Coast, countryside and castles: HLN’s 5 best 10km walks in Northumberland
From bracing captivating coastal trails to trekking along the historic Hadrian’s Wall, these Northumberland walks will suit every mood and every level of ability.
NORTHUMBERLAND COASTAL WALKS
Howick Hall to Craster Circular Walk
Parking: Howick Hall Car Park, Hall Lodge Gates, Alnwick NE66 3LB
Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes
The route: This Northumberland circular coastal walk starts by winding through the impressive 17thcentury Howick Hall estate before following the course of Howick Burn. You’ll reach the coastal path, where you’ll be surrounded by scenic sea views on your way to the small, picturesque fishing village of Craster.
Here you’ll get the chance to try Caster’s famous smoked kippers, which are popular with the Royal Family (we recommend visiting The Jolly Fisherman). Before you head to Dunstanburgh Castle which dates back to the 1400s and then you’ll return to the start through the farmlands.
HLN TOP TIP: Please note that the only dogs permitted in Howick Hall Gardens are assistance dogs and access to the estate requires a fee.
Benthall and Lower Newton
Parking: Beadnell Bay Car Park, 3 Dunes Court, Beadnell, Chathill NE67 5EE
Duration: 2 hours 27 minutes
The route: Ok, so this is a little bit over 10km but this 11.7km walk is one for those who want to challenge themselves. Along this pathway is a beautiful stretch of golden sands and the coastal trail leads you directly to nature across wide fields with the option of dropping back down to Beadnall Bay.
The trail takes you straight to The Ship Inn where you can refuel your ventures with a chilled pint and some of the finest pub grub in one of Northumberland’s much-loved beer gardens, as you take in the stunning views of Dunstanburgh Castle. Then you’ll head back to Beadnell on the same coastal path.
FOREST WALKS NORTHUMBERLAND
Bull Crag Peninsular Circular
Parking: Kielder Water & Forest Park, Kielder, Northumberland, NE48 1BT
Duration: 2 hours 51 minutes
The route: This is a lovely lakeside circular route with great views across Kielder Water, the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe This trail consists of well-maintained paths that are easy to follow and you make your walk shorter or longer by exploring some of the many adjoining paths.
As you explore through the Kielder Forest trails you’ll come across some stunning scenic viewpoints and lots of wildlife to be discovered including cross bill, finches and a sparrow hawk). All that working works up an appetite, so we recommend going to The Blackcock Inn afterwards for a Sunday roast – the perfect way to end a perfect day.
HLN TOP TIP: The car park takes coins only, so make sure you bring some change or you can buy a parking ticket from the centre’s shop.
HILL WALKS NORTHUMBERLAND
Harthorpe Burn to The Cheviot
Parking: Earle, Wooler, Northumberland, NE71 6RB
Duration: 4 hours
If you’re wanting to make a full day of it and want to push yourself, then this 4-hour walk near Wooler, Northumberland is for you. If you’ve always wanted to climb a mountain, then this is the best trail to start. This route takes in great views on a clear day as you make your way up the hill.
With a gradual ascent to Scald Hill, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful Northumberland National Park before you face the last steep ascent of The Cheviot, an extinct volcano. When you reach the peak, you’ll have panoramic views, which makes make the hill climbs well worth the effort.
HLN TOP TIP: The best times to visit this trail are April through September when you’ll have the chance of having the clearest views.
WALKS IN NORTHUMBERLAND WITH WATERFALLS
Hethpool Linn and Yeavering Bell Walk
Parking: Kirknewton West, Wooler NE71 6XG
Duration: 3 hours 51 minutes
This circular walk around Hethpool Linn and the Yeavering Bell is filled with history and wildlife. The Yeavering Bell contains one of the largest Iron hillforts and is typically a place for wild Cheviot goats to rest. On this walk, you will encounter many wildlife species such as lapwings, skylarks, and buzzards and if you’re lucky you can even see salmon leaping.
You’ll also get the chance to smell the fragrant scents of coconuts from Gorse flowers. On your route, you’ll find Hethpool Linn a small but stunning waterfall that you’ll need to capture for the ‘gram.
HLN TOP TIP: Make sure to keep your four-legged friend on their lead due to the amount of wildlife on the route.
HISTORIC WALKS IN NORTHUMBERLAND
Hadrian’s Wall: Sycamore Gap and Hotbanks Crag Circular
Parking: Housesteads Car Park, Hexham NE4 6NN
Duration: 3 hours 5 minutes
The trail is known for its gorgeous countryside paths that are simple to follow with some uphill rocky sections at the start that have spectacular views. During your walk, you’ll pass Steel Rigg which is one of the finest viewpoints along the high, central section of Hadrian’s Wall.
As you continue to follow the route you’ll find the most photographed spot in the whole of Northumberland National Park and country, Sycamore Gap – a.k.a Robin Hood’s Tree – that’s located in a dramatic dip in the landscape. Before you head back to your car and get a glimpse of history from Crag Lough which was formed by glaciers in the last Ice Age and is one of the four Roman Wall Loughs.
To find out more about these walks in Northumberland, or if you’re looking to be inspired by more Northumberland rambles, check out All Trails’ website.