A major town and administrative centre at the heart of Tynedale, Hexham wears its rich past well. It is a remarkably romantic town, with enough historic buildings to satisfy any visitor. Chief among those buildings is the superb Hexham Abbey, a superb church that was founded by St Wilfrid in 674 AD.

Within the nave, a staircase leads to amazingly complete Saxon crypt, built partly with Roman stones. The abbey also houses a 'frith stool', believed to date to the 8th century. This was used as a coronation throne for Northumbrian kings, and later, as a sanctuary stool.

The bulk of Hexham Abbey is 13th century, with the addition of a wonderful 16th century painted rood screen.

Near the abbey is the 14th century Moot Hall, also built from Roman stone. The Moot Hall was for many years a court used by the powerful Archbishops of York. The Archbishops built the 14th century Manor Office, the first purpose-built gaol in England.

Hexham boasts some fine architecture, with a few Elizabethan buildings, and quite a few Georgian houses.