Varied, rugged and wild, walks in Northumberland provide fantastic trails with beautiful coastlines as well as high moorland and green hills. This wonderful county is filled with protected landscapes and vibrant habitats with trails winding through forests, valleys and past historic castles.
While enjoying hikes in Northumberland, you’ll see famous sites like Hadrian’s Wall as well as the Northumberland National Park and North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty. As England’s least densely populated county, roaming around this majestic land is peaceful and inspiring.
Finding trails to suit your mood is no issue. Whether you want a coastal day hike with spectacular scenery or a multi-day trek across the windswept moorland, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Northumberland.
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Over half of the county’s wild coastline is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and hikes along Northumberland’s golden beaches are some of the most breathtaking in the country. With sand dunes, grasslands and wildflower meadows, everywhere you look on the trails along this coastline will treat you to outstanding sights.
Northumberland’s coast is amazingly varied. Trails will take you past tiny, traditional fishing villages, along beaches and even across to historic Holy Island, complete with a castle. Rare flowers, thriving seabirds colonies and snoozing grey seals are all on display here.
You’ll enjoy some of the best hiking trails in Northumberland when you start exploring the national park. Large swathes of rolling moorland give this area its sense of rugged wilderness, along with being the quietest of England’s national parks.
The North Pennines AONB overflows across its southern border and for strenuous walks in Northumberland, this is the place to be. The Allen Valleys is a particularly beautiful place to hike, with the burbling River Allen. Otters and roe deer can be spotted here with a keen eye and a bit of patience. With woodland, hay meadows and high blanket bog, the North Pennines is an exceptional region to explore.
Trace history along Hadrian’s Wall, the northwest boundary of the Roman Empire and see the landscape, more or less, exactly as the Roman’s saw it. Northumberland has been a hugely important place throughout history and is rife with prehistoric settlements, castles, Roman ruins and remnants of the Industrial Revolution.
As a border county with Scotland, Northumberland has been invaded so many times throughout history that it’s littered with fortifications hundreds and even thousands of years old. The phenomenal Alnwick Castle, Holy Island’s medieval Lindisfarne Priory and Corbridge Roman Town are just a small selection of treasured historic sites to see on your treks.
Northumberland might be the most sparsely populated county in England but that only refers to people. The wildlife here is abundant and it draws many bird-watching and wildlife-loving hikers each year.
There’s a large population of red squirrels within the national park and you can spot them munching in conifer and broadleaved woods. The Cheviot Hills in the north of the park are home to herds of feral goats. Completely wild, these playful creatures are an older species than typical farm goats.
On the coast, see the summer seabird colonies fill the air and spot grey seals sleeping on rocky beaches. With a good eye, you might be able to catch dolphins and whales just offshore.
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