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4-Night Northumberland Gentle Tread Lightly Guided Walking Holiday

Alnmouth beach in spring
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Tread Lightly
Walking Grade: 1 & 2

We are all well-versed in ‘leaving no trace’ but now we invite you to join us in taking it to the next level with our new Gentle Tread Lightly walks. We have pulled together a series of spectacular walks which do not use transport, reducing our carbon footprint while still exploring the best landscapes that Northumberland have to offer. You will still enjoy the choice of three top-quality walks of different grades as well as the warm welcome of a HF country house, all with the added peace of mind that you are doing your part in protecting our incredible British countryside.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy breathtaking walks from the doors of our country house
  • Admire sweeping seascapes from the coast of this stunning area of outstanding natural beauty
  • Experience the stunning Northumberland coastline with your experienced HF Walk Leader
  • Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about this stretch of the North East coast's rich history
  • Evenings in our country house where you share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 3 days guided walking
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Alnmouth Oxbow

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Ascent: 300 feet (80m)

In Summary: A circular walk today takes us out of Alnmouth with a circular walk round the river Aln below Lesbury.  

Highlight: Views of the Northumberland Coast.

Option 2 - The Lesbury Estate

Distance: 8 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: A repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. The Lesbury Estate, which is part of the Northumberland Estate, stretches from Lesbury to the eastern edge of Alnwick. The route enters the estate at the hamlet of Bilton and we ascend gently to reach the Aln Valley railway route which once connected Alnwick with the London Edinburgh main line railway at Alnmouth. The railway route takes the walkers past the railway depot before returning along River Aln.

Highlight: An appreciation of the Northumberland Estate and the tranquil riverside path.

Option 3 - Exploring the Northumberland Estate

Distance: 10.5 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 880 feet (280m)

In summary: Hugh Percy the 1st Duke of Northumberland wanted to be able to see all his considerable lands easily so he built two follies to give panoramic views of his estate. This route passes along the north bank of the Aln and then ascends towards the first and less well known of his follies built in the late 17th century. Pastureland walking then leads to the eastern end of the Waterside Estate before returning along the tranquil south bank of the Aln and the hamlet of Bilton.

Highlight: The Ratcheugh Observatory creation of the 1st Duke of Northumberland.


Option 1 - Along the Aln

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In summary: Today's walk follows quiet countryside paths to meet the river Aln. We will continue along the riverside before turning inland with Views to the coast. Our route then takes us back to the house via Alnmouth.

Highlight: Stunning views out to sea.

Option 2 - Spy Law, Riverside and Countryside

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 560 feet (180m)

In summary: After leaving Alnmouth, meander alongside the River Aln and gently ascend to Spy Law with views on all sides of the countryside. The walk continues moving seawards displaying the Northumberland coast in front of you before returning through colourful cereal fields overlooking the Aln estuary and the once port of Alnmouth towards to sea.

Highlight: A chance to appreciate the variety of scenery that Northumberland has to offer.

Option 3 - To High Buston Hamlet

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: Walk around the historic village of Alnmouth and then visit the picturesque village of Lesbury before meandering alongside the River Aln. The walk gives views of countryside and coast, and passes through the Hamlet of High Buston. Learn of the links of the Buston family to King John in 1209 and the traditional “dunking” of the local freemens’ sons. The route returns through undulating countryside culminating in a sight of Alnmouth with colourful houses overlooking the estuary and the sea.

Highlight: An appreciation of how the land and seascape framed local life through the centuries.


Option 1 - Beach to Foxton

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Ascent: 200 feet (60m)

In Summary: Today’s walk is a pleasant circuit. Following the coast north of Alnmouth to Foxton.

Highlight: Walking along the cliffs above Foxton Beach.

Option 2 - Going around the Foxton Bends

Distance: 5½miles (9km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: A repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. The 'Bends' are the meanders in the river Aln to the North of the road bridge into the village. Now managed as a nature reserve, on our walk you can explore the local landscape, discover why the most important harbour north of Newcastle completely vanished, and enjoy a walk along the finest sandy beaches in Northumberland.

Highlight: The nature reserve around the River Aln Estuary is an important place for birds, both resident and migrant throughout the year.

Option 3 - To Boulmer - A Smuggler's Haunt

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 500 feet (140m)

In summary: A repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. A great storm in 1806 divided Alnmouth cutting off the church and arguably hastening the decline of the busy port. Our walk goes around the estuary to the pretty village of Lesbury, around Foxton Bends, down to the coast and the north to Boulmer. The return journey follows the Coast Path where amongst the dunes overlooking Alnmouth Bay, a Victorian artillery battery established by Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland, can be seen. 

Highlight: Now a quiet fishing village, Boulmer had the reputation as a smuggler's haven with tea being the mainstay of the illicit trade in contraband.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Nether Grange

Sitting pretty in the centre of the quiet harbour village of Alnmouth, Nether Grange stands in an area rich in natural beauty and historic gravitas. There are moving views of the dramatic North Sea coastline from the house too. This one-time 18th century granary was first converted into a large family home for the High Sheriff of Northumberland in the 19th century and then reimagined as a characterful hikers’ hotel. Many of the 36 bedrooms look out across the sea, while a large lounge, conservatory and adjoining bar are there to entertain you. Easily accessible from the house are the coast path while inland lies the Northumberland National Park. North are the Farne Islands and their spectacular seabird colonies and close by is Lindisfarne and its romantic castle accessible at low-tide via an ancient pilgrim’s path. Nearby too is the medieval market town of Alnwick and its eponymous castle, as well as the atmospheric ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, perched on a grassy peninsula to the south of Embbelton Bay. Best of all though is Bamburgh Castle, built to resemble a magnificent medieval fortress but actually an impressive Victorian folly.

