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Much of the countryside of the north-east could to considered ‘off the beaten track’ when compared to more heavily populated and visited areas further south. Wide expanses of open country stretch on for miles, with even small villages few and far between.

However, while Northumberland National Park attracts those looking for solitude, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is often overlooked. The area combines scenic river valleys, wild moors, and pretty, inviting villages. It is a great place for some undisturbed hiking or cycling, or just some scenic driving on the quiet country roads.