Recently we visited Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North. It is a human-form sculpture in the Northumberland countryside. Made of clay, soil and rocks, and covered with grass, this is a unique country walk experience for the whole family. Well, I say the whole family – you have to be careful when visiting with young children because there are sheer drops and open water, and none of it fenced off. What was I thinking, going to Northumberlandia by myself with two active boys?!
Actually, it was totally fine, and we had a brilliant day out. Northumberlandia is free to visit, although donations are welcomed, and it’s free to park.
One of the big draws to the area is that you can see into the Shotton Surface mine from the top of Northumberlandia. This kind of makes it a particular attraction for toddlers, who tend to be big fans of big machinery! Sadly, when we were there, all the machines were lined up and asleep in their soft dirt beds (you can see them in a row at the top of the photo below). However, there are regular trains zooming past, and each one gives a toot as it passes, which of course is exciting to the average two year old!
Plan a visit to Northumberlandia and other nearby attractions using the trip planner!
As you walk around the paths you can’t always see the Lady of the North, and have to pick out the shape of the figure. For most of the time it appears just as a series of graceful sweeping curves and interlocking shapes. There are regular rest points, and sheltered areas. Some little maps feature from time to time, so you can see where isn’t nearby!
If you are thinking of visiting Northumberlandia with family, be aware that it is totally unsuitable for a pushchair. You will need a baby carrier if you have a baby or toddler who is unreliable at walking or listening to instructions.
Read about how to find your ideal baby carrier with a carrying consultant.
Some brave souls were enjoying their picnics on the tables dotted about the picnic lawns. It was so windy I felt like if you were eating anything too lightweight it might be snatched from your fingers before it reached your mouth. One for when the weather gets a bit warmer, I think.
In the forest between the sculpture and the carpark you can take a woodland walk. It is an easy stroll through the trees, past a fairy house and a bug hotel, amongst other things. Northumberlandia has a visitor centre, next to the carpark, with a cafe inside, as well as toilets. For more information about Northumberlandia, see this link, which includes a map of the sculpture, available facilities, and surrounding land.
Every Wednesday in term time, Northumberlandia hosts Wild Tots, which is a series of discovery sessions for toddlers (£5, book in advance on website).
For directions to Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North, click on the tree in the map below (this will open your Maps app on your phone, or open a little box beneath the map on a desktop).