The Secret Kingdom...
England's least explored National Park - Over 40 miles of Heritage Coastline - 16 castles, priories and great houses to visit - Fine foods - friendly people.
From the mists of the Dark Ages, tales have come down to us of the great warrior kings, Edwin and Oswald, who ruled Northumbria from their royal palace on the craggy outcrop of Bamburgh. The tales also tell of Aidan, the 7th century monk from Iona who built the first monastery on Lindisfarne - the Holy Island - and of Cuthbert, Northumbria's best loved saint. A golden age when this kingdom shone out as a beacon of light and learning.
To the west, the Simonside Hills and the Cheviots form a spectacular backdrop to remote hamlets and the attractive towns of Rothbury and Wooler. From these uplands flow the clear waters of rivers like the Coquet and the Till - the haunts of trout and otter.The eastern flank is bounded by the beaches, dunes and dramatic cliffscapes of the Heritage Coast. The river estuaries and rocky offshore islands provide sanctuary for a wealth of wildlife.
In 1296, Berwick-upon-Tweed fell to King Edward 1, 'Hammer of the Scots'. The capture of Berwick signalled three centuries of warfare between the English and the Scots, that left this northernmost corner of England scattered with castles and fortified houses.This is a place of outstanding natural beauty and refreshing tranquillity - a land apart from the rush and bustle of everyday life.
For those who have discovered it, North Northumberland is The Secret Kingdom.
The battlemented towers of The Secret Kingdom no longer echo to the clash of arms. But the presence can still be felt of the sentinels who once scanned the surrounding countryside for signs of marauding armies or raiding bands. The treasures of a turbulent past wait to be discovered.
Hills crowned with ancient earthen ramparts, rocks bearing mysterious symbols carved in the dawn of history, the western uplands offer breathing space - an opportunity to walk or ride alone - a peaceful escape from the busy world beyond.
Fast flowing hill streams become sedate rivers that wend their way through wooded valleys and fertile farmlands to the coast. Along their courses, the heron and the fishermen share the harvest. Along their banks, each inviting settlement has its story to tell and its warm friendly people to meet.Its unspoilt beaches and rugged cliffs lapped or pounded by the changing moods of the North Sea, the Heritage Coast affords ever-changing skyscapes, sweeping sandy bays and tiny fishing harbours - a paradise for bird-life and bird-watchers.
From golden coastline to rugged moorland - it's time for you to explore:-North Northumberland - The Secret Kingdom
(With special thanks to Derek Sharman of "Time to Explore!"Regular guided walking tours of the Town and Elizabethan Walls. The most entertaining and informative way to spend an hour in Berwick!Tel/Fax:+44 (0)1289 330218)