What to Expect From Your Northumberland Walking Tour
Castles, Coastlines, Rolling Hills, Flowing Rivers, Roman Mounds
Discover a truly unspoiled corner of England which is steeped in rich history, varied natural landscapes, beautiful coastal vistas, ancient, wild animals, and haunted castles. Arriving into Newcastle, we will head North towards Chillingham and Lindisfarne, take in the sights of two superb Castles (Bamburgh and Warkworth), walk the stunning coastline before tracking inland to climb to the top of Yeavering Bell. We explore slowly and by dipping gently into our surroundings, so think wild swims at dusk and one or two dawn walks. We will finish the trip with a superb and iconic amble along Hadrian’s Wall.
Day 1 Arrive Newcastle, Chillingham Castle and Wild Cattle
We will meet you at Newcastle Railway station at 12.00pm and transfer you to Chillingham, home to what is claimed to be Britain’s most haunted medieval Castle. We tour the State rooms and grounds in the afternoon. When in Chillingham it is compulsory to visit one of the icons of British natural history and one of the rarest animals in the world, the Wild White Cattle – they have inhabited Chillingham Park for the past 700 years and remain untouched and untamed, giving us an insight into the behaviours of ancestral wild cattle that once roamed England’s forests. After a day diving into the rich culture and heritage of Northumberland, we will head to the Collingwood Arms for drinks and dinner.
Day 2Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle
We will set off from the Collingwood Arms and head towards the coast and Holy island, located on the Lindisfarne nature reserve, where you will see the magic of Northumberland’s spectacular coastline in all its glory. We will take you on a walking tour beyond the villages and castle, and onto the stunning beaches. There will be plenty of opportunities to spot the locals – whether it’s the grey seals, roe deer or the pale-bellied brent goose and merlins. From here we will track along the dunes towards the magnificent Bamburgh Castle, which sits high on an outcrop over the beach. Following lunch in the Clock Tower tearoom we will head out to explore this last real kingdom of the Saxons. Brimming with rich history and fresh air we will head back along the River Tweed for an evening wild dip and picnic.
Up to 9 miles
Day 3The Cheviots and College Valley
Turning our attention to the open plains and landscape, we will track inland to climb to the top of Yeavering Bell, a shapely hill that sits at the northern point of the Cheviot Hills. Commanding beautiful views over the lower Tweed valley, we will hike along the wild goat trails to reach the Iron Age Hillfort that sits at the Summit. After a picnic stop at the top, we will track through the tranquil College Valley to hopefully say hi to the Wild Cheviot Goats on the hillside near Hethpool Mill.
Up to 10 miles
Day 4Hidden Estates and to the Coast at Warkworth
Dawn is magical time of day and at Active England we love catching the morning light with an early wild swim or walk. Walking along the River Till at sunrise we will head towards one of Northumberland’s best kept secrets, Ford & Etal. Here we will enjoy a leisurely breakfast in one of the tearooms before heading to Hay Farm which is home to the largest herd of rare breed Clydesdale Heavy Horses, where we will walk around the indoor centre and have the opportunity to learn more about what horse power really means. In the afternoon we head south to explore Warkworth Castle and head up river by boat or on foot to discover a Hermitage, a beautiful religious hidden gem carved out of rock. From here we will track gently along the coast to Alnmouth before arriving into our second hotel spot in Hexham for dinner and drinks in the local pub.
Up to 8 miles
Day 5Hadrian's Wall, Sycamore Gap and Vindolanda
We will start the day with a leisurely morning walk along the Tyne before heading to Hadrian’s wall and Sycamore Gap (immortalised by Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves) and Britain’s most famous tree. It’s a great walk, broken by lunch in the visitor centre called the Sill and followed by a stroll down to Vindolanda and an opportunity to see the huge Roman Garrison unveiling itself before your eyes – it’s huge and there are still 30 years of work still to do! After a day of hiking through the stunning countryside, we will end the week with a celebratory group picnic on the Wall.