Discover a piece of Bronze Age England
ive out your Time Team fantasy, with a trip to Northumberland National Park. From the Scottish borders to Hadrian’s Wall, this vast area of ancient heath and rolling farmland is home to some of the oldest rock art in the country.
And the good news is you don’t have to spend your day scrabbling round in the dirt to find it.
One of the best places to start is Lordenshaw’s hill fort, in the Parish of Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst, where you’ll find leftovers from Britain’s Bronze Age past. The seemingly innocuous grassy humps are actually the remains of the fort itself – but this is only scratching the surface (quite literally) of the historical relics here.
Those mysterious patterns and swirls you see etched into the rocks are not random patterns left by Mother Nature; they’re examples of rock art created by Neolithic people, around 6,000 years ago. Finding it all is easy: simply stroll 400 metres from the car park and bear left to find your first rocks with their tell-tale ‘cup and ring’ motifs.
From here you could carry on up into the Simonside crags, where a cracking view of the surrounding countryside awaits. Tony Robinson eat your heart out.