Robson Green’s guide to Northumberland

We catch up with the Soldier Soldier star ahead of his new ITV travelogue, for a chat about watching Breaking Bad in a mud hut, meeting Britain’s youngest shepherdess, and a bricklayer turned astronomer, who he calls “Einstein”


Born in Northumberland, Robson Green has come a long way since his part as Dave Tucker in ‘90s ITV drama Soldier Solider. As well as his recent parts in Being Human, Waterloo Road and Strike Back, he’s been filming a new top secret show, in the wilds of Borneo. “I love nature, but I’m also a lover of drama,” says Green, who never travels without his iPad, “I’ve just been filming on an island in the pacific, and there’s very little there in terms of home comforts.” Even on location he couldn’t miss the Breaking Bad finale: “To watch Breaking Bad, the whole series, in my little hut in the Borneo rainforest, was just fantastic.”


As far as his career has taken him, the star has always had an affinity with his northern home. No matter the exotic locations he finds himself in, Green is adamant than the north of Britain is the best place in the world. He showcases it as part of his new eight-part ITV show, Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green (8.00pm, Mon 28, on ITV), and, while filming, realised that it’s even better than he remembered. “I discovered new things about an area that I thought I knew very well,” says Robson, “I didn’t know you could swim with grey seals and dolphins on your doorstep, I didn’t know that we had a war on 1503 that changed the course of British history, or that Earl Grey tea was invented here.”

Green reveals the must-see sites in his home county, ahead of the series:

Bamburgh Castle

Green says: “It was once head of the Kingdom of Northumbria. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the battle and what took place there.”

Stay in a bothy

Green says: “They’re remote, old farm houses, renovated for walkers to spend a night there. They cost you nothing, and you can bed down for the night, just take some water and some food and there are bunk beds there, a wood fire and a kettle. You’ll have a great time  and see the darkest night sky – you’ll see the Milky Way as nature intended.”

Visit Northumberland with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details

Hadrian’s Wall

Green says: “It will take you five days to walk it. Go and camp each night with the guys and girls who actually organise camping trips along that wall and learn about how the Roman occupation gave Northumberland the major part of it’s identity. Learn about the Romans bringing ostriches, zebra and lions to Northumberland and the colours and spices and food brought to the area. It’s beautiful.”

Holy Island

Green says: “It’s the cradle of Christianity. Do the pilgrims’ walk there – it’s beautiful and extraordinary. Saint Cuthbert, the famous saint, not only taught the gospel there, but he spent 12 years of his life isolated on the Farne Islands, preserving and protecting the wildlife. Do a bit of swimming with seals and dolphins while you are there.”

Visit Northumberland with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details

Kielder Observatory

Green says: “It’s run by an amazing guy called Gary Fildes, he’s a bricklayer turned world-renowned astronomer. He’s one of the most inspirational individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside; he does this lecture before you go in, about the Universe. He was a bricklayer and now he’s telling us the kind of stuff Isaac Newton and Einstein would – he has the brain of Einstein, it’s extraordinary. His story alone could span eight episodes.” 

Visit Northumberland with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details

Fairspring Farm

Green says: “Where the youngest shepherdess in Britain, Emma Grey, works on her own. She started at 23-years-old, herding 150 sheep, and she’s got 12 dogs, it’s amazing.”


Watch Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green at 8.00pm, Mon 28, on ITV