Yesterday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to look around The Sill, the UK's brand new National Landscape Discovery Centre which is situated in Once Brewed in the heart of the Northumberland National Park and will open to the public on 29th July.
The Sill is a permanent free-to-enter landscape exhibition with interactive exhibits. Among its facilities are two learning rooms for use by educational groups, which are also available for public events and workshops. There is also a shop providing a wide variety of goods with a particular focus on local talent and creativity and The Hive, a new enterprise hub housing new and emerging rural businesses.
The building is designed to blend in with the landscape surrounding it, with a unique Whin Sill grassland roof- fully accessible to all- allowing everyone to enjoy the panoramic views in all directions from the viewing platform. It is the only roof of its kind in the world and will be used by students to learn more about carbon capture, geology and ecology.
There is an 86 seat cafe run by Fresh Element which will source produce from local suppliers and focus on seasonal and sustainable dishes, whilst providing stunning views of the countryside from the all-around windows. Also within the building is an 86 bed youth hostel split over two floors which will provide excellent accommodation for anyone wanting to explore the area.
This is a fantastic facility, with superb accommodation, friendly staff and great food- a long term project that has come to fruition and everyone in Northumberland should be very proud.
The Sill opens on Saturday 29th July with free activities and events from 9.30am-6pm.