Friday 31 July 2015

North East Staycation: Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North

Having spent most of our Staycation dragging poor Designated Dave (aka Simon) all over the North East in our little hire car I decided that our last Staycation trip would be somewhere a little closer to home.

Opening up Google maps I had a little scout around and then remembered that we were yet to visit the Lady of the North.

I'm sure you've all heard of the Angel of the North but I'll forgive you if you haven't heard of the Lady because she's actually pretty new to the North East.

The Lady of the North, or Northumberlandia to give her her official name, is a public art sculpture set in beautiful hills just outside of Cramlington in South Northumberland.  Created using 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil she is the world's largest human landform sculpture.

The best thing about the Lady is that she's completely free to visit and offers 4 miles of footpaths on and around the sculpture to stretch your legs and take in some lovely scenery.

As soon as you enter the site from the carpark you are greeted with a fantastic view of the Lady's face, which is great for getting your bearings.  It can be pretty tricky to pick out her body parts as you're walking around but the face is a great reference point.

We began our visit by walking the 20 minute long parameter path.  Surrounded by wild flowers its a great place to do some wildlife watching.  We saw some beautiful butterflies, plenty of bumbling bees and even a rabbit hopping along one of the paths.

Once we'd had our warm up it was time to start climbing.  The Lady is 100 foot high and there are a variety of paths you can take and many different views you can enjoy during your visit.

It's not every day you can go for a stroll over some body parts emerging from the earth and our inner children were having a little giggle as we made our way up her boobs.   Reaching the top it was the perfect place for a "selfie" with the Lady herself!

The details of the Lady's face are fantastic and you can clearly see her eyes nose and mouth created in the grassy hills.   I was pretty jealous when a helicopter flew over our heads whilst we were visiting, I bet she looks gorgeous from the skies.

Northumberlandia has been created by the Banks Group who, whilst working on coal excavation at the next door Shotton Coal Mine, decided to create something lovely to be enjoyed by the community on land donated by the Blagdon Estate.  

The idea is that the Lady will be left to develop naturally over time, her paths are surrounded by long grass and wild flowers meaning that as time goes on her landscape will change. The Lady we see today could be pretty different to the Lady enjoyed by the next generation. 

All that climbing was obviously a little tiring so we decided to head out to the Milkhope Centre for a spot of retail therapy.  The Milkhope Centre has great shops for pottering - we particularly enjoyed the North East inspired art gallery and the farm shop packed full off delicious local produce.

It wasn't too long before our bellies were crying for cake so we found our way to Blacksmiths, a charming little tea room with homemade cakes. 

It was a tough food decision, especially when a tray of cheese scones appeared hot and fresh from the oven but in the end it was the banana crunch cake that caught my eye - what a beauty!

I really hope none of you have been counting how many cakes and sweet treats Simon and I have consumed this week ... we'll just put it down to holiday indulgence!

Our week long Staycation was over too fast.   We had the most fantastic time exploring more of our beautiful region and I hope you've enjoyed sharing our adventures with us.

If you've enjoyed this post please consider voting for New Girl in Toon in the "Best Travel Blog" Category of the North East Blogger Awards - you can find all the details here



  1. I think it's indulgence week for everyone this week...! I've never seen The Lady of The North but I'd like to, in fact, I've never been to Northumberland (or many places up north despite going to Uni there). Time to start!

    Imogen // imogenscribbles

  2. I used to work at the little cafe that was once inside the wooden hut at the entrance of Northumberlandia, I loved chatting to the visitors who would travel from all over to see her. My mam's partner actually helped build one of her boobies haha. Love your photos x

    What Rachael Wrote

  3. Holidays are the time to indulge. So many foodie opportunities, it's hard to turn any down! Northumberlandia is a good site to visit, been a few times but been poor weather each time. Will have to visit on a good day!

  4. Ps - the Snowy Owl pub next to Northumberlandia is also nice as well :-)

  5. Absolutely going to visit here sometime this summer, 4 miles of walking sounds great! Love the idea too.

    Rhi xo

  6. I really love that the hill has been turned into art, looks good from ground level can only imagine that after all the hard walking the view is even better. A foodie can never have too much cake. Glad that you have had a lovely staycation Lucy x

  7. Cake calories don't count if you are on holiday, everyone knows that! :)

  8. I've just read all your stacation posts in one go, it sounds like you guys had a fabulous week, and I really enjoyed the little trip round the North East, thanks Chloe!
    I hope next time you get your hands on a car you take another trip to the Northumberland coast as your Bamburgh trip was my favourite post of the series, it brought back so many happy memories! I can recomend Walkworth, Holy Island and Craster! x


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