Northumberland Coast & Castles Challenge Holiday

dunstanburgh, castle,
Duration: 3 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 6

Northumberland is home to some of Britain's most spectacular coastal walking. Our weekend challenge is to tackle, in our opinion, the finest section of the Northumberland Coast Path, from the charming historic village of Warkworth to the beautiful golden sands and picture-perfect castle at Bamburgh. Don’t be deceived by the gentle nature of the terrain – we’re still covering the distance and we’ll be aiming to tick off just over 26 miles in the weekend. Plenty of calories burned to warrant a pub or tea shop stop at the end of the day.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy fantastic walks taking in some of the best Northumberland scenery
  • Sample some of the famous Northumberland hospitality as you sample a pint or two of the local brew at the end of your walks
  • Admire sweeping seascapes from the coast of this stunning area of outstanding natural beauty
  • Let an experienced leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • 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

  • Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, plus evening activities
  • Great walking in the company an experienced HF Holidays walk leader
  • Our country House is equipped with all the essentials – a welcoming bar and relaxing lounge area, a drying rooming for your boots and kit

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea when you can meet your leader and get ready for the challenge ahead.


Distance: 13 miles (20.5km)

Total Ascent: 750 feet (240m)

We start with a fantastic vantage point, from the romantic ruins of Warkworth Castle, perched above the picture postcard village of Warkworth itself. Heading along the coast to Alnmouth, keep an eye and ear open for wildlife, the River Aln lower estuary is a haven for birdlife especially. We keep striding out to the fishing village of Boulmer (if we’re making good time, there might be the chance of a quick pint in the F.B.I). From ‘Boomer’ as it's pronounced locally, we continue north, passing Sugar Sands and Cullernose Point, to the pretty harbour of Craster – home of the famous Craster kippers. Time to celebrate our first leg of the challenge, and warm up next to the roaring fires of the Jolly Fisherman.

 


Distance: 13½ miles (21.5km)

Total Ascent: 500 feet (160m)

Our final day is a cracker too. Superb coastline plus two of the county's most iconic castles. We reach the first of the castles shortly after leaving Craster – the mighty ruins of Dunstanburgh. The long sweep of Embleton Sands, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, lies ahead, taking us to the pretty hamlet of Low Newton by the Sea. Stunning coastline again as we pass through Beadnell and on to the harbour town of Seahouses. Time for a quick ice-cream (the local special is Newcastle Brown Ale flavour!) before our final leg of the challenge takes us to the gloriously golden sands and famous castle at Bamburgh for a well deserved celebratory drink (and maybe a cake or two!).

 


Enjoy a final 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

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

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 Good and Better Rooms to choose from.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ 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.

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.

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. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Nether Grange is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the light-filled dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local flavours.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10673_0024 - Nether Grange - Chess

Getting to Nether Grange

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

More Information

What to Bring

“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.

Essentials

  • 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.

Recommended

  • 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

Duration:
3 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
6

3 nights from 0pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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