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Walltown Country Park in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Walltown Visitor Centre

Northumberland National Park Authority maintain a Visitor Centre at Walltown Country Park The Visitor Centre provides travellers with information on events, attractions and places to visit within the local area and regionally, along with a selection of snacks and hot and cold drinks. The site is also great to explore Walltown with its tall crags around the large…

Steel Rigg & Crag Lough Walk

A walk suitable for families, along some of the most scenic sections of Hadrian’s Wall. The terrain features footpaths and tracks, some short, sharp ascents, and may be muddy in places. You will need sturdy footwear and waterproofs. Please keep dogs on a lead and follow the Countryside Code. Parking charges of £4 per day…

The Pennine Way restoration. A helicopter drops in the flagstones.

Ranger Case Studies

Here are some examples of the great work our Rangers do to protect the special qualities of Northumberland National Park, while also creating a wonderful environment for visitors to enjoy. The Pennine Way The National Park has a wide network of Public Rights of Way for people to use and enjoy all year round. It…


Fishing Ever wanted to try your hand at rod and tackle? Northumberland’s sparkling rivers are home to some superb game and coarse fishing. Salmon and sea trout are found in many of our rivers. The River Tyne is England’s premier salmon river. Sea trout is found in the Tyne, Coquet and Tweed. There are brown…

Rothbury Visitor Centre

Northumberland National Park Authority and Tomlinson’s work in partnership to keep the Coquetdale Centre in Rothbury open as an information hub for visitors. The Coquetdale Centre is a great starting point for visitors making their plans to explore this stunning part of the National Park with its network of cycle tracks, public footpaths and heritage…

The Whin Sill

The Whin Sill is an astonishing world-famous feature of Northumberland geology. It is the sheer north-facing edge of a great wave of volcanic rock formed from the magma deep below the Earth’s crust. This tough dolerite stone contrasts with the surrounding lower ridges and crags of carboniferous sandstone and limestone. It was formed 295 million…

Cawfields in Northumberland National Park by Roger Clegg.

Volcanic rock

Also known as igneous rocks, they form from molten rock, or magma from deep below the Earth’s crust. Large areas of magma cool slowly to form rock such as granite. If it cools more quickly it forms finer grained rocks. Magma, which erupts as lava from volcanoes, turns into pyroclastic rocks. All of these rocks…

Greenlee Lough nature reserve near Hadrian's Wall. Photo by David Taylor.

Ice Age and glaciation

The past two million years have been dominated by a succession of Ice Ages. Throughout much of the last Ice Age, large areas of Northumberland lay beneath fast-moving parts of the British ice-sheet. These ice streams moulded and literally ‘streamlined’ the land. The Cheviot Massif hills deflected much of the streaming ice around it to…

Heather moorland

Northumberland is renowned for its wide open moorland, which covers about 70 per cent of the National Park. Such heather moorland habitat is internationally significant, as it only occurs in Britain. Heather moorland developed over thousands of years, as humans cleared ancient woodlands and introduced cattle and sheep. Much of the moorland is grassy, particularly…

Hay meadows

Northumberland National Park has some of the best upland hay meadows in Europe. A blaze of yellows and purples in June and July, they are astonishing havens for wildlife. Our hay meadows contain beautiful flowers such as wood cranesbill and yellow rattle. Did you know? Hay meadows nearly disappeared because farmers needed more hay and…


Bogs might not be great to walk on, but they are vital for the landscape here. Northumberland National Park has some of the best bogs in Europe. Peat is only formed in waterlogged conditions which prevents plants, mostly sphagnum mosses, decaying normally when they die. Instead, they build up very slowly to form peat. This…

Ancient Woodland

A lot of effort has gone into saving the last of these rare woodlands. Most can be found along river banks or upland burns and cleughs, where felling trees and grazing animals is difficult. A healthy woodland contains trees of all ages, so that seedlings can replace older trees as they die. Animals such as…

Stargazing at Cawfields in Northumberland National Park.

