Save up to £55 per person

5-Night Northumberland Tread Lightly Guided Walking Holiday

St Cuthbert's Cross on the Northumberland coast, England
Duration: 5 nights
Type: Tread Lightly
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £529pp £474pp

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 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 up to 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. Discover England’s last frontier, home to castles, never-ending seascapes and tales of border battles. Our guided walking holidays in Northumberland will introduce you to the hidden gems of this unspoilt county, including sweeping sandy beaches and the remote wild beauty of the Cheviot and Simonside Hills.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy breathtaking walks from the doors of our country house
  • Experience the stunning Northumberland coastline with your experienced HF Walk Leader
  • Explore the estates of the prominent and powerful Percy family
  • Discover the fantastic landscapes along St Oswald’s Way and the Northumberland Coast Path

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 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 - 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 2 - 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 3 - The Waterside Estate

Distance: 11.5 miles (18km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: Leaving Alnmouth and Lesbury and after walking north of the River Aln the route ascends to Ratcheugh Crag, site of the Ratcheugh Observatory built by the 1st Duke of Northumberland. Walking along a green lane we pass through the hamlet of Denwick and onto Denwick Bridge with views of Alnwick Castle. Entering the Waterside Estate, we walk through pastures before returning along the tranquil south bank of the Aln and the Hamlet of Bilton.

Highlight: An iconic view of Alnwick Castle.

Option 1 - 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 2 - 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 3 - Coast, Railway and River

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 750 feet (240m)

In summary: This walk gives the visitor a chance to see traditional villages and hamlets of Northumberland and learn about life in this area at various times in the past. The trail passes through green countryside with river, inland and coastal views. The Shilbottle miners’ route to the sea also forms part of this walk. The Hamlet of High Buston is visited along with the villages of Alnmouth, Lesbury and the route passes by the village of Shilbottle with substantial medieval and industrial records.

Highlight: Countryside walking steeped in history with inland and coastal views.

Discover more about Nether Grange and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day.

Option 1 - 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 2 - 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.

Option 3 - Four Northumberland Villages

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 550 feet (180m)

In summary: A repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. Alnmouth, Hipsburn, Lesbury and Boulmer, four villages with long histories on the Northumberland Coast that we visit on this coastal and countryside walk. There is Alnmouth, once a great port, Hipsburn, inseperable from Alnmouth, Lesbury with its Norman church dating back to 1147CE and the smuggler's haunt of Boulmer. On leaving Boulmer, our route follows the Northumberland Coast Path along Foxton and Alnmouth beaches back to the country house.

Highlight: Open countryside, pretty villages, the Northumberland Coast and the River Aln Nature Reserve. 

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.



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.


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.

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.


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

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.


  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.


  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
06 Nov - 11 Nov 2022
5 Version 1 £529 £474 Save £55 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
5 nights
Tread Lightly
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

5 nights from £529pp £474pp

Save up to £55 per person

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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