If you’re planning to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, a tree is unlikely to be the first landmark you think about seeing, but now the iconic wall has a bit of competition.
The Sycamore Gap tree, which is located next to a stretch of the wall in Northumberland where it dips between two hills, has been named Tree of the Year by the Woodland Trust.
It’s one of the most photographed trees in England, as its towering silhouette looks striking against a clear sky. And it’s no stranger to fame, having featured in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
After a public vote, in which over 11,000 people participated, the sycamore won with 2,542 votes.
As well as the tree, the gap in which it’s found is interesting in its own right, having been formed thousands of years ago by meltwater, which would have carved a channel out beneath the ice sheets that covered the region at this time.
General manager at the National Trust’s Hadrian’s Wall stretch Andrew Poad spoke to Chronicle Live about the tree, commenting: “The tree has become an iconic image of Northumberland and is a wonderful stop-off point for those walking alongside the wall.”
If you plan to walk the length of the nearly 80-mile long fortification that once represented the border between Scotland and England, you’ll need to find accommodation in Northumberland along the way.
As well as the wall, there are countless associated historical sites along its length, including forts, bath houses and shrines that you can discover.