This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

Gorge of the River Allen with ornamental and ancient woodland

Take a walk on the wild side at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in Northumberland.

This extensive area of gorge and river scenery, including the 41-hectare (101-acre) Stawardpeel Site of Special Scientific Interest, has miles of waymarked walks through ornamental and ancient woods.

Largely created by Susan Davidson, Allen Banks has become a fantastic home for flora, fauna and fungi. It is also well known for its carpet of bluebells and ramsons, commonly known as wild garlic, which covers the woodland floor in spring and early summer.

Look out for the remains of a medieval pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summer-house - and with over 70 species of birds spotted at Allen Banks as well as a wide range of wildlife you are never alone.

NB: All of the woodland area sits within the North Pennines AONB.

The dormouse makes Allen Banks a SSSI

The dormouse makes Allen Banks a SSSI


The endangered Dormouse is sleepy and (very) cute, but very elusive... So until they decide to show themselves, rangers Chris and James are in the process of setting up dormouse boxes around Allen Banks and checking them regularly.

Did you see Chris and James' first dormouse video? If not, watch it here. Like what you see? You can watch part 2.

Have an adventure

In need of an adventure? Perhaps make it a day to remember by going underground at Nenthead Mines exploring Smallcleugh Mines in particular, learning about the history of the area as you go.

Ranger question time

Do you have any burning questions about the land and how the National Trust conserves it? Well, come along to 'Ranger Question Time' at Housesteads on selected Mondays and ask anything you'd like.

Follow us on Twitter