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Famous tree visited by Kevin Costner's Robin Hood

Sycamore Gap

Sycamore Gap Show full screen Sycamore Gap

Famous detour for Kevin Costner's Robin Hood

Milecastle 39 looking towards Steel Rigg and Crag Lough.

Milecastle 39 looking towards Steel Rigg and Crag Lough.

Milecastle 39 (also known as Castle Nick) was cleared in 1854, and excavated between 1908 and 1911. It was re-excavated between 1982 and 1987.

In the south-east corner was a stone oven and the south-west corner a rectangular building with a sunken floor associated with Roman finds.

The milecastle appears to have been occupied until the late 4th century. In the 18th century, a possible milking house was built in the west corner.

Visit Castle Nick on Google Street View


This is probably the most photographed spot in the whole of Northumberland National Park. Here, a sycamore tree grows in a dramatic dip with Hadrian’s Wall rising up either side. The 1991 film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’, starring Kevin Costner, was filmed here. The tree has been known as The Robin Hood Tree ever since.


Visit Sycamore Gap on Google Street View
The Roman Milecastle 39 is just to its left. It’s known as Castle Nick, as it sits in a nick in the hillside. The circular wall nearby protects a small replacement sycamore sapling from the local sheep, who would otherwise nibble on it. Sycamore Gap is looked after by both Northumberland National Park and the National Trust.

What’s on offer?

Walk: Greenlee Lough Walk.

Did you know?

Sycamore Gap was carved out by glacial melt water flowing beneath ice sheets.

Hadrians Wall by David Taylor small

The sycamore tree can be seen on the dip in the distance, next to the equally iconic Hadrian’s Wall.

Getting There

Car: You can see the tree from the nearby Military Road (B6318). To get there from the A1, take the A69, then Park Lane, turning onto Military Road at the Once Brewed junction. Sycamore Gap lies just to the east of Milecastle 39.

Bus: The Hadrian’s Wall bus stops at Steel Rigg Car Park. For details, click here.

On foot: A 15-minute walk from either Steel Rigg car park or the Once Brewed car park.

  • Mature Sycamore trees grow to 35m and can live for 400 years. The bark is dark pink-grey and smooth when young, but becomes cracked and develops small plates with age.
  • Twigs are pink-brown and hairless. The palmate leaves measure between 7cm and 16cm and have five lobes. Leaf stalks of younger trees are characteristically red.
Point of Interest

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Planning in the National Park

Northumberland National Park Authority is the statutory Planning Authority for the area of the Northumberland National Park. View our planning pages here.

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