The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre
Average time spent – 2-3+ hours.
Things to do The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre review
Please note: The centre itself is not a 2+ hour visit. However, Hadrian’s wall itself is just a 10-minute walk from the centre There is a circular walk and another attraction of interest to visit along the way.
The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre is a fantastic and free attraction in the Northumberland National Park. It’s located just a short walk from Hadrian’s Wall and the Whin Sill. It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours with the kids, especially if the weather is not good.
There is a free to enter permanent exhibition about the landscape. It’s packed with interactive displays where you can learn about not only Hadrian’s wall but all of the Northumberland national park. There are lots of short videos from the people who work and play in the area.
The centre is fantastic for children. They love the dressing up basket filled with costumes for various animals and the light table with its large collection of natural loose parts to examine. The highlight though is an interactive sandbox where you move sand around to change the landscape. You can even walk on the grass roof of the building. The building is shared with YHA which has private rooms for couples and families.
As well as the permanent exhibition, there is also a temporary exhibition space. Check their website to see what exhibition is currently on. There are also regular workshops and other activities to join. The staff on the information desk are really helpful and can help you plan where to visit next. The desk is covered in a large map of the area and there are leaflets of walks to pick up too.
Hadrian’s wall is just a 10-15 minute walk from the centre and there is a map of a 2-hour circular walk that you can pick up and enjoy. This circular walk also passes Housesteads Roman Fort.
This is an English heritage/national trust shared property where you could make a stop and explore a Roman Fort. The staff are very proud to have some of the best-preserved roman toilets in Britain!
As well as walking around the Fort, there is a visitors centre and small museum. Here you can watch a short video about what life was like in a Roman Fort as well as see some roman items found on-site and learn more about it. An adult ticket without donation is £8.10 and £4.90 for a child aged 5-17 years. Under 5’s are free.
Address: Haydon Bridge, B6318, Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 6NN
Eating – The Sill has a cafe with sandwiches and light bites. You are welcome to picnic outdoors.
Facilities in brief – Visitor centre for Hadrian’s wall with an exhibition packed full of interactive displays. Circular walk around Hadrian’s wall and past Housesteads Roman fort. There are toilets and a cafe.
Entry price – *FREE – Sill Discovery centre is free to visit
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *FREE – Parking is just £2 for 2 hours and then £1 an hour up to a max £5.
Opening: The Sill is open every day except Christmas day. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Information on accessibility – The Sill is fully accessible but the circular walk is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Address: Once Brewed, Hexham NE47 7AN, Northumberland, England. Phone: 01434 341200
With thanks to Claire from Ladybirds Adventures – Read her full review
Category – Exhibition and great outdoors – suitable for all ages
Map below shows only attractions in Northumberland