Stargazing Calendar

January 3-4 – Quadrantids Meteor Shower Why not welcome the New Year with a night of stargazing and meteor hunting? The Quadrantids meteor shower can yield as many as 40 meteors per hour, radiating from the constellation Bootes. This year’s show will be diminished thanks to a bright second quarter Moon, but you may be…

Stargazing in Northumberland National Park.

Astronomer’s Checklist

Keep warm Wear really warm clothes, hats and gloves and thick soled shoes or boots. It gets very cold standing around at night, even in summer. Be comfortable Take a chair or a camping mattress to sit on or lie down on. A folding sun lounger is a great idea. Be patient as it can…

Dark Sky Discovery Sites

There are lots of great places to enjoy the night sky in the Northumberland National Park. Some of these place have been designated as ‘Dark Sky Discovery Sites‘ because they are especially dark. Dark Sky Discovery Sites are places that: are away from the worst of any local light pollution provide good sightlines of the…

Copper Snout Horse Ride

Starting from Clennell Farm, near Alwinton, this horse ride route is a moderately challenging ride into the Cheviot Hills in the Upper Coquet Valley. Most of the route is off-road, offering good canter opportunities and many chances to admire the stunning scenery of Northumberland National Park. The roadwork sections are on quiet roads, although you…

Horse riding in Northumberland National Park.

Prendwick Horse Ride

Starting at Ingram Bridge, this horse ride route is an easy to follow introduction to the Breamish Valley and Northumberland National Park. The great majority of the route is off road, following clear stone tracks and bridleways, with some good canter opportunities and plenty of places to stop and take in the views of the…

Falstone Village in Northumberland National Park.

Falstone Burn Walk

A lovely walk suitable for most abilities following Falstone Burn and into the forest. Enjoy a cuppa or a pint once you’ve worked up a thirst. Download the Falstone Burn Walk

Falstone in Northumberland National Park.

Falstone & Donkleywood Walk

A delightful walk taking in hill views and the tranquillity of the River North Tyne valley, starting in the quaint village of Falstone. Download the Falstone & Donkleywood Walk

Humbleton Iron Age Hillfort near Wooler Common in Northumberland National Park.

Kirknewton Hillfort Trail

A great way to see the spectacular remains of a 2,000-year-old Iron Age hillfort in breathtaking surroundings. A nice moderate walk where you can spot a Cheviot goat or two, then enjoy a pot of tea or pint of beer in Kirknewton having lapped up some significant ancient history.

Cycling on Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland National Park.

Buzzard Cycle Route

Description: The Buzzard Cycle Route follow the existing National Cycle Network – Pennine Cycleway Route 68, Reivers Route 10 to Greenhaugh. There are hills to negotiate on all the routes, nothing too steep, but some long climbs. Download the Buzzard Cycle Route. Local Facilities: Bellingham – toilets, cafes, pubs, shops, accommodation and Heritage Centre with…

Cycling near Kielder in Northumberland National Park.

Black Grouse Cycle Route

Description: The Black Grouse Cycle Route follows the existing National Cycle Network, R.68 and R.10, to Greenhaugh in a circular route along quiet country lanes. Download the Black Grouse Cycling Route Local Facilities: Bellingham – toilets, cafes, pubs, shops, accommodation and Heritage Centre with Tourist Information. Bellingham & North Tyne Circular Cycle Routes: Largely follow…

The River Coquet at Rothbury.

Rothbury Riverside Walk

A pleasant stroll alongside the River Coquet and into Rothbury. Suitable for a variety of users. Due to width/surface restrictions on some parts, the route is not suitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs, although the riverside can be accessed by these users from the village centre. Be aware: parts of the route may flood when the river level…

Greenhaugh in Northumberland National Park by Simon Fraser.

Greenhaugh & Thorneyburn Walk

A walk along country lanes and through the fields from Greenhaugh, with some great views across the Tarset Valley. Please keep dogs on a lead. Explore the walk on Google Street View  Download the Greenhaugh & Thorneyburn Walk

Falstone in Northumberland National Park.

Falstone Circular Walk

An easy ramble from Falstone along an old railway line and riverbanks. Download the Falstone Circular Walk.

