National Park status protects many of Northumberland's high moorland landscapes, scenery that has long been favoured by artists. The physical geography of Northumberland is diverse. It is low and flat near the North Sea coast and increasingly mountainous toward the northwest. Being in the far north of England, and having many areas of high land, Northumberland is one of the coldest areas of the country, with an annual average temperature of 7.1 – 9.3 degrees celcius, but gets relatively low rainfall, mostly falling on high ground to the west.
Northumberland has traditions not found elsewhere in England. These include the rapper sword dance, the clog dance and the Northumbrian smallpipe, a sweet chamber instrument, quite unlike the Scottish bagpipe. It has its own design of Tartan. Traditional Northumberland music sounds similar to Lowland Scottish music, reflecting the strong historical links between Northumbria and the Lowlands of Scotland. Today, Northumberland is still largely rural and sparsely populated, commanding little influence in British affairs.
In recent years Northumberland has had considerable growth in tourism due to its scenic beauty and the abundant evidence of its historical significance. One quarter of Northumberland is encompassed in the Northumberland National Park, an area that is protected from agriculture and development. Northumberland National Park includes Hadrian's Wall and stretches south from the Scottish border.