7 Amazing Autumn Walks in Northumberland
Northumberland comes alive throughout autumn, and at Breamish Valley cottages we can’t wait to show it off to you. A fantastic display of colour, this is the county to be in during the months just before winter. If you have booked a stay with us, you will definitely want to make the most of these amazing autumn walks in Northumberland.
So don’t forget to pack your walking boots and read this post to help you plan your walks.
After a day of exploring and hiking, recharge your batteries and let us do the cooking. Book a table at The Bosk for your evening meal – well deserved after a day rambling through Northumberland.
You will also find a selection of walking books inside your cottage for further inspiration and to help you plan your walking routes. Further walking guides from the ‘Mountain Goat’ can be found here.
7 amazing autumn walks in Northumberland.
- Enjoy a walk right from your doorstep.
Where: Breamish Valley
Time: approx 1h 40 mins
This walk has been put together by our very own “The Mountain Goat” and is a one you can enjoy right from the doorstep of Breamish Valley cottages.
The Breamish Valley comes alive with colour in the autumn, and we think you will be itching to get outdoors and explore the local area.
A little over four miles, this circular walk is a great way to start your Northumberland adventure, taking you over to Ingram and back round finishing where you started: at your cottage.
There is a lovely cafe at Ingram that you can stop off at for some light refreshments along the way, to refuel and sample local Northumbrian produce.
To download a map of the route, visit our website where you will find more local walks.
- Cragside National Trust
Where: Cragside, Rothbury
Distance from Breamish Valley Cottages: 13 miles/20 minute drive
This is certainly not a place to be missed as the leaves start to change colour. Cragside, with a network of forty miles of footpaths under a canopy of towering trees, through the formal garden and around lakes, has plenty of walking routes to suit everyone.
There are seven different walking routes you can enjoy, all of which are listed on Cragside’s website. If you are visiting with children you will want to head up to Nelly’s Moss Lake where you will find a Labyrinth and play park amongst many pathways for walking and exploring.
A walk around the lake is definitely one to try (not suitable for pushchairs) or follow the path down towards the formal garden to take in the towering trees (not suitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs).
- Hulne Park
Where: Hulne Park, Alnwick
Distance from Breamish Valley Cottages: 12 miles/25 minute drive
Hulne Park is located in the market town of Alnwick and makes up part of the Northumberland Estates. Among the various walking routes, expect to find Alnwick Abbey, the Priory and parkland.
We advise checking the Park’s opening times before visiting as these vary across the year. Residents live within Hulne Park so the main gates are closed in the evening. Also be aware of vehicles driving through the estate.
You can park for free just at the entrance to Hulne Park, use postcode NE66 3JE and stop before the main gates. As you walk through the main entrance, you will see a board with a map showing the three different walking routes. These are outlined below:
Yellow Route : 4 miles. This is the walking route you would normally take if you wanted to see the Brizlee Tower (built in 1781).
Red Route : 4.7 miles. This is a good one to do with the kids, because it is a manageable
distance and it takes you along the river and up to Hulne Abbey.
Blue Route : 6.2 miles. You follow much of the red route here and then it adds an extra loop over Hulne Haugh, before rejoining the other routes back to where you started.
All three of the walks are circular and offer spectacular views over the town of Alnwick and the Alnwick moors. A gorgeous walk to enjoy in the autumn as the leaves are changing colour. Look out for deer on your walk as well as a variety of bird life and farm animals.
- Ford and Etal
Where: The Ford & Etal Estates
Distance from Breamish Valley Cottages: 19 miles/30 minute drive
The Ford and Etal Estates are a brilliant location for a day out and we think it is a great place to visit with kids as well as on your own or part of a walking group.
The Estates lie in the valley of the River Till, just a few miles inland from Holy Island and Bamburgh. Close to the Scottish border the land is steeped in history: dotted with castles and battlefields, highlighting long centuries of conflict. Nowadays you can visit and will see it is mostly farmland, as well as there being a small steam railway which you can ride from Heatherslaw. There is also a nice cafe and pub in the village, and you can tick off two Northumberland castles during your visit at Ford Castle and Etal Castle.
There are six different walking routes you can do around the Estates and surrounding area. More information on each walk can be found on the Ford and Etal website. It is best to give yourself a full day exploring this little pocket of Northumberland, to include a walk, train ride and lunch out.
- Wooler Common
Distance from Breamish Valley Cottages: 10 miles/ 20 minute drive
Wooler is a short drive from Breamish Valley cottages and is said to be the gateway to the Cheviot hills. For an easy to manage walk with breathtaking views, we recommend heading up to Wooler Common.
Wooler Common and woodland park, are managed by Forestry England, who also look after nearby Thrunton Woods and Hepburn Wood.
From the car park information point, there is access to Wooler Common’s easy going trail, the St Cuthbert’s Way and a network of public paths. It is great for all ages because you can choose whichever route you think is most manageable for your group and there is plenty of space for running around and exploring.
There is also a wheelchair easy access trail with handrail and tapping boards for the visually impaired, which also starts and finishes near the car park.
Along the walking route, there are many benches to sit and observe the wildlife. There is also a small remembrance garden which has been very thoughtfully put together.
Use postcode: NE71 6RJ to get here. Parking is free, you must park in the designated parking areas.
- Coquet Valley/ Alwinton
Where: In the Coquet Valley
Distance from Breamish Valley Cottages: 13 miles/ 25 minute drive
In the valley down from Breamish, you will find yourself lost in rolling hills and woodland: the Coquet Valley. Approximately ten miles to the northwest of Rothbury, lies the village of Alwinton. It is the last village in Upper Coquetdale, surrounded by rolling hills and stunning views. It is a great starting point for walks on the Border Ridge.
There are a number of walks near Alwinton that are more suited to keen walkers who have a good level of fitness. These walks are slightly more challenging but the reward from the top is definitely worth the climb.
Take a look at the map of this circular walk we recommend on our website, that is a circular route.
Otherwise you may choose to walk up Windy Gyle from the village of Alwinton, which is around a seven mile hike, or visit Harbottle Castle for a slightly easier climb.
There is a National Park carpark in the village, but it does get full quickly, so we recommend heading out early to grab a space. Please park considerably.
- Amble Harbour
Distance from Breamish Valley Cottages: 19 miles/ 35 minute drive
Don’t forget to make the most of the Northumberland coastline during the autumn too. Nothing beats a brisk, fresh walk, breathing in that sea air.
Whilst there are over forty miles of coastline to explore, we recommend heading along to Amble harbour.
You can make this a short stroll along the pier or extend the walk by walking along the footpath towards the village of Warkworth. Drop down to the river and enjoy the mix of falling leaves, a sea view and a river walk overlooked by Warkworth Castle.
The reason we want you to head to this part of the coast is to sample the local fish and chips. Freshly caught fish always tastes best at the coast and is the perfect reward after an autumnal walk. Amble is a bustling harbour village and you can watch the fishing boats heading in and out of the harbour, as well as trying to catch a glimpse of the marine life. Dolphins have been frequently spotted off the coast at Amble, so as long as the temperatures haven’t dropped, you may get lucky with what you see.
Plenty of inspiration for walks around Northumberland this autumn, where we promise you will be rewarded with a fantastic display of colour, a crisp breeze and the reward of delicious Northumbrian food and drinks afterwards.