15 Best Walks in Northumberland (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Northumberland (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Ahh, Northumberland – its wild and rugged beauty is truly breathtaking.

Imagine yourself meandering through the rolling hills, crossing over rivers and streams, and discovering hidden gems along the way.

Northumberland has some of the best walking trails in the UK, so why not take a break from life’s hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in nature?

Whether you’re looking for a nice walk with stunning views or an exhilarating hike, this guide has got you covered!

So grab your walking boots and get ready to explore 15 of Northumberland’s best walks!

1. The Drake Stone Linear

The Drake Stone
Photo by Andrew Curtis

One of the best walks in Northumberland is The Drake Stone Linear, a stunning route through the rural countryside.

This walk is perfect for those who seek a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It will take you through rolling hills, meandering streams, and ancient woodlands, making it an ideal spot to connect with nature and soak up the tranquil beauty of the area.

The Drake Stone Linear is a 3-mile circular route that starts at Howtel village.

The path takes you along grassy paths and narrow lanes, before crossing over open moorland to reach its highest point – The Drake Stone.

From here, there are breathtaking views across the Cheviot Hills, as well as some spectacular panoramas over the nearby villages.

After taking in these stunning vistas, you’ll continue your journey back down to Howtel village for a truly unforgettable experience.

2. Sycamore Gap Walk

Sycamore Gap
Photo by Graham Hogg

The next walk to check out in Northumberland is the Sycamore Gap Walk.

This three-mile route is situated along Hadrian’s Wall and offers a breathtaking view of the Northumberland countryside.

Starting at the car park, you’ll pass through rolling hills, ancient forests, and pastures with an abundance of wildlife.

The route takes you along the wall towards Sycamore Gap, a spectacular natural feature that was made famous in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Along the way, you’ll also come across several archaeological sites and monuments, providing an interesting historical insight into this region of England.

At Sycamore Gap itself, you’ll be greeted with sweeping views across the valley and beyond.

The dramatic landscape has been shaped over thousands of years by nature and man alike, making it a truly remarkable place to explore on foot.

Make sure to take your time as you take in this stunning scenery – there’s no rush here!

After a leisurely stroll back to the car park, you can enjoy a well-deserved break before heading off to your next destination.

3. Cawfields Quarry Circular

Hadrian's Wall National Trail at Cawfields Quarry
Photo by Oliver Dixon

Cawfields Quarry Circular is a popular route for visitors to Northumberland, boasting some of the best views of Hadrian’s Wall.

Located in the lush countryside near Hexham, it offers hikers and nature lovers an easy stroll through breathtaking scenery.

The path begins in the village of Cawfields and winds its way up to the quarry, where spectacular vistas await.

Here you can pause to take in the awe-inspiring views of Hadrian’s Wall and its surrounding landscape.

The walk then continues along a narrow track before descending back into Cawfields via a stunning wooded valley.

As you meander through this tranquil setting, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife – deer, hares, and red kites are known to inhabit this area.

This gentle walk will provide you with plenty of opportunities to soak up nature and admire Northumberland’s stunning beauty.

Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or something more challenging, Cawfields Quarry Circular is a great way to explore this beautiful region.

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4. Lambley Viaduct And Featherstone Castle

Lambley Viaduct is a hidden gem in Northumberland, offering an unforgettable viewing experience.

This beautiful bridge was built over a century ago and has been restored to its grandeur.

It’s the perfect spot for a peaceful stroll or a romantic picnic with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The stone archway is incredibly impressive, and visitors can spend hours admiring it from all angles.

Nearby, Featherstone Castle is another treasure worth exploring in Northumberland.

This ancient ruin dates back to the 12th century and provides some spectacular views of its own.

Its walls are still standing and visitors can get lost in its history as they wander through the ruins.

There’s something truly magical about exploring this ancient site – it feels like stepping back in time!

From here, you can also take in breathtaking panoramic views of the nearby countryside, making it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts.

With so much to offer, Lambley Viaduct and Featherstone Castle are must-see destinations on any Northumberland walking tour.

5. Simonside Hills Short Circular

The Simonside Hills Short Circular is one of the best hikes in Northumberland, boasting breathtaking views and a variety of terrain.

Starting at Alnham village, you’ll be immersed in lush green pastures and rolling hills.

The route will take you up to the summit of Simonside, where you can admire the stunning views across the stunning landscape.

As you continue on your way, enjoy dramatic cliffs with rugged crags and heather-covered slopes.

You’ll be rewarded with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities, such as red squirrels, grouse, and deer.

As you make your way back down from Simonside, take some time to explore Raven’s Crag – an impressive crag that can be reached by a short detour off the main path.

This spot offers spectacular views over Coquetdale and is a great place to stop for lunch or a picnic.

Overall, this circular walk is perfect for all abilities; it’s about four miles in length but can easily be shortened if needed.

