footsteps

Walking the Beauty
---..of Northumberland

Our weekly walks programme


Winter in Northumberland is an exciting time to be out and about exploring this remarkable County and walking is a great way to discover its many secrets.  On a Footsteps guided walk, we take you to some extraordinary places along the Northumberland Coast, in the hills and valleys of the National Park and to a great many places between the two.  The Northumberland Coast is one of the best places to see ducks, geese and waders overwintering all the way from the Arctic on the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. So, put on that extra warm layer, grab your binoculars and a camera and join a Footsteps guided walk for some great walking adventures in Northumberland.

Please take a look at the list of walks below; it covers the walks programme for the next 7-14 days. Click on the panels to reveal details of each walk. If you wish, you can download the monthly walks programmes for the months ahead from the 'Download a List of Walks' links on the Home page.

I have added our walks programmes covering up to the end of September 2017 here So if you want to plan ahead, then you can see what we're up to well into the early Autumn.

The weather, despite popular belief is generally fine and dry, although it's fair to say we don't always escape the worst and we do get the occasional rainy day. You will though be glad of that warm coat in your rucksack, as we explore some of the best walking in this remarkable county of Northumberland.

I am available as a freelance guide and in 2017, I will be leading guided walks and guided walking holidays in Northumberland for HF Holidays, Shepherd's Walks and Country Walks. I have also supported Berghaus in 2016 taking 60+ staff on a guided walk in South Tyneside. Please get in touch for more information about how we can support your walking holiday or a corporate activity in the great outdoors. 

Many but not all of our guided walks can be reached using public transport. Please contact us if you want to know more about our excellent bus services.

All our guided walks are circular and we always return on foot to where we started. There is one exception and that is the walks along the  Berwickshire Coast Path, when we return to our start point using public transport.

Please choose your walk or walks, send me an email or give me a call on 01668 213775 or 07847 506399 to book a place and to find out where to meet us on the day. Details of our prices for individuals, couples, families and groups for the walks can be found here.

Times vary, but a 6 mile (10 Km) walk takes about 3-4 hours to complete. The walks all begin between 9.00 and 9.30am, unless by prior arrangement.

In addition to our regular walks programme, we do lead longer and harder walks in the high hills of the Cheviot range in Northumberland National Park. So, if you want a challenging and longer day visiting the summits of the highest hills in Northumberland, then we can do that too. Please try and plan ahead for these walks and give me plenty of notice so that I can fit them in to the schedule.

At Footsteps, we are very pleased to be delivering the Mountain Training (England) Hill Skills course.  The 2-day course is designed for anyone new to hill walking; please see our Hill Skills page for the details.

We have a page on Trip Advisor, so if you want to read about what our walkers think about who we are, where we go and what we get up to on our guided walks, then click here. 

Monday 28th Aug — Breamish Valley & Linhope Spout, National Park, 10 miles (16 Km), 9.30 (6-7 hours)

The Breamish Valley and Linhope Spout Waterfall in the Northumberland National Park

The Valley provides an excellent gateway into the National Park and on this Footsteps guided walk, where we escape to some of its wilder and remoter corners. Setting off from the end of the valley road, we soon find ourselves heading up hill and across open country until we reach the Salters Road; this ancient track was once as the name suggests a ‘salt road’, but today it provides the perfect route towards the upper reaches of the River Breamish. At Bleakhope, a remote hill farm at the head of the valley, we ascend High Cantle, a short steep ascent on to the grouse moor and a long, high and open hill top walk. With great views to some of the highest hills in The Cheviots, lots of wildlife, including red grouse of course, this is great hill walking in a remote and dramatic landscape. One of the highlights of the walk is Linhope Spout waterfall. The Linhope Burn falls off the edge and plummets into a foaming pool of water some forty feet below. Wild swimming is an option in the Summer, so bring your swimming costumes if you’re brave enough, or do what most visitors do and photograph the memories of this delightful place. We’re soon back where we began after that and you’ll be thinking about and planning your next Footsteps guided walk.

