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Hike into England's last wilderness — Northumberland

BenPonsford (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Hike into England's last wilderness — Northumberland

Hiking Collection by komoot

7

Tours

27:22 h

58.9 mi

7,800 ft

The least populated of all England’s national parks, Northumberland is a forgotten wilderness that boasts the cleanest rivers, freshest air and darkest skies in the country.

The picturesque valleys, rolling hills and empty moorland within this national park are rich with historical landmarks, most notably Hadrian’s Wall, the north-west frontier of Roman empire for nearly 300 years.

Perhaps the greatest asset of this park is the abundant solitude it affords visitors. England’s last true wilderness is the perfect place to stargaze, too. The lack of population helped the area receive dark-sky status by the International Dark Skies Association in 2013.

This Collection introduces you this beautiful and intriguing part of country, where antiquity is as abundant as the raw nature around you.

In these routes, you will see some of the most iconic spots along Hadrian’s Wall, including: the dramatic cliffs of Steel Rigg; a picture-perfect spot that was featured in the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Sycamore Gap; the most complete Roman fort in Britain, Housesteads; the ancient Walltown Quarry; Aesica Roman Fort.

You also hike to the highest point in Northumberland, The Cheviot, visit a supernatural stone with mythical healing qualities, Drake Stone, and a beautiful waterfall with plunge pool, Linhope Spout.

This Collection explores Bull Crag Peninsula, at the heart of Kielder Forest Park.
Home to the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe and the largest working forest in England, Kielder Forest Park is famed for its remoteness, stunning night skies and abundant wildlife.

A good base for your stay is Rothbury. A traditional market town in the heart of Northumberland. Rothbury, also known as the ‘Capital of Coquetdale’, has plenty of shops, hotels, pubs and restaurants.

As Northumberland is so remote, having your own transport makes getting into and around the national park much easier.

However, if you are using public transport, you can travel by train to Newcastle Railway Station, which has direct connections with all major cities. From there, you need to take the Green Line tram to Regent Centre, where you can catch the X4 bus to Rothbury.

For information about Northumberland National Park, visit:northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk.
For information on getting in and around the national park, visit: northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/visitor-info/travel.
For the X14 bus timetable, visit: bustimes.org/services/x14-thropton-newcastle-city-centre.
For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:08
    7.23 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This hike packs a lot of punch for its size. In three hours, you can explore one of the most scenic parts of Hadrian's Wall and visit some treasured spots.

    On this route you see the dramatic cliff face of Steel Rigg, a striking example of how the Romans used nature in their defences, and see Milecastle 39 fort. You …

  • Intermediate
    03:12
    7.04 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You can really step back in time on this spellbinding stroll.

    In this route, you explore the largest Iron Age hillfort in Northumberland, Yeavering Bell, and walk amid the ruins of a once-grand palace for Anglo-Saxon kings, Ad Gefrin.

    From the car park, head left along the road, cross over the bridge and take the footpath on the left. Follow …

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  • Difficult
    05:14
    9.62 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This challenging hike takes you to the highest point in Northumberland, The Cheviot.

    Standing at 2,674 feet (815 meters) tall, the summit of The Cheviot affords breathtaking views that stretch as far as the Lake District and even to Edinburgh on a clear day.

    With steep ascents and descents, as well as bogs to contend with, this route can be …

  • Intermediate
    02:38
    6.18 mi
    2.3 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This circuit explores Bull Crag Peninsula, at the heart of Kielder Forest Park.

    Home to the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe and the largest working forest in England, Kielder Forest Park is famed for its remoteness and stunning night skies.

    It is not all big claims here, though. This area is home to some seriously rare wildlife, including the …

  • Intermediate
    01:59
    4.32 mi
    2.2 mph
    500 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This circuit takes you to the Drake Stone, a mystical boulder with legendary healing powers, and to the medieval ruins of Harbottle Castle.

    The landscape this route explores has been designated a Special Area of Conservation, due to its distinctive heather moorland and blanket bog. Keep a look-out for wren, wheatear, owls and buzzards, as well as red squirrel and …

  • Intermediate
    03:38
    8.34 mi
    2.3 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This route takes you to one of the most rugged sections of Hadrian’s Wall.

    You can really travel back in time here. Aside from the mighty Hadrian’s Wall itself, this route explores Aesica Roman Fort, the only fort built south of the wall, and the 12th-Century ruins of Thirlwall Castle.

    Within the first few moments of this hike the ancient …

  • Difficult
    07:33
    16.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,275 ft
    2,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    If you visit Northumberland for the solitude, look no further than this challenging Cheviot circuit.

    One quality of hikes in the Cheviot Hills is the abundant solitude they afford. Covering a vast landscape of rolling hills, empty moorland and grassy ridges, you can hike for long periods without encountering anybody.

    From the car park, walk out of Inglam and when …

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    58.9 mi
  • Duration
    27:22 h
  • Elevation
    7,800 ft

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Hike into England's last wilderness — Northumberland

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