The Complete St Oswald's Way Guided Trail Holiday

Beautiful landscape image of Bamburgh Castle on Northumberland coast at sunrise with vibrant colors
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Trails
Walking Grade: 4
from £969pp £949pp

St Oswald's Way explores some of the finest landscapes and fascinating history of Northumberland. From Holy Island to Warkworth alongside stunning coastline, and then inland towards Hadrian's Wall. The trail links places associated with St Oswald, 7th century King of Northumbria, who played a major part in bringing Christianity to his people. You will find castles, coastline, islands, scenic river valleys, attractive villages, forest and farmland on this complete trail.

Holiday Highlights

  • Complete trail - both coastal and inland sections
  • Stunning Northumberland scenery
  • Stay at Nether Grange, Alnmouth

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • The services of an HF Holidays' walks leader
  • All transport on walking days

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

97 miles with 13½-19 miles and up to 1,075 feet of ascent in a day.


Starting from Lindisfarne Priory on Holy Island we head towards the mainland, via the tide-exposed Causeway, passing through the small village of Fenwick and on to Shiellow Woods. Our route then leads to Belford, passing by its Norman church and the 18th century Belford Hall. Belford was a coaching stop on the Great North Road and has an old coaching inn, now the Blue Bell Hotel. We head back towards the coast, pass Spindlestone Heughs, cross the golf course and enter the charming village of Bamburgh. Bamburgh Castle, once the seat of the Kings of Northumbria, and the Grace Darling museum, are symbols of Bamburgh’s connection to the past.

19 miles (30km) with 925 feet (277m) of ascent


Walking south on golden sands, with views of the Farne Islands, we head towards Seahouses, a popular tourist centre and centre for visits to the Farne Islands. We leave Seahouses at the harbour and head for the small fishing village of Beadnell which has the only west-facing port on the east coast of England. The historic limekilns, now owned by the National Trust are near the harbour. We cross the sandy expanse of Beadnell Bay where Little and Arctic terns breed in season. The Way crosses Newton Links and arrives at the tiny settlement of Low Newton. The spectacular ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle now draw us towards it around Embleton Bay, and on to the grassy path leading to the village of Craster.

14 miles (22.5km) with 150 feet (45m) of ascent


Today we leave Craster passing the harbour and the herring smokehouses (kippers), and take the coastal path. This leads to the volcanic Cullernose Point and around Howick Bay, well known for its geological interest. We reach Boulmer, historically a notorious centre for smuggling activities. Just to the south of Boulmer is Alnmouth, the location of our HF Holidays’ Country House, Nether Grange, and after a brief stop set off in the direction of Amble and Warkworth to end the day at Warkworth Castle, situated above the River Coquet.

13½ miles (22km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent


We continue inland past the imposing Warkworth Castle to follow the valley of the River Coquet. The Way passes through the villages of Fenton and Weldon Bridge, and close to Brinkburn Priory, before joining a disused railway line. From here we get views across to the Cragside Country Park, and as we take a high-level route into Rothbury views of Cragside House appear. A steady road descent brings us to the market town of Rothbury.

18 miles (29km) with 875 feet (262m) of ascent


Leaving Rothbury, the Way turns south and visits Lordenshaws, an Iron Age hill fort and settlement, with its cup-and-ring marked rocks. After a further short ascent, heather-clad open moorland is crossed, leading to Coquet Cairn, the highest point of the walk. We continue through the extensive Harwood Forest, The trail leaves the forest near the hamlet of Harwood and follows paths over attractive farmland, offering magnificent far-reaching views, towards Knowesgate then onto the scenic small village of Kirkwhelpington, our destination.

15 miles (24km) with 1,075 feet (322m) of ascen


Kirkwhelpington is left behind as the route heads through remote but picturesque rolling farmland. The settlements of Great Bavington and Hallington are passed on the way to the village of Great Whittington. A short stretch south brings us to the course of Hadrian’s Wall Path and the Military Road. Here we head west, following the path until we reach our final destination of Heavenfield where a wooden cross marks the site of the historic battle.

17½ miles (28km) with 1,025 feet (307m) of ascent



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

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
09 Jul - 16 Jul
7 Guided Trail £969 £949 Save £20 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
24 Sep - 01 Oct
7 Guided Trail £969 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes

Important Information

At this time, due to Covid-19 safety restrictions, sharing a room on a Trails Holiday with someone who is not in your own personal “bubble” isn’t an option, but we hope that it will be by the time you travel. If it isn’t, we will try our best to accommodate you in a single room, with the resulting supplement. If a single room is not available, we may need to cancel your booking. Alternatives include, booking a single room now to guarantee your place on the holiday, or finding a friend/family member to bubble up with and share your room. Your shared room booking is accepted based on this understanding.

Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided Trails
Walking Grade:
4

7 nights from £969pp £949pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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