June 14, 2017
About The Northumberland National Park
Without a doubt, Northumberland is one of the most beautiful counties in Britain. It really has everything; quaint villages, idyllic coastlines, mystical islands, dreamy beaches and stunning countryside, all of which attract thousands of visitors every year.
If you enjoy the great outdoors, Northumberland National Park should be at the top of your list of places to visit because it offers so much to those who enjoy outdoor exploration and activities. Not only does it offer a wealth of activities, such as rock climbing, water sports or geocaching, but its trails and walks take you all around the park, giving you an insight into its wildlife and breathtaking views. Accommodation is not scarce in these parts with gracedarlingholidays.com owning several self-catering cottages within a stone’s throw of the park itself.
Things to do in Northumberland National Park
Hethpool Wild Goat Walk
If you want a nice, moderate walk that involves searching for wild goats then the Hethpool Wild Goat Walk is for you. This 2 mile walk should take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete and it begins at Hethpool car park. Not only do you get to see the long-haired goats on this walk, but you also get to see College Burn which is an area that harbours several waterfalls including Hethpool Linn, possibly the hardest part of the route. From the waterfalls you will come back along St Cuthburt’s Way where you can cut across to Easter Tor and have more chance of seeing the wild goats. It is a trying but fun walk for all the family.
Black Grouse Cycle Route
This route is quite moderate considering some of the other trails in the park. The Black Grouse Cycle Route allows mountain bikes or hybrids on the trail and starts and ends at Bellingham Square, covering an impressive 18 miles. On this route you can spot the Black Grouse itself, even though their numbers have rapidly declined due to loss of habitat, you can still see some males (black) and females (grey) wandering along the moors.
Thirlwall Castle Walk
Northumberland was not an easy place to live for 300 years, between the 14th and 17th century when war was rife. In 1330, John Thirlwall strengthened what came to be known as Thirlwall castle against war and invasion and it continued to be owned by the Thirwall’s through the 16th century. One of the most famous inhabitants was Sir Percival Thriwall of Thirwall Castle who died on Bosworth field fighting with King Richard III. It is said that he came to a horrible end when his legs were cut off but, due to loyalty to the cause, he continued to fly the standard of the House of York.
Unfortunately, after Eleanor Thirwall married into the Swinburne family, the castle was sold in 1748 and quickly fell into disrepair. Its walls began to fall after being neglected for so long but it was saved by the Northumberland National Park Authority in the late 20th century. Today you can take an easy walk of around 2 hours around the ruins of Thirlwall Castle and soak up its history.