Enjoy magnificent views of Hadrian's Wall

The Sycamore Gap tree is one of most photographed in the country. It stands in a dramatic dip in Hadrian’s Wall in the Northumberland National Park. In late 2016 it took the crown for English Tree of the Year in the Woodland Trust’s awards.

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.

Castle Nick

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.

Getting here

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.