Sycamore Gap and the "Robin Hood Tree" on Hadrian's Wall
Nestled within a gap along the Great Whin Sill, Sycamore Gap is a natural amphitheater located on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, England between Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough, about 2 miles west of Housesteads Roman Fort.
This section of the 73-mile wall follows the edge of a cliff and has several sharp dips in it caused by melting glacial waters - the tree occupies one of those dips. The wall and adjacent land, including the site of the tree, is owned by the National Trust and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area not just for its fascinating history but also for its dramatic views of the surrounding countryside.
- The best time to visit is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. This is not a hike you want to make if it's strangely warm in England!
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes with a good grip as there is some walking involved to get to Sycamore Gap and some of it - as I mentioned - can be pretty steep. If you have walking sticks, all the better!
- If you have the time, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the stunning surroundings. You'll probably work up an appetite making the trek out to the tree and why rush the trip back when you can sit and enjoy this beautiful tree and the surrounding countryside a bit longer?
- If you are planning to hike or cycle to Sycamore Gap, be sure to check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing. During our walk to the tree it was both sunny and rainy at the same time!
- As Sycamore Gap is a popular tourist destination, be prepared for crowds even though it looks like you're out in the middle of nowhere.