Hareshaw Linn Walk

Hareshaw Linn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), designated for its rare ferns and lichen. More than 300 different types of mosses, liverworts and lichen can be found. The ‘Linn’ is also home to red squirrel, great spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, badger and daubenton’s bat. Explore the walk in Google Street…

Thirlwall Castle near Greenhead in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Thirlwall Castle Walk

Life in Northumberland between 1300 and 1600 was dangerous and unstable. Important families such as the Thirlwalls protected themselves against attack by building strong defensible homes like the one here at Thirlwall Castle. Download the Thirlwall Castle Walk

Linhope Spout waterfall in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Linhope Spout Walk

Take time out to see Linhope Spout, a 60 foot (18m) chute of water, which lands in a plunge pool 6ft (2m) wide and 16ft (5m) deep. Download the Linhope Spout Walk

Upper College Valley in Northumberland National Park by Brian Rogers.

College Valley Walk

A great new route that introduces the walker to the tranquil College Valley. Look out for the Wild Cheviot Goats on the hillside near Hethpool Mill. Download the College Valley Walk

Hethpool Linn in Northumberland National Park by Brian Rogers.

Hethpool Linn & Yeavering Bell Walk

A lovely walk to Hethpool Linn waterfall, on the College Burn, then up Yeavering Bell (‘Hill of the Goats’) – a great spot to view the wild Cheviot goats. Download the Hethpool Linn and Yeavering Bell Walk

Walltown Country Park in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Walltown Country Park

Near Greenhead. It’s great to explore Walltown with its tall crags around the large hollow left after quarrying. Here you can see how Hadrian’s Wall was built on the sheer north-facing edge of a great wave of volcanic rock. Explore Walltown on Google Street View What’s on offer Woodland, meadows, wildlife lakes, car parking, toilets,…



Near Chesterholm. Admission charge. Car parking. Toilets. Cafe. Visit for: A dose of the Roman frontier pre-dating Hadrian’s Wall itself. Vindolanda is still being excavated in the summer. The amazing ruins include barracks and a bath house and there are replicas of a temple, shop and house. The museum is full of Roman treasures including…

Sycamore Gap on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland by David Taylor.

Sycamore Gap

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…

Hadrian's Wall near Steel Rigg in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Steel Rigg & Crag Lough

Visit for: Probably the best viewpoint of Hadrian’s Wall. You can see it snaking up and along the crags, with the lake of Crag Lough in the distance. Explore Steel Rigg & Crag Lough on Google Street View What’s on offer Car parking at Steel Rigg car park – OS Map grid reference NY750676 –…

Housesteads Roman Fort & Museum

Visit Housesteads on Google Street View  What’s On Offer Visit for: An atmospheric wander around the best-preserved Roman fort in Britain. The museum and its introductory film give great insight about these astonishing ruins. The steep walk to the remains is worth it for the history and spectacular views. For more, click here. You can…

Haltwhistle by Roger Clegg.


The pretty, small town of Haltwhistle is just south of Northumberland National Park. It claims to be the geographic centre of Britain, and is certainly a great location from which to explore Hadrian’s Wall. What’s on offer Shops, pubs, tea rooms, train station and accommodation. Restaurants Greenhead Hotel near Haltwhistle Haltwhistle Tandoori The Twice Brewed…

Hadrian's Wall Trail in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Hadrian’s Wall Path

Fancy an 84-mile (135 km) National Trail stretching coast to coast? This trail runs from Wallsend in Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. It follows the line of Hadrian’s Wall, passing through remote countryside, rugged moorland, bustling market towns topped and tailed by the cities of Newcastle and Carlisle.…

Chesters Roman Fort and Museum in Northumberland National Park by Roger Clegg.

Chesters Roman Fort

Admission charge. Toilets. Car parking. Dogs allowed. Visit for: A fascinating collection of Roman artefacts discovered in Victorian times. Next door, you can explore the magnificent ruins of the bath house and underground store house used by the Roman soldiers. For more on Chesters Roman Fort, click here. You can help support the National Park…

Cawfields in Northumberland National Park by Roger Clegg.


