Northumberland FactsNorthumberland is one of the least populated areas in England (around 60 inhabitants to the square kilometre)- youŽll find a beautiful coastline surrounded by low plains near the North Sea and a hilly interior, particularly to the north-west of the county by the border with Scotland. Northumberland is the most northerly county in England- in fact North Northumberland is further north than parts of Scotand as the border runs north-west to south-east.
The Cheviots , in the north-west, rise up form the plain and are made up of Devonian granite and andesite lava for those of you with an interest in geology.
Whin Sill is a famous geological feature around these parts (Hadrian's Wall sits on part of this), and youŽll see plenty of carboniferous limestone either side of the Sill. Lying just off the coast, pretty close to the cottage actually, are the Farne Islands, a Dolerite outcrop, which are famous thanks to their popularity with birds.
Northumberland is above 55° latitude, and much of the county is pretty high (The Cheviot is just under 1000 metres- not quite a mountain, but almost. Climb it and you will insist that it is the mountain of mountains). Although the average annual temperature is between 7.1 to 9.3 °C, summer can be warm and because the county is on the east coast, the rainfall is relatively low for the UK, between 500 and 1000 mm per year, with the majority falling on the high ground. Northumberland averages around 1300 hours of sunshine per year.
Around 25% of Northumberland is protected land: the Northumberland National Park, an area of outstanding scenery free from development and agriculture. The park comes down from the Border and take in Hadrian's Wall. The Northumberland Coast is also a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are 5 districts in Northumberland:
Although Morpeth is officially the seat of the Northumberland County Council, Alnwick claims it is the historical centre as Alnwick Castle is the seat of the Percy family, long time Dukes of Northumberland. ThereŽs a local spat going on at the moment with the signs in Alnwick and Morpeth, both proclaiming to be the County Town of Northumberland.
Northumberland has a long and deep range of influences including Celts, Anglo Saxons, Scots and Norse. In Northumberland, youŽll find, the Clog dance and the Northumbrian Pipes, similar in build to the Scottish bagpipe but with a sweeter sound.
The feel of Northumberland has more in common with Scottish Borders than it does with South-East England. But when the English football or rugby team are playing, they are fiercely patriotic.