From its vibrant music scene and many museums to its destination-worthy restaurants and legendary football stadiums, Manchester is one of the UK’s most exciting and varied cities. Two days is just enough time to experience its highlights and enjoy numerous treks around town—here’s how to plan.
Northumberland National Park
Open 24 hours a day
While hikers flock to Northumberland National Park for guided or independent walks along the trails which crisscross this beautiful natural attraction, history-lovers won't want to miss the opportunity to wander the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Venture up to the Scottish border in the north or take day-trips to typical English villages such as Harbottle, Rothbury, and Holystone, where you can stop by tea houses, country pubs, or stately homes. Animal lovers may even wish to go horseback riding or fishing.
Things to Know Before You Go
Northumberland National Park is ideal for families, outdoorsy travelers, and those who enjoy the quiet English countryside.
Northwest England is not the warmest spot, so pack layers, sturdy shoes, and a decent waterproof.
History fans will find plenty of Roman ruins and sites of interest to explore.
Accessibility may not be guaranteed everywhere, due to uneven, wet, or slippery trails and hikes.
How to Get There
Guided tours are the most hassle-free ways to visit Northumberland National Park, although the park can also be explored independently from both England and Scotland. From Good Friday through to October 1, the Hadrian’s Wall AD122 bus typically runs between Newcastle and Carlisle. You can also drive to Northumberland National Park in less than two hours from Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Carlisle.
When to Get There
Summer is peak season in Northumberland National Park, as it’s when travelers are likely to enjoy sunnier, warmer days. However, visiting in fall avoids the biggest crowds and allows you to soak up the beauty of Northumberland’s seasonal foliage. Cultural, crafty, and family-friendly events are also held regularly throughout the park—details can be found on the website.
Northumberland National Park Highlights
The Roman ruins are among the highlights of Northumberland National Park. Take a trip back in time at Hadrian’s Wall and the Housesteads Roman Fort; alternatively, hike at Sycamore Gap and soak up the dramatic scenery at The Sill or Kielder Water and Forest Park, before stargazing at the Kielder Observatory. There are also numerous priories, stately homes, and abbeys which are worth a visit.
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