the North Pennines. This massive area is sparsely populated compared with other counties, and it is its awesome landscapes and scenery that make this region popular with visitors. Included within the county’s boundaries are the North Pennines, Northumberland National Park, The North Coast Area of Natural Beauty, Hadrian's Wall and many more spaces perfect for walkers, cyclists, wildlife enthusiasts and explorers. As with the Scottish border counties, Northumberland has a rich history of skirmishes and battles with the Scots, which has resulted in a large number of castle sites to explore. Many are ruins now, including the romantic coastal Dunstanburgh Castle. Others are beautifully restored, like the fantastic sprawling fortification of Bamburgh Castle, which was rebuilt in the 1800s. Some have remained in the same family line for centuries, like Alnwick Castle home to the Duke of Northumberland. This particular castle has starred on the television a number of times, including Harry Potter! There are a number of larger towns in the county worth visiting, including the picturesque medieval market town of Alnwick, the County town and administrative centre of Morpeth, and Hexham, home to the fabulous Hexham Abbey.