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Northumberland - Kielder to Morpeth
Sailing at Kielder Water © Visit Kielder
Dark forests, lonely fells, rough farmland and Cheviot moors dominate the landscape, enticing ramblers and cyclists who savour solitude.
Five hundred years of cross-border warfare and clan fighting made this stretch of upland countryside a very dangerous place to live. Those lawless years ended after James I came to the English throne in 1603, but parts of Redesdale (from Kielder to Otterburn and as far north as Carter Bar on the Scottish border) still have a wild edge. Dark forests, lonely fells, rough farmland and Cheviot moors dominate the landscape, enticing ramblers and cyclists who savour solitude.
Kielder, England’s largest forest, is a vast uninhabited expanse of conifer trees and moorland that merges with the Cheviot Hills on the western edge of Northumberland. Its remote location, hilly terrain and large reservoir make the area popular with mountain bikers, watersport enthusiasts, walkers and wildlife watchers.
Travelling east out of Redesdale, the hills collapse into the lowland farmland around Ponteland and Morpeth and you’ll find yourself dipping in and out of well-to-do villages, tootling along green lanes and glimpsing country houses between the trees and hedgerows. Northumberland’s gentle corner is well known to Tynesiders, but less so to visitors. Here you’ll find two of the region’s finest manor houses (Wallington and Belsay) and a number of picturesque villages and gardens. Cyclists will enjoy the country lanes connecting all these places.