Explore the Wonders of Northumberland National Park, England

You won’t find a more tranquil place in the country than the Northumberland National Park, with a population of less than 2,000 and its 405 square miles of unspoilt landscape, dark skies, clean waters and clear air. It’s the ideal location to get away from it all. There is just so much to see and do, whether you are planning a relaxing getaway or an active holiday.

As the park lies next to the border of Scotland – where you will find the Cheviot Hills –it is the most northerly National Park of England. The World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall lies in the south of the park and Kielder Water & Forest Park is situated in the west. This is a stunning wilderness rich in wildlife, from otters and red squirrels to skylarks. It is a place where you can relax, but you can also go on a thrilling adventure. You can make your trip to Northumberland as active or laid-back as you want!

As there is so much to do, we will list some of the highlights of Northumberland National Park, for both the adventure seekers and the more relaxed types.

Visit Alnwick Castle
Explore the medieval fortress and one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK, Alnwick Castle. The castle has been on site for nearly 1,000 years and therefore offers a rich history. It has been owned by the Percy family for the last 700 years and if it seems familiar, that may be because it featured in the Harry Potter films! Discover a magnificent collection of art and collections, including work by Titian, Van Dyck and Canaletto. In addition, there are several interesting exhibitions on site and a magnificent treehouse restaurant.

Walk Hadrian’s Wall Path
Hadrian’s Wall Path stretches out from Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne to Bowness-on-Solway, which is 84 miles long. The wall represents a part of the National Park’s historical importance and is one of England’s greatest landmarks. Walk along the wall on the Hadrian’s Wall Path and you will pass through the most stunning parts of England.

Visit Kielder Water & Forest Park
Kielder Water & Forest Park is England’s largest forest and home to northern Europe’s largest man-made lake. Go water-skiing, sailing, walking, cycling or explore nature and unbelievable wildlife. Look out for Red Squirrels. They are rare in England and Wales, but they can still be seen in Northumberland National Park, as it is home to around 50% of England’s native Red Squirrel population!

Visit Walltown
Explore the former 19th-century quarry, Walltown. This family-friendly recreation site offers you Two National Trails, namely the Pennine Way and Hadrian’s Wall Path. For something different, you can also take a walk up to the Walltown willow labyrinth, which was planted in 2011 and is made up of over a thousand willow plants in 20 varieties of coloured willow.

For more information, download the Northumberland National Park Visitor Guide 2014, here.

After a long day of exploring the wonders of Northumberland National Park, you’ll want a comfortable place close by to relax for the night. You can stay at the lovely Eshott Hall, in Alnwick, an exquisite Northumbrian boutique hotel in an idyllic setting less than an hour drive from the Northumberland National Park. The perfect touring base, Eshott is well located for touring Northumberland’s breath-taking coast and beaches as well as the historic sites of Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle. Many sporting activities can be arranged as well on a nearby Northumbrian estate including deer stalking and salmon fishing with the hotel’s own ghillie. In addition, the Head Chef sources his ingredients locally – with smoked salmon and kippers coming from the nearby fishing ports of Seahouses and Craster respectively and many vegetables and herbs are grown in the idyllic kitchen garden.

Alternatively, you can stay at the stunning Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa, also in Alnwick. Located halfway between Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle, Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa boasts ten acres of grounds in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside. The Spa & Leisure Club features a swimming pool, two spa baths, a sauna and steam room, plus five treatment rooms. The award-winning George Runciman Restaurant offers seasonal local produce, including Northumbrian beef and locally caught seafood, and traditional afternoon tea is served in the Frank Henry Mason Room. If the country air makes you long for a game of golf, the hotel can arrange golf packages even if you don’t have your clubs and fishing is available too at nearby Guyzance.

Have fun exploring the Wonders of Northumberland National Park!

Swine den and Northumbrian nights image by Jonathan Combe, Alnwick Castle image by John Dal, Hadrian’s Wall image by Quisnovus and Kielder Forest image by Peter Mulligan.