Northumberland

The Northumberland National Park lies at the very top of England and is home to some huge walking giants – The Cheviot Hills, Hadrian’s Wall, The Pennine Way and St Cuthbert’s Way. Its unique landscape is one very much shaped by history. The Romans elected to create the northwest boundary of their empire here to keep the ‘barbarians’ who charged across it at bay. They didn’t do things by halves so erected a 118-km/73.5 mile battlement from coast to coast across the backbone of northern England. More than 1,800 years on, Hadrian’s Wall evokes impressively the feel of those ancient times. Walk along the ramparts and you take the same steps as legionnaires. Another figure from ancient times, William the Conqueror marched back down the Coquet after giving the Scots a wrap on the knuckles as a prelude to three centuries of skirmishes.

The Park’s wild, open landscapes, made up of rolling moors, grassland, rivers and valleys definitely stir up a sense of the past. With 600 miles of footpaths and bridleways on offer there is an opportunity for leisure walking and more challenging hikes and hopefully the chance to see the rare red squirrel and the other varieties of wildlife that live here.