The Tyne once associated with industry is now one of England’s most beautiful and cleanest rivers. A few miles upstream from Ovingham at Hexham, the North and South Tynes come together to form a river now famous for its salmon, otters and goosanders. Red Kites and buzzards can be seen overhead and further afield the red squirrel, wild Cheviot goats and Chillingham cattle. There are plentiful walking and cycling routes along the river which at Heddon on the Wall comes close to the Hadrian’s Wall pathway.

View along the River Tyne

Northumberland has been described as an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise. The Sill is a new landscape discovery centre situated in an innovative ecological building about a 30 minute drive from Ovingham. It features exhibitions, learning and event spaces, a local food café, a brand new Youth Hostel, and a shop specialising in local crafts and produce, and is itself situated in the most spectacular of landscapes. Northumberland National Park’s web site offers advice on walking and cycling routes across the county and information about hill climbing in the Cheviots. It makes a useful introduction for the whole family wanting to enjoying the outdoor life of Northumberland. From sites of special scientific and historical interest, to the geology, geography and wildlife of the landscape, the website is a must and can be found at

Northumberland National Park: Things to DoNorthumberland National Park Things to do pages

Ovingham is well placed to access the coast and the long, unspoilt sandy beaches of Alnmouth and beyond. Seahouses, a little further up the coast, is the place to take a boat trip around the seabird and nature reserve of the Farne Islands. The fishing port of Amble, tidal island of Lindisfarne and the coast to Berwick on the Scottish border all make for a delightful visit. Inland, visits to Keilder Forest and its extensive reservoir and the Cheviot Hills can also take in the market towns of Rothbury, Morpeth, and Otterburn.