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.
- Complete trail - both coastal and inland sections
- Stunning Northumberland scenery
- Stay at Nether Grange, Alnmouth
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
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 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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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. 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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.
- Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
- Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
- Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
- Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
- Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
- Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
- Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
- 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)
- Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
- Insect repellent
- Sun hat
- Sun cream
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
15 May - 22 May
|7||2019 Itinerary||£859 £819||Save £40 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
21 Aug - 28 Aug
|7||2019 Itinerary||£859 £819||Save £40 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
7 nights from £859pp £819pp
...or call 020 3974 8865