Tuesday 29th Aug — Bamburgh & Budle Bay, Northumberland Coast, 6 miles (10 Km), 9.30 (3-4 hours)

Bamburgh and Budle Bay on the Northumberland Coast

We begin this walk in the village of Bamburgh beneath the walls of its iconic castle and head north along the wilder side of Bamburgh Beach. Stopping off at Harkess Lighthouse and the famous Stag Rock, we’re soon heading for Budle Bay, an important part of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Hidden amongst the dunes is a World War II gun battery, huge and unmoving it’s one of a number of remaining defensive features that litter the coast. On the shore itself is the last of the quays from the days when this was a working port, sad and neglected, it’s slowly returning to the sea. If the tide allows, we stay on the shore, otherwise we have to take an inland path before heading over and through the nearby farmland and back to Bamburgh. There are some great views along the way and in the village, some fine tea shops and pubs to relax in and share the memories of a great Footsteps walk.  

Thursday 31st Aug — Yeavering Bell & Wester Tor, National Park, 10 miles (16 Km), 9.30 (6-7 hours)

Yeavering Bell and Wester Tor in Northumberland National Park

We haven't done this walk for a while now, but this is an excellent and challenging day out in the northern Cheviot Hills. We set off from the village of Kirknewton and soon pick up St. Cuthbert's Way and follow it east towards Yeavering Bell, looking out for the wild Cheviot goats as we go. We ascend the Bell with its magnificent views before returning to St. Cuthbert's Way and then onto Easter and Wester Tors, two lovely hills that look way down the College Valley and beyond into Scotland. We leave Wester Tor to return to Kirknewton where our walk ends; time to reflect on a rewarding day in the Cheviot Hills.

Friday 1st Sep — Craster & Low Newton, Northumberland Coast, 7 miles (11 Km), 9.30 (4-5 hours)

Craster and Low Newton along the wonderful Northumberland Coast

This famous walk, often quoted as being one of the nation’s favourites is an absolute must when you’re in Northumberland. It’s easy enough to do without a guide, but do think about walking with a Footsteps guide, we’ll tell you something of the history, point out the wildlife and take you back via the paths that visitors don’t use, something different perhaps. From Craster, a once bustling herring port, famous for its kippers we skirt the main coast path and head for a bit of a high ground and suddenly Dunstanburgh Castle, a 14th Century ruin appears in the distance and simply draws you onwards and perhaps at the same time back in history to its creation. It’s dramatic now; it must have been amazing in its day.  Beyond the Castle, Embleton Bay, a great reach of golden sand stretches away in the distance. The dunes full of wildflowers and singing skylarks mark the way ahead to Low Newton and the pub, our refreshment and turning point. On our return, we visit the bird hide at Newton Pools, fall in love with the views and sadly because this wonderful walk has to end we eventually arrive back in Craster; you’ll be back for more, I promise. 

Monday 11th Sep — The Pilgrim's Way to Lindisfarne, 8 miles (12 Km), 10.30 (5-6 hours)

The Pilgrim’s Way to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on the Northumberland Coast

We walk in the footsteps of the Saints and early Christians along the ancient Pilgrim’s Way, the traditional route to Lindisfarne, which has been in use for at least 1500 years.  You can go barefoot if you wish, it’s certainly warm enough and it’s a lovely squishy sort of walk on the mud and sand.  If not barefoot, then we recommend you wear your wellies for this walk; we do have to splash through a bit of water on the way across. As we cross the wide open space between the mainland and the Island, listen out for the singing seals, you’ll remember that mournful, magical sound for a long time.  The Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve is a great place for wildflowers, butterflies and birds, so bring your binoculars as well as your camera. Once on the Island, we'll be exploring and discovering some of its wilder corners before walking back to the mainland again on the Pilgrim’s Way. 

