Northumberland National Park begins where the ancient Roman Empire ended. It is the most remote of all the National Parks in England and Wales, stretching from Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site on its southern boundary to the Cheviot Hills on the Scottish Border.
Famed for its empty spaces and magnificent skies, the Park covers 405 square miles of sparsely populated hill country, the inhabitants residing in small, isolated communities and farms. Agriculture occupies 80% of the land area and hill farming provides the livelihood for the majority of local people. Traditional skills and pastimes are very prominent; dialect, music and poetry feature strongly in every day life and agriculture shows, folk music festivals and ceilidhs (traditional dances) are colourful events in the local calendar, enjoyed by locals as well as visitors.
The National Park's wide open spaces are also home to a wealth of wildlife. On the purple heather moors the internationally rare black grouse can be found, and a walk out on the hills in the spring may lead to a 'lek' - a place where the grouse perform their courtship display. Curlews, red squirrels, salmon and merlin all thrive here and the mires to the north of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site enjoy an international reputation.
History is very close to the surface in Northumberland. Walk almost anywhere and you will be walking close to, or perhaps even over, the remains of ancient civilizations. Bronze Age burial cairns and spectacular Iron Age hill forts pepper the hills in the north. The remains of Medieval strip fields cast strange shadows in gently rolling valleys, and Hadrian¹s Wall World Heritage Site overlooks peaceful loughs (lakes) on the southern boundary of the Park. Walking and cycling are favourite pastimes. Some of the best walking in England can be found here, from long distance National Trails to rambles along the quiet country lanes.
Farmhouse bed and breakfasts, local pubs and village cafes provide a traditional Northumbrian welcome and three National Park Visitor Centres and many friendly Information Points scattered throughout the Park will help you make the most of your visit.
We look forward to seeing you!