Why you should consider a day trip to Northumberland National Park
All but a handful of our Retreats are situated along the Northumberland coast, and although our love of the beach is definitely strong, heading inland to the Northumberland National Park for at least one day of your holiday will certainly give you a flavour of the other side of Northumberland. A place where the skies are so dark that the stars dazzle and entertain. A place famed for its wall built by Emperor Hadrian and one of the UK’s most iconic trees. A place where you’ll find tranquility in its landscapes and its spectacular waterfalls.
In celebration of National Parks week, we hope this tempting guide to the Northumberland National Park will make you include it on your holiday itinerary.
Hadrian’s Wall and Sycamore Gap
A total of 73 miles long, Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans in AD 122 as a defensive frontier. Now a World Heritage Site, you can easily walk sections of the wall in one day as well as visiting the ruins of its milecastles, barracks, forts and ramparts. One of our favourite things to do is head to The Sill discovery centre at Bardon Mill and walk along part of the wall to Sycamore Gap – one of the most photographed trees in the UK and featured in the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Northumberland National Park forms part of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park due to its pristine skies. Officially the best place to stargaze in the UK, you can find dark sky discovery sites about 30 minutes inland from Bamburgh or Seahouses at Wooler and Kirknewton, which are away from any local light pollution. If you are really into your astronomy then it is worth the longer drive to the Kielder Observatory, which holds regular aurora nights and family astronomy events.
Waterfalls and wild swimming
Perfect for picnics and wild swimming, the Linhope Spout waterfall plunges 18 metres down the rock face to the deep pool below. Park about 2-3 miles west of Ingram and enjoy the two-hour walk through the Breamish Valley to this natural wonder.
Whatever your fitness level, there are walking routes to suit everyone. From leisurely strolls through the Cheviots catching sight of wild goats and Iron Age hillforts to more strenuous walks with dramatic views. For a full range of suggestions, see the national park’s website. We’d recommend any of the Cheviot walks as these are closest to our cottages.