Now’s the time to start looking for accommodation in Northumberland – the region’s National Park has just been named as the park of the year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards for 2015/2016.
Last year, an amazing 1.69 million people came to visit the park and its surrounding areas, attracted by prospects of long walks, eating out in local restaurants, visiting historic sites and attractions, photography opportunities, car touring and cycling and mountain biking.
BBC presenter Ellie Harrison nominated the park, highlighting its moorland, meadows, ancient woodlands and peat bogs, as well as its history and “superb wildlife”, which includes black grouse, stoats and red squirrels.
Chairman of the Northumberland National Park Authority Glen Sanderson said: “The variety we have on offer in our National Park is totally unique. Whatever you’re looking for – flora, fauna, countryside activities, star-gazing, history, culture, or just somewhere to escape from it all – we have it in abundance.”
So what can you see and do in this wonderful part of the world? You must check out the Aesica Roman fort and Thirwell Castle on your visit, and you simply can’t go home again without seeing Hadrian’s Wall.
Construction on the wall actually began back in AD 122 and took six years to finish, covering a length of the country from the Solway Firth to Wallsend on the River Tyne. Sadly, it fell into disrepair when the Romans left Britain some 300 years later, with much of the wall being recycled to make houses and other buildings. Make sure you head to one of the local museums to find out more.