Tag Archives: Military Road

Tree of the Year

Painting of Robin Hood's Tree, Hadrians Wall

Sycamore Gap, Hadrians Wall

Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland was voted Tree of the Year this week by a public vote for the nations best loved tree, organised by The Woodland Trust. 

The winning tree will now receive a grant of £1000 for some “Tree LC” and will compete against trees from all over the Continent for the title of European Tree of the Year, organised by the Environmental Partnership Association.

I recall painting a watercolour of the tree in snow as a Christmas Card for the Marie Curie Cancer fund over 10 years ago. This stretch of Hadrian’s Wall is bleak but spectacular in its barreness and stark beauty. As I’m writing this I’m feeling compelled to go for a walk along the wall and do a spot of sketching!

Sycamore Gap is also known as Robin Hood’s Tree for its appearance in the film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.

I’ve since painted the famous tree of the year again in winter sunlight. My viewpoint is taken from the Military Road which shows the tree of the year nestling in the famous gap in the wall. Sunlight is catching the clouds behind and creating an overall feeling of warmth to the painting.

The painting forms part of my Christmas Exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland which finishes on the 24th December 2016.


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Robin Hood’s Tree, Hadrian’s Wall

Painting of Robin Hood's Tree, Hadrians Wall

Robin Hood’s Tree, Hadrians Wall

Part of the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner was filmed on a stretch of Hadrian’s Wall which has a Sycamore tree growing in the dip, so as a result, it is often referred to as Robin Hood’s Tree.

I once painted the scene in winter for a charity Christmas card which proved to be very popular but on this occasion I decided to paint it set against the backdrop of summer sunlit clouds. It’s an unusual composition but that’s because it’s such an unusual scene. For those who love to walk Hadrian’s Wall, it’s a familiar sight and often a talking point. If I ever take the Military Road, which has to be one of the best drives in the UK, I allow myself a quick glance to see the lone tree standing in the gap.

The original watercolour is currently available to purchase at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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