4-Night Northumberland Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

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Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £745pp £745pp

Mile after mile of white sandy beaches, iconic castles and a wealth of winter wildlife make the Northumberland coast the ideal escape. After your walks, take a hot cuppa and sit on the beach to watch for shooting stars - magical. Spend the festive season in Northumberland, socialising and walking in this beautiful place. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Northumberland's iconic castles and beautiful beaches
  • Contrast scenic coastal strolls and jolly fishing harbours
  • Enjoy the warm hospitality of historic Nether Grange- fantastic food and wonderful seascapes await
  • Let our leaders bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life

What’s included

  • Full Board en-suite accommodation
  • A full programme of guided walks or activities
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' Leaders
  • Transport to and from the walks
  • Activities in the evenings
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Years Eve

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

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.

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


Option 1 - Buston Links and St Oswald's Way

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 420 feet (120m)

In summary: We begin following Lovers Walk out of Alnmouth. We walk through Buston Links. This grassland is carefully managed by the National Trust you will see blooming wild flowers. Beyond the dunes, lies the southern section of Alnmouth Bay and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore accompanies you as you walk along this near deserted section of the Northumberland Coast.

Highlight: The estuary is renowned as a nature reserve and particularly for migrating waders and wildfowl that gather as autumn approaches. 

Option 2 - In the Footsteps of St Oswald, a Northumbrian King

Distance: 9 miles (15km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m)

In summary: We follow Lovers Walk out of Alnmouth village to the estuary and renowned nature reserve. There are some fantastic views from the higher path down across the Aln Estuary and the colourful houses of Alnmouth as we make our way towards Warkworth. Look out for fossilised tree stumps on the beach after we turn for Alnmouth.

Highlight: Buston Links is a haven for birds and wildflowers, the latter more so in spring and summer, the former can turn up surprises any time of the year.

Option 3 - To Warkworth and Harry Hotspur's Castle

Distance: 11 miles (17km)

Ascent: 600 feet (200m)

In summary: Combining the Northumberland Coast Path, St Oswald's Way and the National Cycleway, our walk heads south to Warkworth Castle. As well as the history, you'll be rewarded with attractive coastal scenery, with plenty of wildlife and wild flowers at different times of the year. The ruined buildings alongside the coast path are the old guano sheds, built well away from the village, presumably due to the smell of this imported fertiliser.  

Highlight: Learn the history of Harry Hotspur, a member of the powerful Percy family who built Warkworth 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.


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: This walk is a repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. 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 Edge

Distance: 11.5 miles (18km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: This walk is a repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. 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.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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


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: This walk is a repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. 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 Edge

Distance: 11.5 miles (18km)

Ascent: 900 feet (280m)

In summary: This walk is a repeat from earlier in the week for 7 night guests. 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.


Option 1 - Buston Links and St Oswald's Way

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 420 feet (120m)

In summary: We begin following Lovers Walk out of Alnmouth. We walk through Buston Links. This grassland is carefully managed by the National Trust you will see blooming wild flowers. Beyond the dunes, lies the southern section of Alnmouth Bay and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore accompanies you as you walk along this near deserted section of the Northumberland Coast.

Highlight: The estuary is renowned as a nature reserve and particularly for migrating waders and wildfowl that gather as autumn approaches. 

Option 2 - In the Footsteps of St Oswald, a Northumbrian King

Distance: 9 miles (15km)

Ascent: 500 feet (160m)

In summary: We follow Lovers Walk out of Alnmouth village to the estuary and renowned nature reserve. There are some fantastic views from the higher path down across the Aln Estuary and the colourful houses of Alnmouth as we make our way towards Warkworth. Look out for fossilised tree stumps on the beach after we turn for Alnmouth.

Highlight: Buston Links is a haven for birds and wildflowers, the latter more so in spring and summer, the former can turn up surprises any time of the year.

Option 3 - To Warkworth and Harry Hotspur's Castle

Distance: 11 miles (17km)

Ascent: 600 feet (200m)

In summary: Combining the Northumberland Coast Path, St Oswald's Way and the National Cycleway, our walk heads south to Warkworth Castle. As well as the history, you'll be rewarded with attractive coastal scenery, with plenty of wildlife and wild flowers at different times of the year. The ruined buildings alongside the coast path are the old guano sheds, built well away from the village, presumably due to the smell of this imported fertiliser.  

Highlight: Learn the history of Harry Hotspur, a member of the powerful Percy family who built Warkworth Castle.


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

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

  • 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)

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
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
23 Dec - 27 Dec
4 Christmas £799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan
4 New Year £745 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

4 nights from £745pp £745pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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