Play Hard

5 of the best pub walks in the North of England

What better way to finish off a calming country or coastal walk than treating yourself to a cheeky pint at a cosy pub?

Written by High Life North
Published 18.09.2021

Craster to Low Newton, Northumberland

Distance: 7.7 miles

Duration: 3 hours

Car park: Craster Quarry Car Park and Dunstanburgh Castle Car Park, Alnwick,  NE66 3TW

Enjoy magnificent views and miles of these stunning sandy bays. This walk sets foot from the fishing village of Craster, passing the mighty ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and the long sweep of Embleton Sands before reaching Low Newton-by-the-Sea. 

Start in Craster and walk towards Dunstanburgh Castle, passing Craster harbour. The path takes you through farmland with the rocky shoreline to your right, where, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see some seals basking on the rocks.

As you approach the harbour at Newton Haven, climb up from the beach to Low Newton’s picturesque three-sided square. Take a well-deserved break at The Ship Inn with some perfect pub grub washed down with a glass of wine. Then make sure you stop off at Newton Pool Nature Reserve to see more wildlife before heading back to Craster. 

Full route here:

Stickle Ghyll to Stickle Tarn, The Lake District

Distance: 1.9 miles

Duration: 2 hours

Car park: National Trust – Sticklebarn and The Langdales

, Great Langdale, Ambleside, LA22 9JU

Take in dramatic waterfalls and spectacular views of Langdale valley that make a perfect backdrop for the ‘gram as you climb the steep path up to Stickle Ghyll and up Stickle Tarn. 

With the starting and finishing point at National Trust’s Sticklebarn pub, which promises a cracking pint at your journey’s end, the trail follows up the valley side all the way up, giving us plenty of excuses to explore rock pools cut into the mountainside, plus the chance to take a breather whilst getting lost in the striking views across the valley towards Lingmoor.

Why not stop and have your sarnies whilst enjoying the peace and tranquillity of Stickle Tarn? It’s a great spot to dip your toes into ice-cold water to freshen up your feet before retracing your steps back down the same path to your starting point.

Full route here:

Richmond to Easby Abbey, Hudswell, North Yorkshire

Distance: 4 miles

Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

Car park: Market Square, Market Place, Richmond, DL10 4QG

History lovers, this walk is perfect for you. This circular route starts from the historic market town of Richmond and passes close by to Richmond Castle before dropping down onto the River Swale.

As you walk along, you’ll see wildlife, birds, and picture-perfect waterfalls as the River Swale meanders alongside before ending up at the monastic ruins of the beautiful Easby Abbey, which was built back in 1152. A disused railway is then followed back to town, which offers lovely views of the castle perched up high.

All that walking is thirsty work, right? On your return to Richmond, The George & Dragon has up to eight cask ales available and its own beer, too, brewed in the barn next door. Not forgetting their mouth-watering pies, which are a speciality – the rabbit, leek and mushroom is our favourite.

Full route here

Seahouses to Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Distance: 3 miles (6 miles circular) 

Duration: 1 hour – 2 hours

Car park: Seahouses Coach Park, Seafield Road, Seahouses, NE68 7SJ

Walk along the gorgeous golden sands of the Northumberland coast on this walk from Seahouses Harbour to the breath-taking Bamburgh Castle. It’s safe to say a stroll along this award-winning beach is definitely not lacking in stunning scenery, with the castle making a wonderful backdrop for the duration of the walk. There’s also attractive sand dunes, pretty wildflowers and great views over to the nearby Farne Islands. 

Once you arrive, you can admire the enchanting fortresses and some impressive views of the surrounding coastline. And of course, make sure you explore the beautiful village of Bamburgh to stop off for a pint or vino at The Castle Inn, where your four-legged friends are also welcome in the courtyard?

After your pint-pitstop has got you feeling refreshed and energised, it’s time to backtrack and take the same route that you’ve come. Or, if you’re feeling tired, you can always get the bus back to Seahouses. 

Full route here:

Elterwater to Colwith Force, Ambleside, Lake District

Distance: 5.8 miles

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

Car park: Elterwater National Trust Car Park, Ambleside, LA22 9HU

This circular walk from Elterwater village initially follows the Cumbria Way past Elterwater itself, then meanders past the stunning Skelwith Force to reach the tranquil Skelwith Bridge, which is surrounded by scenic views back towards the Langdales. 

From there, follow the Cumbria Way to another wonderful waterfall, Colwith Force, in the heart of some secluded woods, which leads to a well-known photo opportunity at Slater Bridge, perfect for Insta. The walk then heads on by Little Langdale, with views of Little Langdale Tarn, before you head back down to Elterwater.

Head upriver to the bridge, where you’ll find The Three Shires Inn. All this chasing waterfalls business has made us work up an appetite. Why not treat yourself to some classic pub food washed down with a chilled pint, served from three local breweries?

Full route here:

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