Northumberland National Park

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College Valley in the Cheviot Hills
Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland

The Northumberland National Park lies wholly within Northumberland; a national park covers an area of more than 400 square miles of wild fell country from just south of Hadrian's Wall to the northernmost confines of Northumberland. It is one of the least populated and least visited of the National Parks.

The park takes up almost precisely one-fifth of the county's 2,018 square miles, covering the north and east, amongst the Pennine Fells and the Cheviots.


The National Park within Northumberland

The park covers several distinct areas. In the north are the Cheviots, a range of hills that joins the Pennines to the Southern Uplands. Further south, the hills give way to areas of rolling moorland, some of which have been covered by forestry plantations to form Kielder Forest on the north-western bounds of the county. The southernmost part of the park covers the dramatic central section of Hadrian's Wall.

The 10,000-year history of the region is explored through the many archaeological sites, ranging from prehistoric monuments and Roman remains to Pele towers, constructed as a defence against Border Reivers.

The official symbol adopted by the Northumberland National Park Authority is the curlew.

Shillhope Law in the Cheviots
Hethpool Lake


The national park encompasses much of the Cheviot Hills and adjoins the Southern Uplands, of which the Cheviots may be considered a part.

Kielder Forest lies within much of the park and in other areas forms a forest park. Kielder Forest is the largest man-made forest in Europe and surrounds Kielder Water.

Otterburn Training Area

The Ministry of Defence owns much of the land in the national park as the Otterburn Training Area. Some areas of this training area are off-limits, but others can be accessed only at certain times or with permission.

The training area accounts for 23% of the Northumberland National Park.

Dark Sky Park status

In December 2013 the International Dark-Sky Association conferred 'Dark Sky Park' status on the area, becoming the largest protected Dark Sky Park in Europe.[1]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Northumberland National Park)


National Parks of the United Kingdom

Brecon BeaconsCairngormsDartmoorExmoorLake DistrictLoch Lomond and the TrossachsNew ForestNorth York MoorsNorthumberlandPeak DistrictPembrokeshire CoastSnowdoniaSouth DownsYorkshire Dales