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Walking in Northumberland

There are plenty of brilliant walking routes in Northumberland that take you through leafy forests, quaint towns and along the stunning coastline.

There are lots of useful guides and maps out there, but to get you started, here are 5 of our favourite routes courtesy of the Northumberland National Park, the National Trust and Visit Northumberland.

Steel Rigg and Crag Lough Walk Northumberland

Steel Rigg and Crag Lough Walk

Covering some of the most scenic parts of Hadrian’s Wall, this moderate 4 mile walk is suitable for families,  so you don’t have to commit to the full 84 miles of the coast-to-coast route to admire the stunning views this top hiking spot offers.

The picturesque trek features tracks and footpaths with some sharp but short inclines, and may be muddy in places. Sturdy footwear and waterproofs are recommended.

Starting and finishing at the Steel Rigg View car park, this circular route encompasses Peel Craggs, the famous Sycamore Gap tree and views of the beautiful glacial lake Crag Lough. Be sure to bring your camera!

Lindisfarne, the Holy Island

A trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a must when visiting Northumberland. This unique island a mile off the mainland is cut off twice daily by fast incoming tides. Linked by a causeway its therefore imperative you plan your visit in advance and check the  tide times before crossing to or from the island.

What better way make the most of your escape to Holy Island than a serene 3 mile walk? Start your walk of discovery at the gates of Lindisfarne Castle, tracing the route to Lindisfarne Nature Reserve and the limestone quarry. Take time to soak up the stunning views of the Northumbrian coastline, enjoying the peaceful and spiritual surroundings, before retracing your steps back to the castle.

Lindisfarne (Holy island) - The castle, Northumberland Stablewood Coastal Cottages
Craster harbour Northumberland coast, Stablewood Coastal Cottages

Craster to Low Newton

Beginning in the small fishing village of Craster, this bracing 6 mile walk passes the impressive ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and sweeps along the spectacular Embleton Sands before reaching Low Newton by the Sea and tracing back to Craster.

As you approach the harbour at Newton Haven, keep an eye out for shore birds such as the oystercatcher. Occasionally, seals can also be sighted at the far end of the rocks. Get the kids to explore the rock pools and search for sea anemones, limpets, crabs and starfish. You’ll also find several varieties of seaweeds like pink-coloured coralline, and, bladder, saw and knotted wracks.

College Valley Walk – The Cheviots

If you are looking to discover spectacular views of rolling hills during your holiday, the Cheviots offer an abundance of tranquil walking trails to explore.

This 4.75 mile College Valley walk starts and ends at Hethpool car park and covers road, track and footpath terrains. Take care – there are also some steep inclines on route.

Expect to encounter Cuddystone Hall, the War Memorial dedicated to airmen killed in the Cheviots 1939 – 1945, picture-perfect photography opportunities of the College Burn and possibly even a sighting of some wild Cheviot goats. For the best chance of spotting these native creatures, look up towards the Wester Tor as you cross through the fields to approach Hether Pool Mill.

Upper Coquetdale Valley Northumberland National Park, Stablewood Coastal Cottages
Budle Bay coastal holidays, Northumberland

Bamburgh to Budle Bay

Known for magnificent beaches and idyllic sunsets, the circular route from Budle bay to Bamburgh and back (or the other way round if you prefer) is perfect for a romantic evening stroll.

At just under 4 miles, this trail is easy to moderate. Walking boots or shoes are advised and for firmer sand underfoot along Budle Bay, it’s best to head out at low tide, although there is also a path that traces the coastline if you wish to avoid the beach completely.

On a clear day, it is also worth stopping at the old jetty at Budle Bay as the cheviot hills can sometimes be visible from here. Plus, this is a great spot for catching a shimmering glimpse of the sun setting over the water.