The North Pennines AONB is now the North Pennines National Landscape

by | Attractions, North Pennines AONB

The North Pennines, previously designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), has recently been rebranded as the North Pennines National Landscape. This change is not just a shift in terminology but a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to preserve and highlight the region’s unique natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Reasons for the Rebranding

View of moorland in North Pennines: Expansive view of the moorland in North Pennines National Landscape.

View of moorland in North Pennines: Expansive moorland in the North Pennines National Landscape.

Recognition of Unique Value

The North Pennines boasts a diverse array of landscapes, including heather moorlands, peatlands, and lush valleys, which are home to rare species of flora and fauna. This rebranding reflects a broader recognition of the area’s ecological and geological significance, emphasizing its status as a vital natural resource.

View of South Tyne Valley from Alston with watercolour: Watercolour view of South Tyne Valley from Alston in North Pennines National Landscape.

View of South Tyne Valley from Alston in watercolour.

Campaign for National Park Status

There has been a long-standing campaign to elevate the North Pennines to national park status, driven by the desire to afford the region greater protection and resources for conservation. While achieving full national park status involves a complex and lengthy process, rebranding as a National Landscape serves as a compromise that brings immediate recognition and support without the extensive regulatory changes required for a national park designation.

Enhanced Conservation Efforts

High Force Waterfall: Majestic High Force Waterfall in North Pennines National Landscape.

High Force Waterfall: The stunning High Force Waterfall, a must-see in the North Pennines.

As a National Landscape, the North Pennines benefits from increased attention to conservation and sustainable tourism. This rebranding helps attract funding and resources necessary for maintaining the region’s natural habitats and supporting local wildlife, ensuring that the landscape can be enjoyed by future generations.

Activities and Attractions

Hiking and Biking

Hiker in North Pennines: Hiker exploring the scenic trails of North Pennines National Landscape.

Hiker in North Pennines: A hiker enjoys the scenic trails of the North Pennines.

The North Pennines offers a myriad of trails suitable for both casual walkers and seasoned hikers. The renowned Pennine Way is a highlight, providing stunning views and a chance to experience the area’s diverse terrain. Cycling enthusiasts can explore various routes that offer both challenging climbs and leisurely rides through scenic landscapes.


Stargazing: Stargazing under the clear skies of North Pennines National Landscape.

Stargazing: Stargazing in the North Pennines, one of England’s darkest places.

Designated as one of England’s darkest places, the North Pennines is an exceptional location for stargazing. With minimal light pollution, the night skies reveal a dazzling array of stars, making it a prime spot for astronomers and stargazers. Regular events and festivals provide guided stargazing sessions, enhancing the experience for visitors.

Wildlife and Ecology


Red Squirrel: Rare red squirrel spotted in North Pennines National Landscape.

Red Squirrel: A rare red squirrel, an iconic species in the North Pennines National Landscape.

The North Pennines is celebrated for its rich biodiversity. As a UNESCO Global Geopark, it features significant geological formations and supports a wide range of wildlife. Birdwatchers can delight in spotting species such as the black grouse and the curlew, while nature enthusiasts can explore the diverse ecosystems, from peatlands to hay meadows. The region is also one of the few remaining strongholds of the red squirrel, an iconic and endangered species in the UK, making it a prime location for wildlife observation.

Cultural Heritage

Killhope Wheel: Historic Killhope Wheel in North Pennines National Landscape.

Killhope Wheel: The historic Killhope Wheel, a landmark in the North Pennines.

The area is steeped in history, with remnants of its industrial past, including old lead mining sites and historic villages. These sites offer a glimpse into the region’s cultural heritage and provide fascinating insights into the lives of those who once lived and worked in the North Pennines.

Salvin House: Your Ideal Base

Back view of Salvin House in Alston, perfect for an Alston stay

A charming watercolour of the rear view of Salvin House.

For visitors looking to fully immerse themselves in the North Pennines National Landscape, Salvin House Alston offers the perfect accommodation. Situated in the heart of the region, Salvin House provides luxury and comfort, along with easy access to all the major attractions. Its charming interiors, warm hospitality, and stunning views make it an ideal base for exploring the area.

North Pennines National Landscape

The rebranding of the North Pennines as a National Landscape is a testament to its extraordinary natural beauty and cultural significance. This new designation helps to elevate the region’s profile, attract resources for conservation, and support sustainable tourism. Whether you’re hiking through its breathtaking trails, stargazing under its dark skies, or exploring its rich history, the North Pennines National Landscape promises an unforgettable experience. And after a day of adventure, there’s no better place to relax and rejuvenate than Salvin House, ensuring your visit is both memorable and comfortable.

Embark on your journey to the North Pennines National Landscape, where nature and history converge in a symphony of beauty and tranquility.




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