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Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park is one of 15 national parks throughout the UK and without doubt encompasses one of the wildest and least discovered landscapes in the country. Stretching from Hadrian’s Wall in the south to the magnificent Cheviot Hills hugging the Scottish border, the park is home to some of the most breathtaking displays of Northumberland’s legendary natural beauty.
There are four main sections; Hadrian’s Wall, Rothbury, Coquetdale and the Cheviots, with three principal visitor centres. These are located at Once Brewed near Hadrian’s Wall, Rothbury in Coquetdale and at Ingram, in the Breamish Valley in the Cheviot Hills. The rich variety of flora and fauna, from carpets of purple heather in bloom swathed across sweeping open moor land to red squirrels, mountain goats and buzzards, can be enjoyed on a ramble, cycle, horse ride or drive in the Park, rewarding the visitor with a memorable experience.
Kielder Water and Forest Park
Nestling within the boundaries of Northumberland National Park, Kielder Water and Forest Park is an area of breathtaking natural beauty and tranquillity, home to both the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe and to England’s largest area of managed forest. It is a vast playground for lovers of the outdoors both active and passive; sports enthusiasts will find all manner of outdoor pursuits, from the water-based activities available at Leaplish Waterside Park to the challenging mountain bike trails that are constantly being developed throughout the park.
The less adventurous can enjoy gentle rambles through the dense forest, a cruise on Kielder water or learn more about the area at Kielder Castle visitor centre. The visitor centre makes a worthwhile first stop to ensure maximum benefit from a trip to Kielder. Visitors will find an information centre, tearoom, forest shop and exhibitions about forestry and conservation in the park, including the Birds of Kielder experience. The centre is an also ideal starting point for a forest visit. Various guided walks, forest trails, cycle routes, a ‘Minotaur Maze’ and Britain’s longest forest drive all begin at the castle.
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