Northumberland National Park
Northumberland may be England’s remotest National Park but its diverse and beautiful landscape and rich heritage draws thousands of visitors every year to explore the many paths and trails that meander through its ancient woodland, hay meadows and moorlands.
Scotland and England meet on the north-western border of this park. North east are the Cheviot Hills. The Upper Coquet Valley and Simonside Hills lie to the east and to the west the Redesdale Valley and Kielder Forest park.
The park is rich in wildlife. You can see red squirrels, a rare black grouse and the curlew - a moorland bird with an unforgettable cry that is the emblem of Northumberland National Park.
A part of Hadrian’s Wall – a legacy of the Roman Empire – is to the south. It’s at this southern point, just outside the National Park, where you’ll also find Haltwhistle, one of two Club campsites perfectly located for visiting Northumberland National Park. Bellingham Club Site lies 29 miles to the north.
Things to do from the campsite
Enjoy a stroll to nearby Bellingham with its interesting shops stocking good local produce. There are several pubs too serving bar meals and next to the Heritage Centre set in a converted railway carriage you'll find the Carriages Tea Rooms (open daily until the autumn half term). From Easter to September the award-winning Heritage Centre at the old railway station offers a fascinating look at the different ages of the valley’s history, from Reivers to Railways. Starting at the edge of the village, just a 20 minute walkf from Bellingham campsite, is a magical walk to Hareshaw Linn. The route passes through the ancient woodland of a deep gorge and over six bridges to the fairytale waterfall. A free guide is available.
Cyclists can choose from six do-in-a-day circular cycle routes around Bellingham. The routes range from 12-23 miles and take in some stunning scenic views of Northumberland National Park. Take a look at their website. Walking opportunities are abound with the Pennine Way passing through Bellingham. There’s an excellent 18 hole golf course here too. Head to Greenhaugh, situated 8km north west of Bellingham in the upper reaches of North Tynedale. Choose from seven scenic walks around the village ranging from 2-8 miles long. Routes may be purchased at National Park visitor centres. There’s more walking including forest walks and a sculpture trails in Kielder Forest Park north of Bellingham Club campsite and a 27-mile track suitable for walkers and cyclists that follows the shoreline of Kielder Water. This man-made reservoir provides sailing, canoeing and water skiing – all activities must be booked in advance. Star gazers can view stars in England’s darkest skies at Kielder Observatory too. Fish for salmon and trout on the River North Tyne or enjoy a spot of canoeing.
Kielder Forest Parks hosts numerous events throughout the year, including deer safaris, badger watching and bat nights.
Places to visit
Kielder Forest Park (see above), Kielder Birds of Prey Centre. See also Haltwhistle Club Site.
Things to do from the campsite
Trout and salmon fishing is possible from Haltwhistle Club campsite in the river South Tyne for those with a rod licence. Half a mile from the Club Site, the South Tyne Trail – part of the National Cycle Network – is ideal for those wanting to explore the area by bike. There is lots of walking from the site too. Featherstone Castle, once a PoW camp is also within walking distance of the campsite. And look out for the birdlife on site - woodpckers and bullfinches are regular visitors.
Discover the local countryside on the Haltwhistle Rings, a series of 22 local walks. Enjoy a walk on the Hadrians Wall Path. See also Bellingham Club Site for details of Kielder Water and Forest Park activities.
Haltwhistle Walking Festival in April and October
Places to visit
Hadrian’s Wall is just five miles from Haltwhistle Club campsite, and Housesteads Roman Fort, the most complete Roman Fort in Britain. To find out what the life of a Roman solider was like, visit the Roman Army Museum at Greenhead. The story is told through recontructions, films and displays of Roman finds. There’s more about Roman life at Chesterholm Museum at Bardon Mill. One and a half miles north of here Greenlee Lough is a haven for waders and wildfowl. Watch them feed from the lough’s birdhide. Star gazers should head to Cawfields Quarry Picnic Site, a Dark Sky Discovery Site, located in the central section of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, near Haltwhistle town. See also Bellingham Club Site for details of Kielder Water and Forest Park.