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If the coverage of the recent National Park week has inspired you to take a trip out into the countryside to find out what makes these places just so special, you may be wondering where to start. Below are a few suggestions of what to see in our Northern National Parks.

Northumberland National Park

Most famous as the home of Hadrian’s Wall, and rightly so. The landscape that the wall crosses is still as wild as it was during the Roman Empire. Perhaps the best place to appreciate the drama of the landscape is at the Roman Army Museum, Carvoran. Here you can see the wall in it’s modern context with an excellent film showing you how it would have looked from a Roman soldier’s point of view. With a healthy dose of history fresh in your mind head to Wall Town Crags. Views don’t get more dramatic than this and you can’t help but empathise with the roman soldiers sent out to the edge of the world to defend the empire from the Barbarian hordes.

Whilst most people concentrate their visit on the wall it is well worth making a detour to Vindolande. This is the only ongoing archaeological dig in the area that is constantly revealing fascinating new information on Roman life at the border. The discovery in recent weeks of a large stone alter has brought Roman religion to the fore and further finds are hotly anticipated. So if you are planning a Northumberland Short Break or are thinking of renting a Northumberland Coastal Cottage, why not pay the county’s national park a visit.

Lake District National Park

Most people are drawn to the Lake District for the hiking and often the Lakes are relegated to just another pretty view. But perhaps it is time to re-engage with the H2O that has shaped this landscape over the millennia. For some, there is nothing like getting up close and personal and Outdoor Swimming is enjoying a renaissance.

Why not take advantage of the opportunities that the Lake District has for the hardy swimmer and enjoy a bracing dip. Rydal Lake offers a good introduction to the novice. A shallow lake it is relatively warm for the UK, offering a gentle introduction to the sport. For the more adventurous head to Blackmoss Pot. This river pool is considered one of the best by a leading expert, and is a must for any swimming enthusiast.

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