The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Where the Heck is the Northern Neck?

Posted by Liz Moore on Tue, Jul 06, 2021 @ 10:41 AM





By Susan McFadden

Located within an easy commute from major urban centers, the Northern Neck is about two hours south of Washington, D.C., one and one-half hours east of Richmond, and an hour north of Williamsburg.

The Northern Neck has often been referred to as “Virginia’s undiscovered gem.” It’s the northernmost of three peninsulas (traditionally called “necks” in Virginia) on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore. The other two are the Middle Peninsula and the Virginia Peninsula.

The region is comprised of four distinctive coastal counties - Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, and Lancaster - and is flanked by the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. The rivers converge at the lower tip of the Northern Neck to meet the Chesapeake Bay. Two bridges span the Rappahannock River and provide access from the Middle Peninsula to the Northern Neck. The Norris Bridge connects Middlesex County to Lancaster
County, and the Downing Bridge connects Essex County to Richmond County.

Travel by water, air, or car. Marinas dot the 1,100 miles of shoreline, and many welcome transient boaters. Hummel Airport is a public-use facility located in Topping, just a short distance from the Norris Bridge.
Another facility, the Tappahannock-Essex County Airport, is less than 15 minutes from the Downing Bridge. Driving becomes a more recreational pastime once drivers turn off the interstate onto rural, scenic routes heading to their final Northern Neck destination.

From Northern Virginia, take US-17 South and crossover the Downing Bridge from Essex County to Richmond
County in the Northern Neck. Or travel the VA-3 East route that stretches the full length of the Neck.
From Richmond, take I-64 East to the West Point 220 exit. Travel VA-33 East and crossover the Norris Bridge that spans the Rappahannock River connecting Middlesex County to Lancaster County in the Northern Neck. An alternate route from Richmond is US-360 East and then crossing at the Downing Bridge.

Williamsburg is the closest urban center to the Northern Neck. Take I-64W to the West Point 227 exit. Continue on VA-33 East and crossover the Norris Bridge to Lancaster County.

Want to know more? We can help. Go to or stop by our office at 276 N. Main Street in Kilmarnock. All our agents are Northern Neck locals and would be happy to show you this incredible place we call home.