Our great outdoors
Rugged moorland in Northumberland National Park

Our great outdoors

Come, and refill your soul in a tranquil part of this beautiful County. When you’re looking for space and time to ‘get away from it all’ and recharge your batteries, then Northumberland is definitely the place to be.  And to find real peace and solitude, come and explore north Northumberland.

A view across Berwick-upon-Tweed Estuary

Bamburgh Castle

You’ll enjoy mile after mile of sandy beaches, with ancient castles or villages as their backdrop - this whole stretch of coastline is officially designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, which we think sums it up pretty well.  Or wander among the quietest of wild, rugged hills and pretty valleys, each with their own stories.

This is an ancient land, the ‘cradle of Christianity’, a borderland forged and formed from its tempestuous history.  The most beautiful landscapes bring you the very warmest of welcomes, the best local food and produce, and accommodation of the highest calibre.

Explore bustling market towns like Seahouses - the ‘gateway to the Farne Islands - or Berwick, with its fortified walls.  Discover the amazing stories of ancient characters like Aidan, Cuthbert, and Oswald, and walk in their footsteps.  The iconic Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island await you.  Ford & Etal, with its castle, art gallery and working mill are beautiful jewels set in a working, thriving community. Wooler gives access to the Cheviot hills - and at every turn in north Northumberland there are views, experiences and encounters to delight and restore you.

There are some breathtaking stretches of coastline in Northumberland including Embleton and Newton Links. This peaceful haven of silver sands is surrounded by wildlife-rich dunes and offers amazing views across the bay to Dunstanburgh Castle.

Journey south to discover the peace and tranquility of the Northumberland National Park.

After sixty years, this is just the beginning!

In 1956, the world was rocked by Elvis Presley performing Hound Dog for the first time, Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller and  world reverberated to the Hungarian Revolution and the Suez Crisis, but it was also the year that Northumberland National Park was officially designated; with the aim of ensuring its wild, upland landscapes with their distinctive and rich heritage were sustained for the benefit of the nation. Over the last 60 years,  its residents, farmers and landowners, and many organisations including the National Park Authority have been working together to ensure that it remains just as beautiful, just as accessible with opportunities for all to enjoy and appreciate its special qualities.

A view across Berwick-upon-Tweed Estuary

Simonside, Northumberland National Park (D Taylor)

Often described as “ the land of the far horizon”, there is a wild beauty in Northumberland National Park that so uplifting and bestowing a sense of wellness from being immersed in open and tranquil countryside, surrounded by the sounds and sights of nature and the stars above. You just have to experience it, to feel it. Northumbrians are passionate about their way of life and take pride in sharing it with you. You’ll discover wonderful food, enjoy local festivals and be able to explore ancient sites of international significance. Picturesque towns and villages provide everything you need to make your stay special. Northumberland National Park together with part of Kielder Water & Forest Park, is England’s only International Dark Sky Park (Gold Tier). On a clear night you can see the Milky Way, and even the Andromeda Galaxy (2.5 million light years away) with the naked eye!
2017 will see the opening of the Sill - National landscape Discovery Centre on Hadrian’s Wall. In partnership with the YHA, this brand new discovery centre will transform how people of all ages will understand and explore the landscapes, history and heritage of Northumberland and the wider North East. It will be a year-round and all-weather venue with accommodation, retail and cafe facilities, but it will also be gateway to Northumberland’s landscapes and people. A significant activity programme will be developed to inspire the next generation to continue valuing and conserving this beautiful part of the world.

Kielder Water & Forest Park has it all. The views are bigger, the night sky brighter, the sports wilder and the smiles wider. Home to the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe and, at over 250 square miles, the largest working forest in England, the award-winning Kielder Water & Forest Park is one of Northumberland’s best attractions.

A view across Berwick-upon-Tweed Estuary

Kielder Water & Forest Park

A haven for wildlife, visitors can expect to encounter otters, roe deer, badgers and bats. Kielder is home to almost 50% of England’s red native squirrel population, visit the hide at Leaplish and see if you can spot one. Join the expert volunteers at Osprey Watch every weekend at Leaplish until the chicks fledge in August and experience stunning views of one of the UK’s rarest and most spectacular bird species.
The wildlife garden at Leaplish is open all year round and comprises a raised pond and butterfly shaped bed, a bog and drought garden and a nest box demonstration area. Adders, butterflies, stoats and amphibiants inhabit the garden.
Famed for having the darkest skies in England thanks to minimal light pollution, the Park is a stargazer’s heaven. Complete your trip with a visit to Kielder Observatory located in the heart of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park – the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe.
Awarded Tourism Experience of the Year by Visit England, enjoy a short break or holiday in a Scandinavian style lodge at Leaplish or bring your caravan to our 99 pitch site, with some pitches boasting panoramic views overlooking the magnificent Kielder Water, the ideal base to recharge.
And that’s just the beginning, visit www.leaplish.co.uk to start planning your adventure now.  

A trip to Northumberland wouldnt be complete without visiting Hadrian's Wall, where Romans are still a part of everyday life. Stretching 73 miles from the Solway Coast in Cumbria to Wallsend in Newcastle upon Tyne, Hadrian’s Wall took three legions (approximately 15,000 men) 6 six years to build. Traversing rolling countryside, crossing rivers and hugging the formidable crags of the Whin Sill near Bardon Mill Hadrian’s Wall is an immense feat of engineering. Joining the Great Barrier Reef and Yellowstone National Park as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the UK’s greatest landmarks.

A view across Berwick-upon-Tweed Estuary

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall Country has something for everyone - world class archaeology, spectacular landscapes, rare wildlife, complete solitude, vibrant cities, wonderful pubs and a population of friendly and welcoming people.

Leave your car at home and discover Hadrian’s Wall by bus.  The AD122 service takes in many towns and villages along the wall putting you within easy reach of places to visit, stay, shop and eat.  Please note the timetable varies throughout the season (April to September) so please check before planning your journey.

Come, refill your soul – you’ll find the journey to Northumberland well worth it.

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