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After my week of archaeological teamwork, I’m craving more solitude, so I head inland to the lee of the Cheviot Hills, a range straddling the England-Scotland border, in Ad Gefrin.

Looming over Ad Gefrin, the conical hill of Yeavering Bell is a reminder of the great powers of the past. During the Iron Age, a fort was built on top of this hill by what would have been one of the greatest chieftains in the land.

Its tumbledown stone ramparts still crown the summit, but now even the chieftain’s name is lost and his people long gone.

As I stand on the summit, I rub my aching legs and think that our ancestors must have had thighs like bloody tree trunks. I also realise I haven’t seen another human being all day. But that’s Northumberland: England’s last wilderness.

Getting there

Take the train from London King’s Cross to Chathill from £107 return.  nationalrail.co.uk

Join the BRP from £171 per week bamburghresearchproject.co.uk  Northumbria: The Lost Kingdom, coauthored by Edoardo Albert, is out now thehistorypress.co.uk

Eat, drink, sleep

Eat: Visit the best fish and chip shop in the region. Neptune Restaurant does a mean cod and chips, with a pot of tea and bread and butter for just £7.95. Can’t argue with that.

The Copper Kettle Tearooms in Bamburgh cooks its home-prepared food, such as seafood platters and ploughman’s lunches, fresh each day. Mains from £4.95.

Drink: A good pint can be had at the Castle Inn in Bamburgh, where the scenic  backdrop is hard to beat. Pints from £3.  `

Local pubs can be insular, but the Victoria Hotel is friendly and has free wifi. Pints from £3.40.

Up the coast from Bamburgh, Pot-A-Doodle Do Wigwam Village provides accommodation in wooden wigwams or yurts. From £15pppn.

The living quarters at St Cuthbert’s House, a renovated 200-year-old chapel, are considerably more luxurious. Their locally sourced breakfasts are wonderful. From £90pn for a double room.

Photos: Frances Whitehead, British Tourist Authority, TNT Images, Gail Johnson/Visit Northumberland.com


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Wild Northumberland: Dig up human bones and old treasure on this unique outdoors holiday
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