Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in the North East of England. It borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham to the south and Tyne and Wear to the south east, as well as having a border with the Scottish Borders council area to the north, and a North Sea coastline of outstanding natural beauty with a 103 km long distance path. Since 1981, the county council has been located in Morpeth, situated in the east of the county.
As the kingdom of Northumbria under King Edwin, the region's historical boundaries stretched from the Humber in the south to the Forth in the north. The historic boundaries of the county cover a different area, including Newcastle upon Tyne, the traditional county town, as well as Tynemouth and other settlements in North Tyneside, areas transferred to Tyne and Wear in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The historic boundaries of the county are sometimes taken to exclude Islandshire, Bedlingtonshire and Norhamshire (collectively North Durham), exclaves of County Durham which were incorporated into Northumberland in 1844.