The park is located near Allendale, in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Within an hour's drive of much of the North East of England, a similar distance from the Lake District and 10 miles from Hexham, you can get away from the bustle of daily life and find some real peace and quiet. Here, two cars can be considered a traffic jam; the noise of birdsong drowns out distant traffic; the views are amazing and the starry dark skies skies, with low levels of light pollution, are a sight to behold.
Allendale is about a mile from the park by road or by an attractive walk along the river. There is an excellent, independent Co-Op, 3 pubs, an Forge Gallery Cafe, Gift Shop and Tea Rooms. Annual events include the spectacular Tar Bar'ls New Year bonfire, the May Fair, Flower Show, Agricultural Show, Folk Festival and the Allendale Challenge fell race. Nearer to the park is the small hamlet of Catton, with picturesque houses around the village green and the Catton Fair in June is always a friendly event.