 

Need to know

We appreciate that COVID-19 continues to impact the nations.  The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not always in sync, so measures in our country houses may vary between the nations. We thank all guests for adhering to the measures we have introduced to keep our guests, leaders and team members safe.

You can see our latest FAQs and guarantees at https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/coronavirus-travel-advice 

Ventilation, Physical Distancing Measures and Group Sizes around the Houses

We will keep our public areas well ventilated; for your comfort you might want to pack an extra layer to keep you comfortable.

With the relaxation of physical distancing, we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together.

Hand sanitiser stations will be made available in frequently used public areas for guests and staff use. It is advisable to bring additional hand sanitiser for whilst you are out walking.

We always follow the latest regional government advice, but our one recommendation is don’t forget your face mask! There is no requirement to wear a face covering in communal areas, but you may of course choose to. Some places throughout the UK may still require you to wear a mask even if the government legislation does not. With this in mind we suggest you bring a personal supply of face coverings for the duration of your stay.

Servicing Bedrooms:

At this stage we are not reintroducing our daily room servicing.  Extra tea, coffee, milk, towels and toiletries will be available on request from our team. Bins can be left outside your door for emptying.

COVID-19 Symptoms or Cases 

If a guest has symptoms of COVID-19 then they should inform the house team and immediately self-isolate to minimise any risk of transmission and make arrangements to request a COVID test. If a guest receives a positive test result, they should return home if they reasonably can. They should where possible use private transport but only drive themselves if they can do so safely. If a guest cannot reasonably return home, they should discuss their circumstances with the House Manager. Additional charges may be levied if a guest needs to self-isolate for longer than their planned holiday.

What can you do to help keep everyone safe?

  • Wear a face mask/covering where required and please bring plenty of face coverings for the duration of your stay
  • Carry/use hand sanitiser
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water when possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid passing round objects such as cameras & phones
  • If you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, please do not travel to an HF Holidays House

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the house’s smartly presented rooms up an impressive sweeping staircase. Full of warm tones or coastal colours and comfy touches they’re a great base for exploring the area. With 36 bedrooms, Nether Grange has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic and Premium Rooms to choose from.

All ‘Classic’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Check in:

Check in opens at 4pm for all guests. Guests will be unable to access any of the Country House facilities, including leaving luggage before 4pm.

We are delighted to invite you to enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival. Relax and meet your fellow guests and leaders. 

Check out:

Check out time: 10am

Please note, you will need to settle your bill before departure and payment will only be possible by card.  Gratuities and donations to the Pathway Fund can also be made by card.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, multi-purpose activity room, lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day walking on the coast, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the elevated terrace gardens with a cooling drink and a cracking sea view or challenge a fellow guest to a game of croquet or giant chess, backed by views of the beach and sea beyond. The spick and span sky-blue painted bar with its mismatched blue and stripy seats boasts all the requisite cosiness and British bonhomie, plus a selection of local beers and your favourite tipple. Settle in.

Welcome Information

A Welcome Information Pack providing details about the Country House and your holiday will be available in each bedroom. This personal pack of information will detail what to expect during your stay in the house, the menu for the duration of your stay, dinner & picnic lunch order forms and the guest registration form for completion.

Our houses are locked at night-time and accessible with a door code which is available in the Welcome Pack. However, we also recommend making a note of the Duty Manager number on arrival, in case of an emergency or getting locked out.

Evenings

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings to see if you’ve got the knowledge to triumph in the HF Big Pub Quiz!  There will also be another evening of entertainment at the beginning of the week which will vary depending on the house you are visiting.

If there are leaders resident, they will be available to chat to guests about self-guided walks. You can borrow walking route notes and maps from our Discovery Point.

Walks Talks – Guided Walking Information Briefings

Self-Guided guests are always welcome to join our Guided Walking briefings to hear about the local conditions. 

Our leaders will deliver a Guided Walking Information Briefing on each arrival day before and after dinner followed by a group Walks Talk to let guests know about the following day’s walks. Walks Talks are usually before and after dinner prior to each walking day. The information is repeated so you can join whichever time suits you. 

If you are undecided which walk to do, our leaders will be available in the bar or lounge to answer any questions you might have. Our website contains up-to-date information about the walks for each holiday.

Before you leave for your walk your leader will run through a short safety briefing for the day.

Each day, the latest weather forecast will be displayed for all guests to check to ensure appropriate clothing is worn for the walks.

Please note, if you decide to do your own walks, or you are on a self-guided walking holiday, you must complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Food at Nether Grange is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Along with many hospitality business across the UK we are presently experiencing disruption to our food and drink supply chain. COVID continues to limit the ability of suppliers to deliver and the war in Ukraine (along with several other global challenges) is impacting availability of many basic products.  We are working hard to ensure that these challenges do not negatively impact your holiday but ask for your understanding should we need to make last minute changes to dishes or menus.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Nether Grange

10673_0024 - Nether Grange - Chess

Getting to Nether Grange

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

Essential Equipment

  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Tread Lightly
Walking Grade:
1

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