Hexham is famous for its Augustinian abbey, and was awarded Country Life’s Best Market Town award for 2005. The Hexham Abbey is a beautiful example of early English architecture. Inside is a Saxon crypt, the only surviving part of St. Wilifred’s Church. The Old Gaol was finished in 1333 as England’s first purpose-built prison. The history of the Border Reivers is also told here. This was a group of clans who fought and killed each other in an effect to control the land. There are also tales of the punishment handed out in the prison. One of the most recommended places to stay in town is West Close House, set in a beautiful 1920s house with a gorgeous garden, friendly staff, and comfortable rooms.