Stunning scenery and ancient history await you on this Northumberland road trip from Herding Hill Farm Camping and Glamping Site along Hadrian’s Wall to Hexham and then on to Alnwick with plenty of opportunity for walking and panoramic views of the Cheviots. We guarantee this campervan route in Northumberland will be a road trip to remember!
Work your way along the old Military Rd to Hexham, stopping to admire the wall and various places of interest including Housesteads and Vindolanda Roman forts and The Sill, the National Landscape Discovery Centre. Look out for the famous sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap, featured on our own logo on the left about a mile after you pass The Sill. Plenty of walking along the wall.
Stop at Chesters Roman Fort on the banks of the River Tyne near Chollerford. It is the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain, with unusually well-preserved baths and steam room, and the officers' quarters.
Hexham is dominated by the Abbey and is a good-sized market town, with three supermarkets, good for stocking up on provisions before your road trip starts. Stunning scenery awaits you as you drive from Hexham to Bellingham.
The largest artificial lake in the UK by capacity Kielder Water was opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1982 and is surrounded by the largest working forest in England. The 27-mile Lakeside Way is suitable for walkers and cyclists alike. There are three visitor centres, Tower Knowe, Kielder Waterside or Kielder Castle. Over the past 25 years, the landscape around Kielder Water & Forest Park has become home to a unique collection of visual art and architecture and many people visit the park for this open-air art experience. Water sports and mountain biking are just a few of the activities available.
If you are lucky enough to stay close by overnight in Autumn or Winter, a visit to the Kielder Observatory is a must for Kielder is at the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Tours get booked up so make sure you plan your trip well in advance. Kielder Campsite is a great spot to visit.
Kielder Forest Drive is a spectacular 12-mile (19 km) drive on unsealed forest road, from Kielder Castle in the west to Blakehope Burn Haugh on the A68 in the east. The Forest Drive is one of England's highest roads, cresting over 1,500 feet (450 metres) at Blakehope Nick. The Forest Drive is a toll road, with a £3 fee payable at the toll machine Kielder Castle.
The Forest Drive is through remote countryside without mobile phone coverage and is not suitable for vehicles with very low ground clearance. A 20mph speed limit is in force.
Otterburn has a bloody history and was the site of many Reiver battles including the famous Battle of Otterburn in 1388 when the English army were defeated by the Scots in 1388. The Percy stone cross marks the spot where the battle took place. Otterburn is a great base to explore the beautiful Redesdale valley. One of its chief attractions is Otterburn Mill which contains a museum outlining the history of weaving and wool milling in the area.
Try the Otterburn Village Trail which is about 3 miles long and park up at the Border Forest Holiday Park.
On the way you will pass through the villages of Thropton, Hepple and Elsdon, with its pele tower. On the approach into Rothbury you can’t help but notice the massive range of hills on your right-hand side, this is the Simonside Hills. These spectacular hills teem with wildlife including curlew, red grouse and wild goats.
Rothbury is probably most famous for Cragside House and Gardens, operated by the National Trust, home to Lord Armstrong, and the first home in the world to be lit by hydroelectric power. The rhododendron gardens are stunning in Spring and early Summer.
14 miles from Otterburn, Rothbury, the capital of Coquetdale, is built on a sandstone hillside and offers plenty of shops, art galleries, tea rooms, cafes and pubs. Located on the River Coquet, there is a beautiful riverside walk and it makes a very convenient base for fishing.
Stay at the Clennell Hall Riverside campsite!
12 miles from Rothbury, the medieval market town of Alnwick has all the amenities you would expect, as well as the fabulous Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden, both worth a visit in their own right whether you love Harry Potter or not! Alnwick Castle is the second largest lived-in castle in the UK after Windsor.
From Alnwick it’s an easy drive to the beautiful Northumberland coastline, or it’s an easy drive back to Herding Hill Camping and Glamping site along the A1.
If you fancy extending your road trip, check out the Northumberland Coast Road Trip and the Cheviots Northumberland Road Trip on our blog! We hope you have an amazing time on your campervan road trip.
Please remember that wild camping is not allowed in England.
Visit Northumberland website for more information and ideas!
Book your VW campervan hire here.