Wild Coast Walks – Northumberland & Berwickshire

Northumberland

Code: ALNND

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • History
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Join our local leader, Patrick, and uncover the natural beauty of this wild coast on walks exploring the coastline of the English/Scottish border.

Holiday highlights

  • Experience a true insight into this stunning coastline, with the help of our local leader, Patrick
  • Discover St Cuthbert’s Cave, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and the jewel in the crown – the Farne Islands
  • Our walks help you to delve in and discover the natural history of the area − its wildlife, geology and the history that has shaped this beautiful coastline

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, plus evening activities
  • Great walking: explore some this stunning coastline in the company of our experienced local HF Holidays' leader
  • Accommodation: our Country House is equipped with all the essentials – a welcoming bar and relaxing lounge area, a drying room for your boots and kit, and comfortable en-suite rooms 

 

Accommodation

4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation

Nether Grange occupies a wonderful seaside location in the historic village of Alnmouth. With both historic character and modern facilities, it is a wonderful base for a relaxing holiday.

 

Bedrooms

Nether Grange has 35 bedrooms, a number of which enjoy views across the golf links to the sea.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Nether Grange makes good use of its excellent seaside location, with a large lounge and attractive dining room with sea views. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms.  There is also a range of board games and books.

Outdoors is an attractive elevated terrace and croquet lawn which enjoys superb views over the golf links to the sea.

The conservatory is adjacent to the bar and houses the Dandelion Café during the day. There is also a ballroom on the lower floor. This flexible space can be used for dancing, evening talks or as a light and airy painting studio. 

The Dandelion Café serves a range of coffee and speciality leaf teas, plus snacks and sandwiches. It is also licensed, serving beer, spirits, and a variety of wines from around the world. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm. Everyone welcome.

 

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on Northumberland's rich wildlife from a local speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Accessibility

Due to the age and the layout of the house, Nether Grange is not recommended for wheelchair users or guests with restricted mobility.

Although one bedroom has wheelchair access, the access to the main house has some steps and the public rooms in the main building are over 2 floors with no lift available.

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • Parking is available in the streets surrounding Nether Grange
  • A paved footpath from the main gate to the front door has 4 steps (3.6ft high in total)
  • Steel handrail to the left
  • Assistance with luggage can be provided 

Main entrance & reception

  • The front door has 2 steps (1ft 4'' high in total) and leads to the entrance hall, which is 2 metres x 6.2m
  • The door is 73cm wide 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The main building has 4 floors
  • On the lower ground floor, there is a conservatory (laminated floor), a bar (carpet), a ballroom (laminated floor), a library (carpet) and public toilets (safety flooring)
  • On the ground floor, there is another lounge, an internet room, an entrance hall, a dining room and a lobby, all carpeted
  • 20 steps from the lower ground floor to ground floor, with further 24 steps to the first floor
  • The width of the main staircase is 4ft 6”, the step height is 6” and depth 12”
  • Wooden stair rail on both sides of the staircase
  • An alternative staircase from ground to first floor has 22 steps in total, with 3 rest landings (3 flights of stairs)
  • From first to the second floor, there are 2 flights of stairs, 7 and 11 steps with one rest landing. The width of the staircase is 3ft 7”, the step height is 6 inches and the depth 11”
  • Short pile carpet throughout the stairs, landings and corridors 

Public areas – lounges, bar and ballroom

  • The lounge is 6.6m x 10.6m. Level access. Furniture consists of coffee tables, sofas, chairs (both with or without arms)
  • The door width is 93cm.
  • The bar is 3.30m x 8.55m sofas, coffee tables, stools and chairs with arms.
  • Conservatory is 5.1m x 13.6m with, movable wicker furniture. A small water feature
  • The ballroom is 5.1m x 13.6m. Accessed from the bar via 4 steps (60cm high in total)
  • Movable chairs along the walls
  • The library and games room is 4.7m x 6.8m 

Public WCs

  • The toilets are available on the lower ground floor
  • Toilet height 40cm, door width 75cm
  • The flooring is non-slip and there is good colour contrast 

Dining room & bar

  • The dining room is on the ground floor and has level access.
  • Table height is 72cm, underspace of 65cm high x 150cm wide
  • Tables have legs in each corner. Furniture is easily movable
  • Breakfast service is self service cold buffet with assistance available, if required. Table service for hot meals & drinks
  • Dinner service is waitress service 

Bedrooms

Room 4

  • This is the room best suited for anyone requiring wheelchair access. The en-suite room is located on the ground floor of The Towers
  • The room size is 3.4m x 4.96m. Door width 87cm. Twin beds, 51cm high
  • The en-suite bathroom is 1.3m x 2.4m. Bathroom door is 96cm wide
  • Toilet height is 42cm, the wash basin 79cm high. There is a pullcord light which can be reached from any height. Support rails by the toilet
  • The shower tray is 2.4m long and there is a shower chair attached to the wall. One step of 12cm in height to enter the shower. Safety flooring 

Other Bedrooms

  • There is another twin room (5) on the ground floor of The Towers, but the bathroom is not as suitable for anyone with restricted mobility as in room 4
  • The rest of the bedrooms are on the first and second floor of the main House.
  • All bedrooms are carpeted
  • The rooms are a mixture of single and twin rooms, the majority of the rooms are en-suite, some are with wash basin only with public facilities available nearby
  • Most of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms. These are a mixture of showers and baths
  • Most bathrooms have safety floor, a few have vinyl flooring, carpet or tiled floor 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied

Holiday itinerary

This itinerary may be subject to change, depending on walking conditions during the week.

