Brunton’s Guide to the best local walks
At Brunton Cottages we understand the anticipation of exploring the beautiful Northumberland countryside and the coastline that we are so lucky to have near us. The picturesque fishing villages, magnificent Cheviot hills, miles of sandy beaches and open country beckon adventurers to traverse the scenic paths that crisscross this area.
In this guide we unveil some of the best local walks, ranging from leisurely strolls around Brunton to more challenging treks along historic routes.
The accompanying cartoon films were made by Dennis Sisterton who lives a few miles from Brunton and often walks the footpaths around here. ‘Around the block’ and ‘Walk to Fallodon’ were commissioned by us to bring the local walks to life.
Local Brunton walks…
Around the Block – (a tranquil 2 mile stroll)
Head left out of Brunton’s central gravel courtyard and across the bridge, then bear left along the farm track. Follow this track which will start heading east, in the direction of the sea. At the T junction, after approx 1 mile, turn left and head to the top of the Dean (large wood,) follow on down the track and over the bridge and back past the lake to Brunton.
Walk to Fallodon – (2-4 miles)
Turn left out of the central gravel courtyard and bear right after crossing the bridge. Head up past Stable Cottage and the back of Brunton House and keep going along the track though the trees. Go through the gate and keep on the track to the railway cottage, which you can see 200m away. Cross the railway on the pedestrian crossing at the cottage and then turn left at the road. After approx 200m on the road, you will reach the East Lodge of Fallodon, after the Sawmill. You can then either walk up the drive or take one of a number of footpaths or tracks that are marked.
The Lake walk – (1/2 mile) A very easy walk down to the lake:
Walk right out of the central gravel courtyard and across to the parking area. Walk past Garden Cottage and through the farm gate, then turn right and set off down the grassy track where you will find the tranquil lake a few hundred metres further on, with ducks, often a pair of swans and the occasional glimpse of otters.
The Dean – (2 miles) A walk past the lake to the wood:
As for the ‘Lake walk’ but continue on past the lake, following the line of the Brunton burn to the Dean wood, then walk on either the north or south side of the wood.
The Coastal Classic:
Have a drink in the Jolly Fisherman in Craster and then walk from this tiny fishing village (famous for its kippers) past the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, to lunch at The Ship Inn, Low Newton. This is often voted a top 10 walk in the UK. You can park in the Quarry car park at Craster (pay and display) or take a bus from our nearest village, Embleton.
Climb the hill:
Drive over the moors from the North Charlton road, which you reach from the A1, signposted ‘Chillingham’. Spot the distinctive hill of ‘Ros Castle’ on your left, after a few miles along the wild, single-track road over the moor. Make the easy (but steep) climb up the hill to admire the views of the coast stretching up to Scotland and over the moors to the Cheviots. You can see a host of Northumberland castles from this incredible vantage point, and the heather all around you makes a soft spot to sleep after a picnic lunch.
King’s Coastal Path:The King’s Coastal Path runs for 27 miles along the Northumberland coast, from Tynemouth to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Any of this path is a great way to explore the coast and enjoy some of the best scenery in the region, with the soothing sounds of the waves accompanying your walk. The views are breathtaking and the refreshing sea breeze gives you a new lease of life. There is a perfect blend of nature and history to restore your spirits.
St Cuthbert’s Way – a famous pilgrimage
For those in search of a pilgrim route, St Cuthbert’s Way beckons. St Cuthbert’s Way threads its way 62 miles through the quiet countryside of the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, joining together places associated with the 7th Century Saint. It begins in the market town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders and finishes on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on the edge of the North Sea. In-between it takes in some beautiful countryside, including the banks of the River Tweed and the foothills of the Cheviot Hills, and visits important historic sites such as Dryburgh Abbey and St Cuthbert’s Cave. It is a challenging but rewarding experience, with stunning views and the concluding chapter is a walk across the tidal causeway to Holy Island.
Explore the historic landmarks and breathtaking landscapes that have made this path a favourite among walkers seeking a deeper connection with the land around them and their own place in it. The whole St Cuthbert’s Way walk can take 4 – 6 days or just a segment can be taken at a time. Various companies can help organise luggage and give advice on the route. Just to walk the 3 miles across the causeway is a pilgrimage in itself.
Walking the ancient Pilgrim’s route along the causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne:
Length: 3 miles
Time: 75 – 90 minutes
Please note: only walk on a receding tide, barefoot or with waterproof shoes. Be prepared to get muddy legs.
Safety first: make sure you carefully read the instructions on when to cross. Tides cover the Pilgrim’s Way very quickly, and can catch you by surprise if you’re not careful. Key safety points:
- DO NOT use the council’s safe crossing tables for Holy Island as a guide for when the Pilgrim’s Way is walkable. They are intended for cars crossing on the causeway road which has a longer ‘dry’ time than the Pilgrim’s route. Please read advice on safe times to walk.
- DO NOT cross at dusk, in the dark or in bad weather conditions.
For those with a penchant for day trips, Hadrians’s Wall offers a historical outing with breathtaking views. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see for anyone interested in history. The wall stretches for 73 miles across northern England, and there are plenty of opportunities to walk along sections of it. A good walk provides a glimpse into the ancient history and also the rugged beauty of the surrounding landscape.
The forts on the wall are great places to aim for. Housesteads, started in 122AD, is the most complete Roman fort in the country. Vindolanda has a modern, world class museum with its famous, postcard-like handwritten tablets, which are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. There is also a café to make a day trip very easy for anyone to enjoy.
The spectacular backdrop to this area are the Cheviot hills, separating England from Scotland. Hikers, climbers and walkers can explore the majestic peaks and valleys on routes that range from easy to challenging.
Footsteps Northumberland – footstepsnorthumberland.co.uk – 07847 506399.
Shepherds Walks – shepherdswalks.co.uk – 01669 621044 – guided walks by Northumberland hill shepherd Jon Monks and a team who live and work in the countryside and region.
Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an adventurous trek these local walks ensure you experience the beauty of this wonderful area of England, while staying at Brunton House and Cottages.