Unspoilt and tranquil could well be a suitable adjective for a sizeable chunk of Northumberland in the 21st century. Over a thousand years ago, this wasn't the case; Northumbria was the scene of numerous wars between England and Scotland. As a legacy of this, Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England (44), many of which open to the public, some seeing further use as commercial ventures or private houses. One of them, Langley Castle, is a hotel. If your idea of a conference venue is a 14th Century fortified castle on the valley of the South Tyne, add this one to your list!
Northumberland's best known castles are Bamburgh and Lindisfarne castles. Bamburgh Castle is a Grade I Listed Building and unlike a number of Northumbrian castles which fell into ruination, it was restored in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Restoration was completed by Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, whose family own to the castle to this day. It is open to the public not only as a visitor attraction but also as a wedding and conference venue. It has featured in numerous television and film productions.
Accessible from Beal village via a causeway is Holy Island and Lindisfarne Priory. The monastery was founded by Irish monk St. Aidan in 633 A.D. Also on Holy Island is the 16th century Lindisfarne castle.
To the north is the market town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, a place which has been both a Scottish and English town. On the southern part of Northumberland, the area is more industrial in character, with former mining towns like Cramlington, Blyth, Morpeth and Ashington. Further inland, the Kielder Water reservoir and Forest Park offers picturesque views. Within the Northumberland National Park, a good place for birdwatching and rambling.
In addition to being a good place for exploring North East England proper, it is also a good starting point for the Scottish Border counties and towns like Hawick and Selkirk. There is good road access to the rest of the UK thanks to the Great North Road (A1), the A68 and A69. Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed is served by regular trains on the East Coast Main Line from Edinburgh to London.
If you're looking for a relaxing place to host your event, Northumberland is a most suitable conference venue. It offers a real alternative to more urbane venues with romantic surroundings its main redeeming features.