Friday: arrival day

Saturday: the Northumberland Coast, Howick to Beadnell

We start from Howick and follow the Northumberland Coast north to Craster, a picture perfect fishing village. Then it’s on to the mighty ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle, the sweep of Embleton Bay and a refreshment stop at The Ship Inn at Low Newton. We hug the coast to High Newton, walk through the dunes before stepping across the footbridge at The Long Nanny where we pick up the beach and follow the shoreline for the finish in the village of Beadnell. 9 miles (14.5km) with 650ft (196m) of ascent

Sunday: the Farne Islands and the Bamburgh Coast

Our day begins in Seahouses where we take a boat trip to the Farne Islands to see seabirds, seals and some wonderful coastal scenery. The aim is to land on Inner Farne and, depending on the time of year, we’ll be getting up close to puffins, guillemots and a whole lot more. Wear a hat though, the Arctic terns let you know that you’re on their territory here. Then it’s back to Seahouses harbour, stopping off for refreshments and then a bus to Bamburgh to enjoy a circular walk along the wilder side of this fabulous coast. Our walk ends in Bamburgh. There is a landing fee on Inner Farne (payable locally); National Trust members do not need to pay. 6 miles (10km) with 500ft (150m) of ascent.

Monday: free day

Tuesday: Belford to Beal via St Cuthbert’s Cave

We begin our day in the village of Belford and head for St Cuthbert’s Cave, deep in rural Northumberland. We walk across fields, through woodland and past Cockenheugh (hoof), a fine sandstone geological feature, before we reach the cave, a place of religious pilgrimage for centuries. Then it’s out onto a heather moor and the high point of our day, before we enter Kyloe Wood and the walk up to Beal, where our walk ends at the Lindisfarne Inn. 10½ miles (17km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent

Wednesday: the Holy Island of Lindisfarne to Berwick-upon-Tweed

Today, we’ll be walking on the Pilgrim’s Way, a route established in 635AD between Lindisfarne and the mainland. It’s best done barefoot, so be prepared for this remarkable experience - you’ll need to carry your boots on this section of the journey. Then, it’s boots back on and we head north along the wilder side of the Northumberland Coast, past some geological treasures, some wonderful wildflower grassland and some more recent reminders of our turbulent history. We arrive in Berwick, crossing over the medieval bridge, one of three great crossings over the mighty River Tweed. 12½ miles (20km) with 500ft (150m) of ascent

Thursday: Burnmouth to St Abbs Head on the Berwickshire Coast

Today, we’ll be walking in Scotland and what a contrast in the scenery. We walk along a coast with some of the highest sea cliffs in Scotland, past some amazing geological features and some spectacular scenery. We pause in Eyemouth, a busy fishing port, before heading on to the villages of Coldingham and St Abbs. Then, it’s on to St Abbs Head and one of the finest coast walks in the area. It’s a National Nature Reserve, home to a rare butterfly and in the spring and summer the cliffs are crammed with nesting seabirds. It’s quite an adventure. 10 miles (16km) with 1,850ft (523m) of ascent

Friday: depart after breakfast

The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in your holiday price.

Local area

Nether Grange sits right at the heart of the historic coastal village of Alnmouth. Located right on the North Sea coast there is a sweeping sandy beach and a small tidal harbour. Facilities include a handful of small shops, pubs and cafés.

A wider range of facilities, including shops, supermarkets, banks and chemists can be found in Alnwick, the nearest town. Alnwick is about four miles inland and is connected to Alnmouth by regular buses.

During your visit to the Nether Grange you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Alnwick Castle & gardens
The huge Alnwick Castle is a big attraction in its own right and has gained a younger audience since being used as ‘Hogwarts Castle’ in the Harry Potter films. The gardens have undergone extensive rebuilding and are now the main draw for many visitors. Alnwick is just 10 to 15 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the hourly X18 bus. www.alnwickcastle.com or www.alnwickgarden.com

Farne Islands
Take a boat trip (weather permitting) from Seahouses to the Farne Islands; one of the best places in Britain to view seals and puffins. Seahouses is around 45 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 bus. www.farne-islands.com

Bamburgh Castle
Owned by the Armstrong family since the 1750s, Bamburgh Castle occupies a splendid position above the sweeping sands of the North Sea coast. Bamburgh is 35 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 501 local bus which runs every other hour. www.bamburghcastle.com

Warkworth Castle
Warkworth Castle, a few miles to the south of Alnmouth, towers over a bend in the River Coquet and the picturesque town of Warkworth. Warkworth is just 10 minutes' drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached using the 518 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/warkworth-castle

