Idyllic, jaw-dropping and a beautiful gem of Great Britain – this is how Robson Green describes his native Northumberland.
And the ‘Wire In The Blood’ star can certainly qualify such over-whelming praise.
Not only is it the county of his birth, but the actor has recently spent his time getting up close and personal with The Secret Kingdom.
His intimate, eye-opening portrayal is captured in an eight-part series, ‘Tales From Northumberland’. Launching on Monday, the half-hour, weekly programmes on ITV capture the beating heart of the county, as Green discovers its amazing secrets, rich history and passionate people.
“You remind yourself just how beautiful and unique this part of the world is,” said Green, 48. “Not only is the landscape breathtaking and the monuments and castles remind us of our turbulent past, but the people of this area have a definite sense of self, belonging, home and most importantly, identity.
“During the project, we asked people what Northumberland meant to them. A lot of people said the landscape, its sense of peace and the space.”
In the series, Green travels the length and breadth of the county by land, sea and air to come across things he’s never seen before.
He immerses himself in many of the unique experiences the area has to offer, from spending the night in a bothy at Haughton Green – one of the most remote spots in Britain – to stargazing at Kielder, which has the darkest skies in England. It also gives him the chance to encounter all walks of county life, from a lord and lady to a shepherdess.
On top of this, Green explores the rich and deep history of a county which has its own flag, tartan and dialect and has been occupied by Romans, invaded by Vikings, played a key role in the founding of English Christianity and has been the setting for many bloody battles between the English and the Scots. “It was a county that I thought I knew well until I did this series,” he admits. “It is the great history lesson.
“Take the Romans. I didn’t know that the Romans brought zebras and ostriches to Northumberland. They brought colour and flair to this area.
“One minute I am swimming with grey seals off the coast, and the next I am in an observatory at Kielder. It is one of the most extraordinary pieces of television and it celebrates all that is idyllic, beautiful and jaw-dropping about the area.”
The first episode sees Green return to Seahouses where he has many cherished childhood holiday memories, and gets back to nature on the Farne Islands. He also gets to hold the Farne’s most famous resident – the puffin. “It is unbelievable,” he says.
“You’ve got puffins, you’ve got guillemots, cormorants – it is just wonderful.”