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For something different enjoy Our lady of the North – Northumberlandia

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For something different enjoy Our lady of the North – Northumberlandia

Just off the A1 at Blagdon, 28 miles south of Alnwick, lies a unique visitor experience built out of 1.5 million tonnes of soil, clay and rock. It is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long. This is not just a walk along a path but is actually a sculpture of a woman reclining set into a 16 acre community park. From the side you can clearly see the profile of a woman lying on her back and it truly is a piece of art.

Our lady of the North was designed by architect and artist Charles Jencks and was inspired by the Cheviot Hills which are not too far away. The sculpture was started in 2010 and was built by Banks group as part of the restoration of the adjacent Shotton Surface Coal Mine. Northumberlandia opened in 2012 and received the Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Award in 2020.

The form of the woman is made up with many paths leading to the peak which has a range of slopes with different gradients so walking can be taken at an easy pace or if desired, more of a challenge over 4 miles of tracks. There is a map available with the different routes marked out so you can plan which way you decide to go before setting off.

The paths are set amongst green verges which are not overly managed and have instead been left for nature to decide what’s best.

From the top you will receive some lovely views over the open countryside but also over the top of the Shotton Surface Coal mine.

On cooler days it can be windy and there is very little shelter from the elements so taking weather appropriate footwear and rainwear is advised.

Throughout the year Northumberlandia offers a wide range of activities and events including wildlife discovery days, craft markets and sometimes an outdoor theatre puts on productions there.

There is a small café offering the usual tea, coffee and light bites to eat. For a more substantial offering head neat door to The Snowy Owl for lunch or dinner.

As you would expect the paths are family friendly and are ready for small feet, pushchairs , prams and wheelchairs.

Northumberlandia is open Monday to Sunday from sunrise to sunset. There is no charge to go in, however a suggested donation of £2.00 for car parking to help towards upkeep is welcomed.

More details of this unique attraction can be found at

www.northumberlandia.com

www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/north-west/thesnowyowlcramlington

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