Northumberland National Park is one of England’s finest landscapes. Home to England’s darkest skies and most tranquil spaces, it is steeped in culture and heritage spanning thousands of years.
For over 400 square miles, Northumberland National Park’s remote and rugged beauty is a place for people to escape to, a place to experience and explore, where people and nature can thrive together in a unique and special landscape that often feels untouched. Visitors will say you can hike for miles without seeing another soul, except for perhaps one of our dedicated National Park Rangers, before enjoying a pint poured by a friendly smile.
From the rolling hills in The Cheviots to the rugged points of the Great Whin Sill along Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park is peppered with Roman ruins, hillforts and bastles and has a rich natural environment alive with peat bogs, hay meadows, waterfalls, loughs, clean rivers, clear air, and wildlife.
It is a land of far horizons with breath-taking viewpoints and valleys waiting to be explored. It is where we keep our minds and bodies active, connecting with nature for our wellbeing at every turn, discovering what came before us whilst we make new memories and discoveries for ourselves.
There are walks, cycling routes and bridleways to suit all ages and abilities, from long hikes in the hills to meandering strolls along rivers. For those who yearn for a challenge, Northumberland National Park has walks for spirited enthusiasts featuring the Pennine Way and Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trails. For cyclists, no matter what your ability, whether you’re a road cyclist or a mountain biker, there’s a route to explore, including large parts of the Sandstone Way from Berwick to Hexham and the Hadrian’s Cycleway from Ravenglass to Tyneside.
Northumberland National Park is England’s last great wilderness, populated by less than 2,000 people however, this living, working landscape has a vibrant community, with picture-perfect hamlets and villages to explore as well as the bustling gateway market towns of Wooler, Rothbury, Bellingham and Haltwhistle just outside the National Park’s boundary. Many of the local pubs in the Park feature micro-breweries and observatories, and are also visitor information points; the perfect excuse to stop for a drink and a chat with the locals.
As the least populated of the UK’s National Parks, nature has space to breathe. Birdwatching is popular here, the upland landscape home to ground-nesting birds and Northumberland National Park’s emblem, the Curlew. You might be lucky enough to see rare wildlife, like the black grouse and otter, or incredible plants and fauna such as the jewel-like waxcaps. Our unique countryside includes enchanting hay meadows, wild moorland, and ancient woodlands. The landscape and rivers carve a place in geology and visitors’ hearts alike. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!
Officially, Northumberland National Park has the most pristine dark skies in England, and the National Park is part of England’s first International Dark Sky Park and the only Dark Sky Park to enjoy Gold-Tier status in the UK, so get ready for a star-studded show! On a clear night, you can see thousands of stars, the Milky Way and even the Andromeda Galaxy (2.5 million light years away) with the naked eye. You’ll find dark sky discovery sites across the National Park where you can experience the dark skies in your own time, or book onto a dark sky experience at one of the many observatories in the area.
A visit to the National Park wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre. The award-wining visitor centre opened in 2017 and attracts around 140,000 visitors each year. The Sill features exhibitions, activities, and events all year round which explore nature, climate, culture, and heritage in-depth, as well as walks, talks and tours of the nearby area. The Sill features a stunning rooftop walk with unrivalled views of the neighbouring UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hire an e-bike and set off on a guided tour or your own adventure, or simply sit back and relax whilst you sample the locally sourced menu in the café with breath taking views of the Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When enjoying Northumberland National Park, please help us to protect and conserve this special landscape for future generations to enjoy. Follow the Countryside Code, take your litter home with you, park in designated car parks and keep dogs on leads.
We look forward to welcoming you to Northumberland National Park, we can guarantee it will be a place you’ll visit time and time again.