For some, the allure of the road isn’t merely getting from one place to another but embracing the journey itself. Inspired by spectacular drives such as the Cabot Trail in Canada, the North Coast 500 in Scotland, and the Icelandic Ring Road, one North Easterner embarked on an ambitious project. He envisioned a route that didn’t just encompass the best of his home, Northumberland, but painted a comprehensive portrait of its heart and soul. Thus, the Northumberland 250 was born.
Many adventurers are familiar with the 35-mile stretch between Alnwick to Lindisfarne. A jewel of the road trip kingdom, this drive is even featured in Lonely Planet’s “Epic Drives of The World,” a compilation of the planet’s 50 most breathtaking road trips. However, while this route beautifully showcases Northumberland’s coastline, those hungry to explore the region’s dark skies, quaint villages, and hidden landscapes were left wanting.
Enter the Northumberland 250, a carefully curated 250-mile journey across Northumberland’s most enchanting terrains. From the North’s Tweedmouth, the West’s Kielder, the South’s Allenheads, and covering a generous stretch of Northumberland’s majestic coast, this route is now accessible to the public at no charge.
The Northumberland 250 (NLAND250) is more than just a drive; it’s an experience segmented into four distinct sections:
The Northumberland Coast: This isn’t just any coastal drive. It’s a journey that lets you feel the ancient whispers of Bamburgh Castle and witness the natural spectacle that is the Sycamore Gap.
Cheviot Hills: Rolling landscapes and green as far as the eyes can see. It’s nature’s own canvas.
Dark Skies: Venture into the ethereal, where the night sky reveals its mysteries.
North Pennines: Discover the rugged heart of Northumberland.
Whether you’re keen on a quick weekend escapade or a detailed three-week adventure, NLAND250 promises freedom. Explore by car, bike, or even on foot, and immerse yourself in Northumberland’s scenic roads and hidden treasures.
The mastermind behind the Northumberland 250 recognizes the essence of community. In partnership with local businesses like BOX Pizza and Defender Camping, travellers are ensured not only the best routes but also the best local culinary delights and accommodations. And it’s not just the big names; the NLAND250 is rapidly fostering ties with smaller businesses that are equally passionate about showcasing Northumberland’s charm.
Local talent is also in the spotlight. By joining forces with content creators and photographers, the NLAND250’s website and Instagram page (@nland205) serve as platforms for emerging artists and creators from the region.
While the initial hope of NLAND250 is to remind locals of the wonders in their backyard, especially in these times when overseas adventures might be limited, it’s also a siren call to global travellers. The UK has always been home to iconic drives, and the NLAND250 seeks its rightful place among them.
So, whether you’re a Northerner or from farther shores, the NLAND250 awaits. Why not plan an overnight stay at Hadrian’s Wall Campsite and embark on a journey where every mile tells a story, and every turn unveils a new wonder.