Tuesday 12th Sep — The College Valley & The Schil, National Park, 10 miles (16 Km), 9.30 (5-6 hours)

The College Valley, the Pennine Way and The Schil

We set off following the College Valley road, heading for an area called 'the wilderness', which sits at the west end and at the head of this beautiful valley. The Cheviot is on our left and ahead of us, the hidden and impressive Hen Hole, a steep rocky cleft with a series of waterfalls beckons, but we won't be going that way today. Instead, we head uphill to join the Pennine Way, turn briefly south to visit the refuge hut, then retrace our steps and ascend The Schil, a mountain that straddles the English/Scottish Border and at 601 metres (1971 feet) is an impressive place to be. We stay on the Pennine Way, ascend Black Hag and then turn east descending slowly back towards our start point. On the way we walk through a prehistoric hillfort, evidence that we are definitely not the first people to walk this way.

Thursday 14th Sep — Craster & Low Newton, Northumberland Coast, 7 miles (11 Km), 9.30 (4-5 hours)

Craster and Low Newton along the wonderful Northumberland Coast

This famous walk, often quoted as being one of the nation’s favourites is an absolute must when you’re in Northumberland. It’s easy enough to do without a guide, but do think about walking with a Footsteps guide, we’ll tell you something of the history, point out the wildlife and take you back via the paths that visitors don’t use, something different perhaps. From Craster, a once bustling herring port, famous for its kippers we skirt the main coast path and head for a bit of a high ground and suddenly Dunstanburgh Castle, a 14th Century ruin appears in the distance and simply draws you onwards and perhaps at the same time back in history to its creation. It’s dramatic now; it must have been amazing in its day.  Beyond the Castle, Embleton Bay, a great reach of golden sand stretches away in the distance. The dunes full of wildflowers and singing skylarks mark the way ahead to Low Newton and the pub, our refreshment and turning point. On our return, we visit the bird hide at Newton Pools, fall in love with the views and sadly because this wonderful walk has to end we eventually arrive back in Craster; you’ll be back for more, I promise. 

Friday 15th Sep — Breamish Valley & Linhope Spout, National Park, 10 miles (16 Km), 9.30 (6-7 hours)

Dunmoor and Hedgehope in the Northumberland National Park

Two great hills in the National Park, both reached from The Breamish Valley. Hedgehope is the second highest hill in Northumberland and it has some spectacular all round views from the summit. Along the way, we tackle Dunmoor Hill and an area known as Cunyan Crags, although the crags aren't anywhere near as fearsome as they sound. It's good walking country all around though and there's a great sense of achievement as we reach the top of Hedgehope 2342 feet above sea level, so it's worth the effort. We leave Hedgehope and descend all the way to the valley floor, stopping off at Linhope Spout, a marvellous waterfall.  It's a great day out for all sorts of reasons in the National Park.

Thursday 21st Sep — Bamburgh & Budle Bay, Northumberland Coast, 6 miles (10 Km), 9.30 (3-4 hours)

Bamburgh and Budle Bay on the Northumberland Coast

We begin this walk in the village of Bamburgh beneath the walls of its iconic castle and head north along the wilder side of Bamburgh Beach. Stopping off at Harkess Lighthouse and the famous Stag Rock, we’re soon heading for Budle Bay, an important part of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Hidden amongst the dunes is a World War II gun battery, huge and unmoving it’s one of a number of remaining defensive features that litter the coast. On the shore itself is the last of the quays from the days when this was a working port, sad and neglected, it’s slowly returning to the sea. If the tide allows, we stay on the shore, otherwise we have to take an inland path before heading over and through the nearby farmland and back to Bamburgh. There are some great views along the way and in the village, some fine tea shops and pubs to relax in and share the memories of a great Footsteps walk.  

The walks are between 6 & 12 miles (10 - 20 Km) in distance. Times vary, but a 6 mile (10 Km) walk takes about 3.5 hours to complete.

Most walks begin at 9.30am unless stated, or by prior arrangement, please ask if you want to start a little later in the morning. Our walks across the sands on the Pilgrim's Way to Lindisfarne are determined by the tide, so start times will vary.

‘Footsteps - walking the beauty of Northumberland’ is a Member of:
North Northumberland Tourism Association | www.nnta.org

Your guide Patrick Norris holds the Hill and Moorland Leader Award and is a full member of the
Mountain Training Association | www.mountain-training.org