Experience Northumberland by Foot

Published: Tuesday 12th May 2015

Walk in the footsteps of kings and knights and tread the paths of our Stone Age and Roman ancestors. See parts of Northumberland inaccessible by car and capture some of its iconic spots in different lights and from unusual angles.

To really experience this vast, wild and seductively beautiful county, there’s no better way to do it than by foot.

Craster to Embleton Bay via Dunstanburgh Castle

This is an easy walk across National Trust land to the sandy shores of Embleton Way. Start at the former fishing village of Craster and walk along the rocky shoreline to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle before dropping down on the beach. Come back the way you came.

Sycamore Gap, Hadrian’s Wall

From the Once Brewed Visitor Centre in Bardon Mill, Hexham, walk along a stretch of this UNESCO World Heritage Site to Sycamore Gap – made famous by the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

From the sands beneath Bamburgh Castle to Budle Bay

Walk through the undulating dunes to the white, sweeping sands of Bamburgh Beach. There are some great views ofBamburgh Castle along this walk, and on a good day you can see Holy Island in the distance. As you near Budle Bay you’ll see Bamburgh Lighthouse, and then walk around Budle Point to reach the bay and old jetty. It is possible to walk back along the road or return the way you came.

Linhope Spout Waterfall

West of Alnwick, this walk begins in Hartside in the Breamish Valley. Walk through the village of Linhope and follow the rocky path up the hill to the top of Linhope Spout. This 60ft chute of water lands in a plunge pool of 16ft, making this waterfall a fabulous spot for dive bombing, open swimming or a picnic on the rocks.

Berwick Lowry Trail

If city walking is more your thing, then this three-hour tour of the Borders town of Berwick includes architectural, historical and cultural sights. The trail encompasses the town’s Elizabethan walls and crosses the river into Tweedmouth and Spittal. You will get to see all the places this famous painter drew during his holidays here between 1930 and 1970.

Pilgrims Way to Lindisfarne

The stretch of sand between the mainland and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is known as Pilgrim’s Way. When the tide is out you can walk across this sandy causeway to this mystical island and spend a few hours exporing Lindisfarne Castle and the small island village. Before you set off be aware of the tide times, giving yourself plenty of time to make the return walk.

Around Druridge Bay

One of the most secluded beaches along the Northumberland coast, Druridge Bay is reached via the dunes, which give way to a beautiful expanse of glistening waters and sandy shores to rival its Caribbean counterparts. Remote from shops and eateries, you can often find yourself in solitude on this bay, and even in the peak of summer there may only be a handful of people.

Hulne Park, Alnwick

This parkland estate owned by the Duke of Northumberland is fantastic in autumn with its tree-lined avenues, gothic tower and two former monasteries.

The Cheviot or Simonsides

The Cheviot is the highest point in Northumberland and a must-do walk if you like to take on a challenge. Alternatively walk among the rock art of our ancestors in the Simonside Hills. These are both difficult walks and walkers should be properly equipped before heading out into these parts of the Northumberland National Park. Visit www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk for more information.

If you are interested in guided walks, or require a French, Spanish, German or Dutch guide, we can recommend Footsteps who offer a range of walks throughout the year. Visit www.footstepsnorthumberland.co.uk

Outside Northumberland
Newcastle Bridges

Enjoy an easy walk around Newcastle City quayside taking in the famous Tyne Bridge, the swing bridge and the Millennium Bridge. This circular route also includes the Sage opera house and the Baltic Art Gallery, plus various restaurants and cafes if you get hungry en route.

The Derwent Walk, County Durham

A beautiful walk showcasing Durham’s rich railway history and the glorious Gibside Estate, now owned by The National Trust. Guests staying at The Old Paper Mill can access this route from the cottage’s doorstep.

The Tweed Valley or St Abb’s Coastal Path, Scottish Borders

Whether you are staying inland at Tweedswood or by the coast at Waterfront, both these walks can be guaranteed to inspire. There are paths along the Tweed River with some breathtaking views of the rolling countryside.