With its varied scenery, it’s easy to see why this trail is so popular amongst hikers and nature lovers alike.

6. Hareshaw Linn Waterfall From Bellingham

The next hike on our list of the best walks in Northumberland is the Hareshaw Linn Waterfall from Bellingham.

This stunning waterfall, which cascades down a rocky hillside into a deep pool below, is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the region.

Accessed through the small village of Bellingham, this trail can be completed in around four hours and offers an unforgettable experience.

As you climb up and away from Bellingham, you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of the rolling hills and valleys below.

Once you reach Hareshaw Linn, you’ll be treated to a spectacular show as the water thunders over the rocks and onto the pool below.

You can even take a dip in its crystal-clear waters for a refreshing break before continuing your journey back to Bellingham.

This trail is perfect for all levels of walkers and hikers alike, so no matter your experience or ability level, you’re sure to enjoy this beautiful hike through Northumberland’s countryside.

Whether it’s for some much-needed fresh air or just an enjoyable day out with friends and family – don’t miss out on this magical experience!

7. Otterburn Ranges

The Otterburn Ranges is a true hidden gem for those who love to walk and explore.

Situated in Northumberland, the area is accessible by car with plenty of parking for visitors.

The terrain is varied with forests, moorland, rivers, and hills making up the landscape. It’s a great spot for those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The views from the Otterburn Ranges are stunning and provide an opportunity to take in some truly breathtaking scenery.

There are many paths to choose from depending on your fitness level or desired length of the walk.

Whether it’s a short stroll along the riverbank or a strenuous trek across one of the hills, there’s something here to suit all abilities.

For those looking for more adventure, why not take part in one of the organized activities offered at various times throughout the year?

No matter how you decide to spend your time here, you can guarantee a sense of freedom and serenity that will stay with you long after you’ve left this wonderful part of Northumberland.

From its diverse wildlife to its spectacular views, there really is something special about walking in these ranges that cannot be experienced elsewhere. So come on down and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

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8. Alwinton And Harbottle

Leaving the Otterburn Ranges behind you, the next exciting stop on any Northumberland walk is Alwinton and Harbottle.

This stunning area of England holds a wealth of natural beauty, with its rolling hills, serene valleys, and vast skyscapes.

Here in the Cheviot Hills, there is a sense of calm and peace that can be hard to find elsewhere in today’s bustling world.

During your walk through this beautiful countryside, you will get to explore several historic monuments such as Alwinton Church or Harbottle Castle.

Both are great spots for a picnic lunch! There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting here too; keep an eye out for red squirrels, roe deer, and badgers amongst other species.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Alwinton and Harbottle have something to offer all kinds of walkers.

So why not take some time to appreciate this special part of England while getting some fresh air?

9. Plessey Woods Country Park Loop

The 6.5-mile loop around Plessey Woods Country Park is an excellent walk for those looking to explore Northumberland’s wild beauty.

It’s easy to access from the nearby village of Blyth and gives you a chance to take in some of the country’s most stunning scenery.

The path takes you through mixed woodland, rolling hills, and expansive grasslands, so there’s plenty of variety along the way.

There are also several picturesque lakes that make for great photo opportunities.

As you travel through the park, keep an eye out for local wildlife such as deer, badgers, and foxes – it’s not uncommon to spot them all.

As you reach the end of your walk, take a few moments to appreciate the majesty of Northumberland’s countryside.

Here you can find peace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – offering a much-needed escape into nature.

10. Thrunton Wood & Coe Crag Loop

For those looking to experience the wild beauty of Northumberland, Thrunton Wood & Coe Crag loop is an ideal hike.

This scenic path offers unparalleled views of the area’s rolling hills and high peaks.

The trail starts in a quiet wooded area with plenty of open space for hikers to take in the fresh air and the calm atmosphere.

The path winds its way up through forests and along ridges, before leading up to Coe Crag at its highest point.

From there, it’s possible to look out over miles of countryside, taking in views of the Cheviot Hills and beyond.

Once you reach the top, you can explore the crags or continue on a circular route back down through Thrunton Woods, with plenty of opportunities for bird-watching along the way.

This is an ideal hike for nature lovers who are seeking an escape from their daily life. It offers peace, tranquility, and stunning natural beauty that will stay with you long after your journey is done.

11. Greenlee Lough

Greenlee Lough is a tranquil haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives.

Surrounded by lush green countryside and open skies, it’s one of Northumberland’s most serene walks.

The circular route takes you through rolling hills, woodlands, and meadows, so there’s plenty to take in along the way.

The walk begins at the little village of Gilsland, where you can pick up a map from the local visitor center before setting off.

From here, it’s a gentle climb to the top of Greenlee Lough, where stunning views await.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too; deer are often spotted grazing in these parts.

The descent down the lough brings you to a hidden valley filled with wildflowers and grasses; an idyllic spot for a picnic lunch or just to sit back and enjoy nature’s beauty.

