Visit the Northumberland National Park... virtually

The Northumberland National Park Authority has partnered with Google Maps to give visitors from all over the world a chance to view Hadrian’s Wall, the Pennine Way and more from the comfort of their own home.

Since 2007, Google Maps has captured and released imagery of the world for people to explore and enjoy on Street View. With this immersive technology, people see the stunning landscapes and vistas of the Grand Canyon, the Canadian Arctic and more via their computer and mobile devices -- all you need is an internet connection. And in the coming weeks, Northumberland National Park will be added to the list of must-virtually-visit destinations.

Earlier in the year, the Northumberland National Park Authority was accepted as part of the Trekker Loan Program, which allowed them to use Google’s Trekker equipment to help collect views of remote and unique locations in Northumberland.

Throughout the month of May, with the help of volunteers and staff, the Authority will work help capture stunning views of both Hadrian’s Wall and the Pennine Way. They will also work to cover some of the Northumberland National Park Authority Rangers’ Favourite Walks and other routes.

Once processed, the imagery will be added to Street View in Google Maps with interactive 360° imagery that allows you to go on a self-guided tour of the landscape. This fabulous resource will be freely available online for the world to enjoy. The imagery will also be embedded on the Northumberland National Park Authority website to help illustrate walking trails and to let users explore habitats and conservation work.

The Trekker, which weighs 18kg, is made up of a series of digital camera cameras that record images every 2.5 second. The images are stored to a hard drives and are then stitched together to create stunning panoramic views made available through Google Maps.

Northumberland National Park Authority Chief Executive Tony Gates said:

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Google to allow more people than ever before the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the Northumberland landscape. We will be able to guide you along a section of the world famous Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and the Pennine Way, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, and capturing other beautiful locations where we offer ranger-led walks and events and activities for the whole family. It is our hope that this will encourage come and explore the National Park first-hand.”

Northumberland National Park GIS Officer Ed Hudspeth said:

“We are very excited to be able to use the Trekker equipment, which will give the viewer the next best thing to being out there for real. We are looking forward to working closely with staff and volunteers to identify some of our most iconic and picturesque locations.”