Northumberland voted UK’s best National Park with special praise for the Cheviots and Hadrian's Wall
Northumberland National Park has been voted as the best National Park in the UK by readers of the consumer organisation Which?
It is the first time that the park has been awarded the accolade, with over 8,000 Which? readers rating all 15 of the UK’s National Parks
Readers were asked to rate their experiences on a range of factors including scenery, well maintained walks, wildlife, and visitor facilities.
Northumberland was ranked as the best National Park in England and overall, coming above other National Parks including Pembrokeshire and the Lake District with an overall score of 90%.
It received a five-star rating for the level of peace and quiet visitors experienced, with the magazine also highlighting the Cheviot Hills, dark skies, woodland trails, waterfalls, and Hadrian’s Wall as points of interest for the readers.
One member was quoted saying: “I love the quality of light there, and the sense of calm… you can easily get away from the crowds and find that elusive sense of isolation”.
Northumberland National Park chief executive, Tony Gates said: “We’re delighted to be ranked as the top National Park in the UK by Which? as voted for by our visitors.
“Everyone at the park works tirelessly to make sure that each individual’s experience is one that they’ll remember, and we will continue to work hard to ensure the National Park is one that can be enjoyed by a wider range of visitors for many years to come.”
The recognition coincides with the launch of Northumberland National Park’s new visitor campaign.
The ‘Now & Forever’ campaign looks to capture experiences and memories created in the park which can last a lifetime, whilst emphasising the importance of responsible behaviour, including taking litter home and being considerate of wildlife, and ensuring the park remains a place for people and nature to recover together.
Despite restrictions in place over the past 12 months, the park saw a record number of visitors in 2020, reflecting a growing demand for access to nature and green spaces for health and wellbeing benefits.
Research undertaken by National Park rangers and volunteers has shown people who had not previously experienced the National Park travelled from urban areas to more remote locations in great numbers to enjoy its unique qualities.