Northumberland is a magical place of rolling hills and rugged coastline, colourful moorland and panoramic vistas. It is filled with ancient castles hiding centuries of secrets and beautiful gardens ready to delight the senses in every season. Our friendly market towns and seaside villages are bursting with foodie delights, and we have a cultural heritage all of our own…
What’s that? We have to say that? Hmm… Well, we can see how you’d come to that conclusion, so don’t just take our word for it. Ann Cleeves, author of the brilliant Vera Stanhope crime series, chatted to English Heritage earlier this year about why she loves Northumberland. Frankly, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves! (more…)
Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa is well and truly part of the beauty of Northumberland. Set in 500 acres of parkland, it is a luxurious idyll for anyone exploring the Tyne Valley and Hadrian’s Wall. But our nature is not just what surrounds us, it is how we look after it and who we are, so we thought you might be interested to hear a little bit about what goes on at Matfen Hall behind the scenes…
Curator Peter Sharpe talks to us about the Kielder Art & Architecture trail and how the landscape of Kielder Border Forest influences him, the artists and the sculptures.
Kielder Water & Forest Park
Working for Kielder Art & Architecture has provided me with the opportunity to learn about and experience the fascinating environment of Kielder Water & Forest Park. The sheer scale of the forest and lake allow for a huge range of creative responses that are able to co-exist without competing and offer alternative insights into this landscape’s history, occupation, weather, seasonal conditions, flora and fauna.
Kielder Water & Forest Park
“Went to see Hadrian’s Wall. Saw it. Came back.”
I was hoping for to be able to conjure up a slightly more evocative review of Hadrian’s Wall than that from the famed teenage diarist following my visit to one of the region’s most-loved landmarks.
Walking the Wall in Northumberland National Park
I was visiting a small stretch of the world famous Hadrian’s Wall on a guided walk organised by Northumberland National Park volunteers. This was my first experience with guided walks and one I was very much looking forward to. Although I like walking outdoors I’m far too reliant on modern technology. The draw of Google and their ubiquitous maps mean as soon as I enter a mobile phone black spot, I’m lost.
What I needed was a walking experience with a knowledgeable guide who could explain the surroundings to me; one that did not really on 3 to 4 bars of 4G signal. (more…)
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens: What goes on behind the scenes?
Anyone who is a keen gardener will know the hard work involved keeping your own personal green haven in check. So imagine what goes into managing those at Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens: a 40 acre garden which is hundreds of years old, Grade-One Listed and full of extremely rare and exotic plants, mosses, ferns, shrubs, bulbs, flowers, trees and more.
Aerial view of Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens
Head gardener Jo Harrigan leads the six-strong gardening team, supported by dedicated volunteers. Unsurprisingly, it’s a full-time, year-round job that requires a great amount of skill, knowledge and most importantly a passion and love for all things horticultural.