Alnmouth, Northumberland Friday 16th September to Friday 23rd September 2016.
13 members of our group enjoyed an excellent weeks holiday hosted by HF holidays at their large seaside mansion on the Northumberland coast in the attractive village of Alnmouth. An advantage of going with HF is that the ‘Guided Walking’ holidays in the UK usually have ‘Hard’, ‘Medium’, and ‘Easy’ options, varying from 12 miles and 2,000 feet of ascent to perhaps 6 miles and 500 feet: depending obviously on the terrain. The energetic were thus catered for as well as those who wanted time to stop and enjoy the scenery (or drop into the local café)!
There were coastal paths above cliffs and dunes, with vast stretches of golden sands, dramatic castles, scenic fishing harbours, and a profusion of seabirds. Inland we ventured into the wild border country of the Cheviots and the market town of Wooler, followed the lush pastures and woodland by the river Aln at Alnwick, and enjoyed splendid views from the Simonside hills above Rothbury. In the evenings there was an excellent three course dinner, followed by optional entertainment ranging from quizzes to local beer and cheese tasting, juggling, Northumbrian pipes, and a bit of singing and dancing!
Our first day on Saturday all walks started from Denwick and followed by-ways, paths and the River Aln to Alnwick. There we were halted by a film crew: the castle and Hulne Park had been taken over for the 5th ‘Transformers’ film, ‘The Last Knight’! Annoyingly we had to re think and all groups walked back to Alnmouth. Not planned but rewarded by a beautiful view of Alnmouth from the south.
|Alnmouth||Alnwick Castle||Improvised Footbridge|
On the second day all of the groups walked northwards along the scenic coastal path past the fishing village of Boulmer, Howick estate (Earl Grey of tea’s country seat), Craster (famous for kippers and where the easier walk finished), and the iconic ruins of Dunstanburgh castle, to the village of Low Newton (where the medium group finished) and finally Newton Point, to finish at High Newton for the harder walk.
|Cobbles at Boulmer||Approaching Dunstanburgh Castle||Departing Dunstanburgh Castle|
Monday was a rest day where we all did various things, some going to Alnwick to visit the famous bookshop, others the home of ‘Earl Grey’.
Tuesday’s walk saw us on the edge of the Cheviots, following the ‘Happy’ valley before climbing to moorland and the summits of Humbleton Hill and Yeavering Bell with far reaching views out to the coast and into Scotland. Part of this route followed St Cuthbert’s Way before we all dropped into the attractive town of Wooler
|Ascent to the Cheviots||Following St Cuthberts Way||Yeavering Bell|
Wednesday was mainly sightseeing for the easier group with a trip to Lindisfarne and exploring around Bamburgh Castle. The medium and harder group continued Sunday’s coastal walk past Beadnell and Seahouses to finish at Bamburgh Castle.
|Lindisfarne Priory||On the Beach!||Bamburgh Castle|
Our final day featured a visit to the very attractive town of Rothbury, nestling in the Coquet valley. The easy walkers enjoyed a stroll through the carriageways in the woods and moorland of the North Cragside estate, whilst the medium and hard groups headed West before crossing the river and climbing to the Simonside hills for another series of splendid panoramic views.
|The Simonside Hills||Simonside Hills Ridge Path||Rothbury|