Once you’ve soaked up your surroundings, continue on towards the village of Wreay before returning to Gilsland.

This picturesque walk will make lasting memories that’ll keep you coming back for more!

12. Upper Coquetdale

The next destination on our list of best walks in Northumberland is Upper Coquetdale.

This stunningly beautiful part of the county offers a wealth of walking opportunities, whether you’re looking for leisurely strolls or more challenging hikes.

The first thing that strikes you about Upper Coquetdale is its sheer beauty – it’s easy to see why it’s been described as ‘England’s last wilderness’.

The landscape here is dominated by rolling hills, meadows, and heather-clad moors, with the river Coquet snaking its way through the valley below.

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It’s a breathtaking sight and one that never fails to take your breath away.

Upper Coquetdale provides some truly spectacular walks, ranging from gentle riverside rambles to vigorous hill climbs.

There are plenty of trails that weave their way through this wild landscape, taking in views of craggy outcrops and ancient woodlands.

With such an abundance of natural beauty at your fingertips, it’s no surprise Upper Coquetdale is a firm favorite with hikers and walkers alike.

Whether you’re after a peaceful stroll or an invigorating hike, this area has something for everyone – be sure to explore it while you’re in Northumberland!

13. College Valley

Nestled in the heart of Northumberland is College Valley, a stunning area of natural beauty.

The valley is home to rich wildlife and flora and fauna, making it an ideal spot for those looking to get away from it all.

With its rolling hills and tranquil lakes, it’s easy to forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The area is especially popular with walkers, who come to take advantage of the network of well-maintained trails that traverse the valley.

From leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes, there’s something for everyone here.

The views are spectacular too – on a clear day you can see as far as Scotland!

For those looking for an immersive experience in nature, College Valley has plenty to offer.

Spend your days exploring the countryside, spotting rare birds and other wildlife, or simply enjoying a peaceful picnic alongside one of its numerous tranquil lakes.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a gentle ramble through nature’s wonders, College Valley won’t disappoint.

14. Linhope Spout

Next up on our list of best walks in Northumberland is Linhope Spout.

This spectacular waterfall offers an enjoyable, albeit challenging, route to explore.

Set deep in the heart of the Northumberland National Park, this walk boasts stunning views, lush woodland, and a landscape that will take your breath away.

The route begins in the village of Elsdon and follows a relatively easy trail through some charming agricultural land before a steep ascent takes you up to the falls.

On this steep climb expect to be rewarded with stunning views over the surrounding hills and countryside.

Once at the top of the hill, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Kielder Forest before continuing along the ridge line which leads directly to Linhope Spout.

The walk then descends down into a wooded valley with several small cascades which eventually lead you straight to the 30ft high waterfall itself. It’s quite magical!

After taking in all these beautiful sights, continue back towards Elsdon where you can enjoy an ice-cold pint or two in one of the local pubs before heading home.

With so much stunning scenery to take in and plenty of places for refreshment, it’s no surprise that Linhope Spout has become one of Northumberland’s most popular walks – so why not add it to your bucket list?

15. Walltown Crags

Walltown Crags is one of the most beautiful walks in Northumberland.

Located just north of Hadrian’s Wall, it is a stunning area with many incredible views.

This two to three-hour hike offers breathtaking vistas of rolling hills, dense forests, and ancient ruins.

As you make your way up the crags, take time to appreciate the vastness of the landscape and find yourself filled with an overwhelming sense of freedom.

You’ll come across many historic sites along your journey, including Iron Age hill forts and stone circles.

The summit offers unbeatable views stretching out towards the coast as far as Lindisfarne Castle and Bamburgh Castle.

It’s truly a sight that will stay with you forever, providing a rejuvenating reminder that life can be enjoyed free from constraints if we choose to take it.

Best Walks in Northumberland – Final Thoughts

We’ve explored the best walks in Northumberland, from the Drake Stone Linear to Walltown Crags.

With these 15 options, there’s something for all levels of walkers.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or an adventurous hike, Northumberland has it all.

You’ll be rewarded with stunning views across the rolling hills and dramatic coastline as you explore this beautiful region of England.

From the ancient Sycamore Gap to the historic Featherstone Castle, each path offers something unique and unforgettable.

And if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some of Northumberland’s rare wildlife!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking boots and explore one (or all!) of these incredible walks in Northumberland. You won’t regret it – I promise!


What are some easy walks in Northumberland?

Some easy walks in Northumberland are Coquetdale, The Drake Stone Linear, and Hadrian’s Wall.

What are the best circular walks in Northumberland?

Some of the best circular walks in Northumberland are Greenlee Lough, Cawfields Quarry Circular, and Falstone Circular Walk.

What are some good family walks in Northumberland?

Some good family walks in Northumberland are Carlisle Park to Morpeth, Kielder Forest, and Craster to Dunstaburgh Castle.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.