Ever since I was a little boy there has been something about the great outdoors that has had a hold over me, as such, for as long as I can remember, our National Parks have been places of great interest and importance for me to connect with nature and indulge my love for being outside.
Some of my earliest outdoor memories of being in the outdoors are from weekends spent rambling around the Peak District, the first and original National Park having been designated in 1951. However, I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of all fifteen National Parks has, until recently been limited to the main ones many of us know and love so well.
Which is why over the coming weeks I will be taking a closer look at some of the lesser known National Parks, areas that contain the history and character of the place we call home, our rolling hills, green lands, misty lochs, ancient forests, windswept coasts and rugged mountains.
First up is Northumberland, often described as England’s ‘last great wilderness’ due to its lack of human population and vast open landscapes. This lack of habitation saw it granted Dark Sky Park status by the International Dark Sky Association in 2013, making it the largest protected Dark Sky Park in Europe, and yet surprisingly it still remains one of the least visited of all the National Parks.