Lindisfarne
English Christianity was born in 7th century  Northumberland and Lindisfarne Priory, is its oldest major site, dating from 635AD.  It is located on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, cut off by the tides twice a day (make sure that you check the tide times before you visit). The Heritage Centre tells the stories of St Aidan, St Cuthbert and St Bede and displays the 8th century Lindisfarne Gospels in electronic form. Linisfarne is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth. www.english-heritage.org.uk/lindisfarne-priory

Cragside House
Built by Victorian industrial magnate William Armstrong, Cragside House was hugely innovative and was the first house in Britain to be lit by electric light. Now managed by the National Trust, the house and gardens are a fascinating visit. Cragside is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside

Newcastle-upon-Tyne
The vibrant city of Newcastle is always bustling with activity and is famed for its shopping and lively nightlife. The new Baltic arts centre and Sage Gallery are well worth a visit. Newcastle is just under an hour's drive from Alnmouth, and can also be reached by hourly local bus.

Seaton Delaval Hall
Seaton Delaval Hall is a fine stately home, designed by John Vambrugh and completed in 1728. Following an extensive fundraising appeal it has recently been purchased by the National Trust. The hall is around 40 minutes' drive from Alnmouth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seaton-delaval-hall

Hadrian’s Wall
Around 1½ hours drive from Nether Grange, Hadrian’s Wall remains a powerful symbol of the Roman Empire. The most dramatic section is from Once Brewed to Housteads Roman Fort and a walk here enables you to see some of the best preserved sections at close quarters. Two museums of note are the Roman Army Museum near Walltown you can gain an insight into the daily lives of Roman soldiers, and Vindolanda Roman Fort with its collection of rare Roman artefacts. www.visithadrianswall.co.uk

Alnmouth Village Golf Club
This links course if located right in front of Nether Grange. www.alnmouthvillagegolfclub.co.uk

Barter Books has been dubbed the British Library of secondhand bookshops and is located in a handsome old Victorian railway station in Alnwick.

Travel

Nether Grange, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 2RZ

By train: The nearest railway station is Alnmouth. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: The 1 mile journey from Alnmouth railway station takes approximately 5 minutes. Taxis cost approx £4 per 4 seat taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nether Grange Manager.

By car: Take the A1 to Alnwick. Exit on the A1068 heading towards Alnwick. At the roundabout turn right (not well signed) and follow the A1068 towards Alnmouth. After 2¾ miles go straight ahead at the first roundabout then left at the second roundabout onto the B1338. As you approach Alnmouth cross the bridge, then turn right at the roundabout into the centre of the village. Turn left into Pease’s Lane. Nether Grange is on the left, look out for our sign.  Please note that Nether Grange does not have a car park. There is free parking available on the streets around Nether Grange.

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

Leaders

Patrick Norris

Patrick has been a leader for HF Holidays since 2003. He has led walking holidays in the UK from St Ives in Cornwall to the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland. He holds the Hill and Moorland Leader Award, which he gained at Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre in Wales.

After a career in the Royal Navy, he moved into countryside management and delivered a wide programme of countryside projects, first in Hertfordshire and then in Swindon, where as a member of the Community Forest team, he oversaw the planting and establishment of over one million trees.

Now based in Northumberland where he runs his own business, he has an intimate knowledge of the Northumberland Coast, the hills and valleys of the Northumberland National Park and the countryside between the two. With a strong interest in the wildlife, wild landscapes and history of the Borders, he is always happy to share that knowledge with guests on their HF Holidays' break.

When he is not leading guided walks, he can be found walking up a hill somewhere in the Northumberland National Park, or heading out along the remarkable Northumberland Coast on the lookout for more adventures in the great outdoors.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
15 Jul 2016, 2:34 p.m.

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I have never been disappointed with the holidays I have chosen with HF Holidays

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Wild Coast Walks - a unique opportunity to explore the wild coasts of Northumberland - I enjoyed it immensely.
13 Jul 2016, 5:56 a.m.

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Not on guided holiday Almouth, but on wild coast walk Northumberland - excellent ! great leader.
11 Jul 2016, 4:15 p.m.

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Costly but very good holidays

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Leadership and walking excellent house food organisation could be improved
11 Jul 2016, 11:50 a.m.

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No particular comment.

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This review is for the limited edition Wild Coast Walks. A fantastic well designed holiday and an excellent leader.
11 Jul 2016, 10:45 a.m.

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HF holidays always enjoyable. I like the inclusiveness of the guests. Rooms are perfectly adequate despite difficulties of old buildings.

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Well planned walks and informed information about the area. The holiday I attended was wild coast walks and it was exceptionally well managed.
30 Jun 2016, 8:31 p.m.

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Never disappoints

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Fantastic walks, comfortable house
29 Jun 2016, 5:17 a.m.

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Great

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Wild Coast Walking was well thought out, with lots of variety, an excellent and knowledgeable leader and one of the best HF holidays I have been on.
28 Jun 2016, 3:50 p.m.

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Understanding.

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Walks and hotel very good, Pleased we didn't choose the 20 mile a day walking tour. Our guide was excellent, his walks, information and manner made our holiday.
28 Jun 2016, 8:10 a.m.

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Good organisation and friendly service

Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person