Visit for: A great starting point to walk to Milecastle 42 and a fine stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. The second legion built this to protect the weak spot of Hole Gap. It hangs on to the edge of the sheer crags. You can also see the bedrock of the Whin Sill in Cawfields itself, as…

Brocolitia Roman Temple in Northumberland National Park by Roger Clegg.

Brocolitia Roman Temple

Visit for: The remains of a third century Roman temple to the Sun God Mithras, a cult which first started in Persia. It was built next to a Roman fort. There are also a few remains of a sacred well dedicated to the Celtic water goddess Coventina. For more, click here. What’s On Offer Car…

Tosson Tower in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Tosson Tower & Woodhouses Bastle

The remains of this fortified Pele Tower can be found on the south side of Great Tosson. It was built in the 14th or 15th century as protection against the bands of raiders who attacked the border lands. Tosson Tower’s huge walls are nearly two metres thick. Towers were built using small boulders, welded together…

Dove Crag in the Simonside Hills of Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Simonside Hills

This distinctive ridge, with its craggy profile, stands guard above Rothbury. A walk along the Simonside Hills must not be missed. From the top, you have a 360 degree view encompassing the Cheviot Hills and North Sea coastline. As a Special Area of Conservation, it teems with wildlife such as the curlew, red grouse, wild…



Known as the ‘capital of Coquetdale’, this scenic market town bustles with welcoming pubs, cafés and galleries. Its High Street boasts a number of traditional independent shops. It is a great springboard for adventures in walking, cycling and more. What’s on offer There are shops, cafés, art and craft galleries, pubs, banks, a children’s play…

Lordenshaws and Simonside in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.


Be transported back to prehistory by the hillforts, burial mounds and intriguing rock carvings our ancestors left behind. What’s on offer History, walking, car parking, and public transport in the summer. Iron Age hillfort Wander around the impressive remains of an Iron Age hillfort built 2,000 years ago. You can still see the double ramparts…

Holystone in Northumberland National Park.

Holystone & Lady’s Well

This is a tiny stone-built village. Forest walks include the Holystone Burn Reserve, which starts at the car park a short distance out of the village. In the early 12th century Holystone became the home of a priory of Augustinian Canonesses. The priory buildings were demolished during the reformation in 1541. What’s on offer Car…

Drake Stone near Harbottle in Northumberland National Park by Brian Rogers.


Harbottle, made up of just a single street, is a one of the most picturesque of Coquetdale’s villages. Many of the buildings use pale, biscuit-coloured sandstone. The village is overlooked by the ruins of a 12th century castle. From here you can walk up to the Drake Stone and the nearby lough. What’s on offer…

Catcleugh in Northumberland National Park.

Whitelee Moor & Catcleugh

Whitelee Moor National Nature Reserve Redesdale Head, off the A68 near Carter Bar. Visit for: A site of European conservation importance because of its active blanket bog and heather heaths. It also contains other habitats and species of national and international importance. For more, visit the Whitelee Moor website.

Cycling on Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland National Park.

Otterburn Ranges

This remote area is the wild heart of the National Park. Covering nearly a quarter of Northumberland National Park, it is a wildlife lover’s paradise. Explore the Otterburn Ranges with Google Street View  Moorland birds, wild goats and even the rare black grouse have flourished here with so few humans around. This is because Otterburn Ranges has…

Otterburn in Northumberland National Park.


This small village lies on the banks of the River Rede, near to where it joins Otter Burn. It’s a great base to explore the beautiful Redesdale valley. Otter footprints can sometimes be spotted in the mud of river banks. It’s a great spot to refuel after exploring the Otterburn Ranges. What’s on offer Pubs…

High Rochester by David Taylor.

High Rochester

This small hamlet in the upper reaches of Redesdale nestles within the ruined ramparts of a Roman outpost. There are also two bastles still used as dwellings in High Rochester, and a couple of ruined cottages of uncertain date, as well as farm buildings and holiday cottages. What’s on offer Accommodation. Bremenium walk. Camien Café…

Greenhaugh in Northumberland National Park by Simon Fraser.


