Although “The Lady of the North” has been open for a couple of years now, I’d never actually been to the sculpture. This is one of the reasons for blogging, to changing my view point and spend time exploring what we have here. I have travelled past the construction of it on a regular basis as one of my suppliers for work is on the Cramlington Industrial Estates. And you get a good view of Northumberlandia in passing as you drive past the Snowy Owl turn off. Yet it has taken a few more years before I parked up and explored.
Northumberlandia is a large land sculpture in the form of a lady lying down in a semi modest position. The engraving plaque below doesn’t really show it off that well, but highlights the paths. As you enter the area from the car park you see 2 large mounds (labelled 1 and 2) in front of you. Our girls instantly wanted to climb the paths and we spiralled to the top. To then realise that these weren’t connected to the main body. However the girls still said they were her boobs. These were viewing points and do give you an idea of where you should head to as the paths aren’t all straight forward.
We climbed back down and headed to the hand (number 12) and continued up the arm to the base of the head / neck. From here I could see the open cast mine behind so walked to the “top” of the head to see it clearer. There in the distance was the giant dumper trucks parked up in an orderly fashion. It was Sunday that we visited here, so they were shut down on site. Although this open cast coal mine looks unsightly, it is an important part in Northumberlandia’s history. From what I recall from news stories around the time, I think that planning permission for the mine was linked to the agreement to add the land sculpture.
The soil and groundworks involved in Northumberlandia’s creation also came from the earth clearance at the open cast mine. So Although it’s ugly now, it needed to happen to allow the tourist attraction to be built. And in a few years time when all the coal is extracted the landscape will be put back to a field again and we won’t even know it was there.
Back to the Sculpture. We walked back around to the chin and spotted this amusing sign. “Keep off the Face!”
We couldn’t climb the path up to her forehead at the “Path was unstable” and fenced off. I think the wall may have fallen down as you can see a split in her brow. So the kids marched on, desperate to stand on her real boobs. However I have to admit I was excited to climb them too, so it’s not just the kids that have childish humour! We climbs to the top of the left one first, then up on to the right one. I think the right one may have been slightly bigger. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m more educated than ever before. Her Left nipple is 12 miles from the Angel of the North, while her Right nipple is 41 Miles from Lindesfarne.
Down to her hip and there is a seating area. It was a little windy and this gave us some much needed shelter. We then went down to her knee, toes and then home.
I’m not sure what I expected from Northumberlandia, but what I found was more impressive than I thought. I’m glad I’ve done it and will definitely be back. There were lots of dog walkers, so we may visit when we’re dog sitting Millie this summer. As it was breezy we rushed the route to get around, but I’m sure a more leisurely stroll in our HOT HOT summer will be very pleasant.