A traditional market town and administrative centre for the Tynedale District until 2009, located on the banks of the River Tyne, lying just off the A69, about 25 miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Hexham is one of the “gateways” to the Heart of Hadrian’s Wall, served by a railway station and bus station providing easy access to the Heart of Hadrian’s Wall.
The town’s landscape is dominated by the Abbey, overlooking the busy Market Square and the “Shambles” a Grade II covered market built in 1766. As a traditional market town, it was, and still has a regular weekly market and hosting the local farmers market on the second and forth Saturday of every month. Hexham is also home to a busy mart for cattle and other farm animals at Tyne Green, serving the local farming community.
Hexham has had a chequered history, with the dissolution of the monastery sometime between 1536 and 1541, suffering from the border wars between England and Scotland, seeing the town burnt down in 1279. During the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Hexham was fought somewhere to the south of the town in 1464.
Hexham had been long famous for its manufacture of leather, particularly renowned for making gloves known as Hexham Tans - now the name of a vegetarian restaurant in the town. Today it is home of the famous botanical brewery Fentimans and on the outskirts of the town a chipboard factory owned by the Austrian firm Egger, which manufacture and supply chip board throughout the UK and beyond.
Hexham has a lot to offer the visitor to see; the Abbey, which is believed to be constructed from stone taken from nearby Roman structures including Hadrian’s Wall, and the only surviving part of the monastery – the Crypt. Opposite the Abbey, across the Market Square, stands the Moot Hall, a 15th Century gatehouse that was part of the defences of the town. Behind the Moot Hall is the Old Gaol, one of the first purpose built jails in England.
In addition Hexham houses a range of innovative and interesting shops, pubs and coffee shops. It also has a number of golf courses and a picturesque racecourse at Yarridge Heights in the hills above the town, which holds steeplechase races throughout the year
You can enjoy walks along the river bank at Tyne Green or stop and enjoy the rowers, as they practice and compete, on the River Tyne. Hexham is also the home of the famous Tyne Tour, Europe’s largest mass participation canoeing event.