The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed near Bardon Mill opened its doors in July last year following an extensive £14.8m construction project, and has now been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The area’s newest major visitor attraction is in the running for one of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) awards for planning excellence – an award which celebrates exceptional examples of planning.

Tony Gates, chief executive of the Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted among the outstanding projects in the heritage and culture category.”

Just a short distance from Layside, The Sill is a “must visit” attraction. Whether it be to view the permanent interactive exhibition which brings our landscape to life, or simply just to enjoy the spectacular views and wildflowers from the grassland roof, it is the perfect place to begin your Northumberland adventure!

The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre on Hadrian’s Wall, at Once Brewed near Bardon Mill.

 

 

Voted England’s Tree of the Year in December 2016, the Sycamore Gap tree is now believed to be one of the most photographed trees in the country. At Layside, we are lucky enough to be able to see this tree from the door and watch how the scenery around it changes with the seasons. Hobby photographer Paul Stainthorpe has recorded this incredible landscape and the Sycamore Gap tree as the seasons have changed in a year long project, and has managed to capture all the changing moods of this stunning landmark.

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/most-photographed-tree-uk-sure-14297920

Northumberland has been voted the best UK destination to land a top travel award. The county beat the likes of Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands, Yorkshire and the Lake District to take the gong in the Reader Travel Awards 2018, organised by Wanderlust travel magazine.

The magazine says that its awards scheme is ‘always highly anticipated, as we have the best-travelled readers around and as the results are based on a satisfaction rating rather than on sheer numbers’.

In the top UK destination category, Northumberland won with a score of 95 per cent, followed by the Scottish Highlands (94.67%) and Dartmoor (94.4%). The rest of the top 10 was: Pembrokeshire 94.29%; Lake District 93.98%; Edinburgh 93.77%; Yorkshire 92.78%; Cornwall 91.02%; New Forest 90.32%; Peak District 90%.

The awards citation reads: ‘With one national park, two areas of outstanding national beauty and one triangular chunk of impressive landscapes, it’s hardly a surprise you think Northumberland is the best bit of Britain. ‘Combining dune-fringed beaches, high moorland, sweeping valleys and spectacular history, it’s no wonder this Scotland-nudging land is touted as one of the UK’s last great wildernesses – and your favourite.

‘It has everything – 2,000-year-old history along Hadrian’s Wall, walking routes webbing its rugged interior, and dark sky status – meaning you’ll enjoy looking at another otherworldly canvas after dark.’ The results of the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards are based on travel experiences between December 2016 and November 2017. For each main category, readers – more than 2,000 of them responded – were asked to list up to four entries and score each one based on their own merits, of which an average was calculated and converted into a percentage.

 

Coco Charity team up with North East Guides for a Walk the Wall challenge taking place on Sunday 29th April. To take part in any of the three challenges, visit http://www.coco.org.uk or contact jess@coco.org.uk.

There are three challenges available, differing in length so you can pick a distance to suit you, and all start and finish points are easily accessible from Layside should you wish to relax with us before or after the event!

Challenge 1: Walltown Quarry to Chollerford – the full 17.5 miles.

Challenge 2: Walltown Quarry to Housesteads roman Fort – approx 8.5-9 miles.

Challenge 3: steel Rigg to Housesteads Roman Fort – 4 miles.

Hadrian’s Wall is set to receive a cash boost of £10,000 to reflect its economic, cultural and social importance. Northumberland County Council co-ordinates the management of the UNESCO World Heritage Site on behalf of six other local authorities along the length of the Wall, and is keen to increase its annual contribution to help maximise the potential of Hadrian’s Wall.

An online poll is now open to vote Northumberland National Park the UK’s “National Park of the Year” in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018. A winner back in 2016, Northumberland National Park has once again been nominated for the award by a panel of expert judges including TV presenter John Craven.

Voting runs until March 5th.

Visit the following link to have your say!

http://www.countryfile.com/bbc-countryfile-magazine-awards-2018

Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China have been linked in a partnership designed to exchange expertise and boost tourism to both monuments.

Both walls were added to the World Heritage List in the same year – 1987, and now a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Historic England and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage.

For more on this article follow the link below to The Chronicle:

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/new-partnership-sees-hadrians-wall-14100026

  

A very Happy New Year from Layside – we look forward to welcoming you to this beautiful part of Northumberland in 2018.

We also welcome your four-legged friends, and with so many great walks from the doorstep they too can make the most of the stunning countryside, whatever the weather. Our 12 year old black lab proves that he is never too old to have fun in the snow!

    

    

Vindolanda is located only a short walk from Layside, and was the home of 9 Roman forts over 400 years of occupation. If you have missed any of the “Digging for Britain” series, catch episode 6 on IPlayer, which reveals swords and domestic items found this year at the site. Live archaeology takes place annually at Vindolanda between April and September, where you can witness discoveries being made, making this the most exciting archaeological site on Hadrian’s Wall.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09hgdx0/digging-for-britain-series-6-3-north

Building work at Layside is now complete with just a few finishing touches required before we welcome guests from January 2018.

We would like to thank the terrific team at KMC Joinery for transforming our dreams into reality and creating the  stunning accommodation at Layside. Each room enjoys fantastic views to the south over the Tyne Valley, and we can’t wait for our guests to enjoy the peace and tranquillity that Layside has to offer.