Northumberland National Park is an area of land stretching between the Scottish Border to the north and Hadrian’s Wall to the south. It lies entirely within the county of Northumberland and covers an area of more than 1,030km² (397.6 sq mi), about a quarter of the county.
The Park is a tranquil and remote area with a population of only 2,000, and is also one of the least visited of all National Parks in England and Wales.
The grassy moorlands, rich forests and deep valleys that make up the Park’s landscape are wild and unspoilt. On the Northern border of Northumberland National Park the landscape is dominated by the Cheviot Hills – ancient volcanic rock that has been gently rounded by thousands of years of exposure to the elements. This diverse landscape boasts a number of different species and habitats, from the curlew and protected red squirrel to ancient woodland, blanket bog and heather moorland.
The Park’s southern boundary covers the central section of World Heritage Site, Hadrian’s Wall, a Roman defensive fortification built during Emperor Hadrian’s rule. Remarkably, considerable sections of the wall still remain and new discoveries are being made here all the time. As a result, the site is the most popular tourist attraction in northern England. The Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is the only named walk along the entire length of the wall and museums and forts on the route detail the history of this fascinating site.
The tranquillity and beautiful scenery of the landscape makes Northumberland National Park a popular destination for many outdoor pursuits. Over 75% of the Park is designated open access land and there are 1,100 km (700 mi) of public rights of way. Walking, sightseeing, on and off-road cycling and horse riding are common activities, along with rock climbing and canoeing.