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Northumberland National Park

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Northumberland National Park

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Northumberland National Park [1]is the most northerly park in England and covers 1030 sq kms. It is entirely within the county of Northumberland.

The Schil, next to Cheviot Hill, access from the College Valley.

Understand

There are two main geographical areas within the park. The Cheviot hills to the north and Kielder Forest to the South West. The park is generally very quiet, it gets very few visitors compared to some of it's more famous neighbours like the Lake District National Park.


History

The park was designated in 1956 and since then has steadily become more and more user friendly with visitor centres and programs to involve and educate visitors.

Landscape

The landscape is typically moorland, heather and conifer plantations. The Kielder reservoir is the largest body of water. Just over 70% of the area is open moorland. Heather is very common and approx 20% of the park is heather moorland which gives beautiful autumn displays.This heather moorland is largely unique to the United Kingdom and recently there has been considerable habitat improvement with grouse moor management schemes.


Flora and fauna

The park has deer,fox,badgers and other small animals are very common. However the bird population is truly amazing. The open habitats host many different species including Black grouse, Curlews, Merlin, Red grouse. Along the valleys are heron and king fisher.


Climate

Generally wet and windy. The north easterly gales sweeping in off the Atlantic are a common feature of the area.

Get in

From the north. A1 from Edinburgh. From the south. Either the A68 from Corbridge or the A1 trunk road From the east. Many small roads providing access into the park. From the west. A69 through to Corbridge and then the A68 north. By plane into Newcastle airport. By train , north east line to Newcastle and stations north.

Fees/Permits

None

Get around

Since May 2005, large areas of Northumberland National Park are accessible to the public as a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW). This means that you can now walk feely on designated ‘Access Land’ without having to stay on rights of way.

There are also visitor centres at Ingram, Once Brewed, Alnwick, Bellingham, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Brampton, Carlisle, Newcastle, Hexham, Morpeth, Wooler.

See

Hadrian's Wall, UNESCO site from Roman times. Cheviot hills and surrounding area with Hill forts and wide open moorland. Redesdale valley and Border reiver history. Visit the many medieval castles.

Do

  • Walking
  • Riding
  • Visit markets and fairs
  • Bird watching
  • Shooting and hunting
  • Cycling

Buy

There are many craft shops and some woolen mills converted to sell clothing and related items.

Eat

Local food as expected centres around the rich landscape and game. So you get meat and fish dishes.


Drink

Northumberland brewery [2] provides local ale.

Sleep

The area has plenty of b&b as well as self catering accommodation [3] . There are hostels and camping barns [4] There are local businesses offering green accommodation [5] and of course self catering accommodation throughout Northumberland [6]


Contact

The official National park details are here [7].


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