This village of stone-built houses lies to the north west of Bellingham in the upper reaches of North Tynedale. The lovely stream of Greenhaugh Burn runs to the south of the village. To the east are the vast moorlands of Hareshaw Common and Troughend Common. Some of the National Park’s finest hay meadows are around…

Stonehaugh in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.


This village (pronounced Stone-Hoff) was built in 1957 to house Forestry Commission workers. The neat rows of houses sit among beautiful trees and the crystal clear Warksburn at the edge of the forest. Renowned for dark, starry skies and tranquility, it’s the perfect spot for some stargazing. Stonehaugh is also a designated Dark Sky Discovery Site…

Hareshaw Linn in Northumberland National Park by Allan Potts.

Hareshaw Linn

Take a magical walk through an ancient woodland, crossing no less than six bridges to reach a beautiful nine-metre high waterfall. What’s on offer A mile-and-a-half walk (three miles return) from Bellingham. Wildlife and rare plants This Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is designated for its rare ferns and lichen. More than 300 different…

Falstone play area in Northumberland National Park by Deve Photography.


This pretty village nestles below the dam of Kielder Water on a loop of the River North Tyne. It is a great base from which to take in Northumberland National Park and the Scottish borders beyond. What’s on offer It has community gardens and a picnic area, children’s play area behind the village hall, toilets,…


Where the River North Tyne and Hareshaw Burn meet lies the historic market town of Bellingham. It’s a well-known stop-over on the Pennine Way, the Pennine Cycle Way and the Reivers Coast to Coast cycle route. What’s on offer There are shops, eating places, banking, library, garage, toilets, car parks and bus stops. Accommodation is…

Goat gate to Gefrin in Northumberland National Park.

Yeavering Bell & Gefrin

Yeavering Bell is a hill on the very edge of the Cheviot Hills. On it lie the remains of the largest Iron Age hillfort in the region. The tumbled stone rampart would originally have been two-and-a-half metres high and more than three metres thick. Within it, you can see the platforms of more than one…

Linhope Spout waterfall in Northumberland National Park by David Taylor.

Linhope Spout

Check out this spectacular waterfall. It tumbles 18 metres down a rockface to the plunge pool below. Take a walk along the burn and then cap it all with a picnic. What’s on offer A mile-and-a-half walk (three miles return) from car parking at Hartside Farm. Toilets at Bulby’s Wood car park Linhope Spout –…

Upper College Valley in Northumberland National Park by Brian Rogers.

College Valley & Kirknewton

The College Valley is one of the gems of Northumberland National Park. Owned by the College Valley Estate, this peaceful, unspoilt place is free to roam on foot or by bicycle. Enjoy the rocky gorge of Hethpool Linn. In autumn, sea trout and salmon can be seen leaping up this burn on their way to…

The Cheviot in Northumberland National Park by Brian Rogers.

The Cheviot

The Cheviot is the highest point in the Northumberland National Park at 815 metres. Keep to the path, as bogs abound. Visit The Cheviot on Google Street View  The millstone slabbed pathway on the summit is part of the long-distance route known as the Pennine Way, on its last few miles. North of the summit,…

Housey Crags from Harthop;e Valley in Northumberland National Park by Brian Rogers.

Harthope Valley

Harthope Valley is the starting point for many inspiring walks up onto the Cheviot Hills. It lies south west of Wooler. The contrast of low-level burns and high hills around it give it drama and wildness. It’s a favourite spot for birdwatchers and walkers alike. The three highest Cheviot Hills lie in the upper reaches…

Breamish River by Brian Rogers small

Ingram & Breamish Valley

This stunning river setting is surrounded by high hills and a great place for walking and picnics. The Breamish Valley is also one of the important archaeological landscapes in England. On the hills are remains ranging from Neolithic and Bronze Age burials to hill forts, farmsteads, field systems and deserted medieval villages. The haugh land…

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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.