St Oswald's Way Walking Holidays
Lindisfarne to Humshaugh in 9 Days Walking Code: SO10
We offer 4 itineraries covering the whole route. The 6 day itinerary has 5 long days and should only be attempted if you are fit and used to walking long distances day after day. The 9 day trip is done at a more leisurely pace. Most people spend 7 or 8 days walking the whole St Oswald’s Way.
This is the longest St Oswald’s Way itinerary. The furthest you will walk in a day is 14 miles, giving plenty of time to explore the route at a more leisurely pace.
|Day 1||Travel to Lindisfarne for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Lindisfarne to Belford||12||19|
|Day 3||Belford to Seahouses||11||18|
|Day 4||Seahouses to Howick||12||19|
|Day 5||Howick to Warkworth||11||18|
|Day 6||Warkworth to Weldon Bridge||11||18|
|Day 7||Weldon Bridge to Rothbury||7||11|
|Day 8||Rothbury to Knowesgate then transfer to Rothbury||14||23|
|Day 9||Transfer to Knowesgate walk to Great Whittington, transfer to East Wallhouses||12||19|
|Day 10||Transfer to Great Whittington then walk to Humshaugh||9||14|
|Day 11||Depart from Humshaugh after breakfast|
Lindisfarne to Warkworth
Your walk starts on the island of Lindisfarne, one of the most important early centres of Christianity in England. You cross the Holy Island Causeway to the mainland, and head inland. Walking on easy tracks and through woodland, you reach the old market town of Belford, perhaps stopping en route for a detour to visit St Cuthbert’s Cave. Heading east, you meet the sea again at Bamburgh, King Oswald’s capital, with one of the finest castles in the UK.
Next stop is Seahouses, where boats take visitors to the Farne Islands, home to puffins, guillemots and arctic terns. Then, following some of the most spectacular coastline in Britain, you pass Beadnell, with its tiny harbour and imposing lime kilns, until eventually the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle come into view. Just beyond here is the fishing village of Craster, famous for its kippers, then further south again is Alnmouth, boasting one of the oldest golf courses in England.
A walk through coastal dunes, with splendid views of Coquet island, brings you to the historic market town of Warkworth, with its imposing 12th century castle and links with the Percy family.
Warkworth to Rothbury
The trail leaves the sea at Warkworth and follows the Coquet Valley inland. You walk along tracks and lanes, and through fields, crossing the River Coquet at the village of Felton. Walking on pretty riverside paths and through semi-native woodlands, you cross the river again at Weldon Bridge, near an 18th century coaching inn, The Angler’s Arms. Passing very close to the restored 12th century Brinkburn Priory, you eventually reach a disused railway track which takes you to the peaceful, historic market town of Rothbury.
Rothbury to Heavenfield
The Way leaves the River Coquet at Rothbury and heads south, passing through some of the most, beautiful, interesting and ancient features of the trail. Entering the Northumberland National Park, you pass Lordenshaws, an important archaeological site. Here you will see an Iron Age hill fort and some mysterious Neolithic rock art. The path rises up over open moorland, with spectacular views of the sandstone formations on Simonside, to the highest point on the trail, Coquet Cairn. Here it enters Harwood Forest, where you walk on forest tracks, often getting lovely open vistas of the surrounding landscape. Leaving the forest behind, you cross wide open fields and farmland, to reach the village of Kirkwhelpington.
Continuing south, you walk along paths and tracks over gently rolling countryside. You go through several pretty villages and ancient settlements, and pass some glorious viewpoints. Eventually you reach the Military Road, built by General Wade in 1745, along the line of Hadrian’s Wall. From now on you walk west along Hadrian’s Wall Path, until you reach the end of the trail, at Heavenfield, where King Oswald had his famous battle victory.
Easy to Moderate
The route starts on the coastal path, along beaches and dunes, before turning inland through rolling countryside and moorlands. If you are a regular walker this route should be within your capability.
Terrain: A walk of two halves – the coastal path is pretty straightforward. If you walk on the beaches stick to the more firm, sea washed sand. Once you turn inland the route follows tracks, paths and lanes along the River Coquet, then southwards over moorlands, forests, and fields.
What’s it like underfoot? On the whole the paths are well defined and maintained, but at times the countryside section can encounter some muddy paths, so good footwear is essential.
How much up & down? There is a climb of 300m (1000ft) after Rothbury, and a smaller one of 150m (500ft) between Lindisfarne and Belford. Otherwise pretty flat along the coastal section and rolling countryside, with small climbs inland.
Signposting: Generally good.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward, but you do go through some remote countryside, so make sure you can read your map.
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||A waterproof map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|12.5% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 12.5% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
| Packed Lunches
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight into the day-to-day operation and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
We are happy to book single rooms on our holidays but cannot normally book more than 2 for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.
General travel information on St Oswald’s Way area will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
To the start of the trail – Holy Island/Lindisfarne:
By Air: The nearest International Airport to the trail is Newcastle. There is a Tyne & Wear Metro station at Newcastle Airport with frequent services to Newcastle Central Station (journey time approx. 30 min).
By Public Transport: The most convenient railway station for Holy Island (Lindisfarne) is Berwick-upon-Tweed. Berwick station (BWK) is located on the East Coast Main Line with hourly trains between London Kings Cross, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
From Berwick-upon-Tweed: Border Buses service 477 runs between Berwick station and Holy Island although the times and frequency vary considerably according to the tides and safe crossing times (journey time approx. 35 min). For up to date bus timetables, visit the Border Buses website
Alternatively, you may wish to make the journey by taxi but again this will be restricted by the tides (journey time approx. 35 min). There is a taxi rank at Berwick station. We can provide you with taxi company numbers if you wish to pre-book.
By Road: Holy Island (Lindisfarne) is located just off the A1 trunk road between Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Please note that the Island is only accessible across a causeway at low tide. Details of the safe crossing times can be found here. We also supply details about the safe crossing times during your stay in your holiday pack.
You must take note of the safe crossing times and plan your journey accordingly – do not attempt to cross the causeway at any other time as the tides come in very rapidly and the journey across can become very dangerous
From the end of the trail (Humshaugh or Chollerford for Heavenfield):
By Public Transport: The nearest Railway Station to Chollerford is Hexham. Hexham station (HEX) is located on the Tyne Valley Line with fast and frequent trains between Newcastle and Carlisle.
The nearest bus pick-up points to Chollerford are Humshaugh and Low Brunton Crossroads. From either stop, the 880 bus service runs frequently to Hexham Railway station (journey time approx. 30 min).
Between April and October, the AD122 bus service runs between Chesters Roman Fort (near Chollerford) and Hexham Railway Station (journey time approx. 10 min). Alternatively, you may wish to make the journey by taxi (journey time approx. 10 min).
By Road: Chollerford is located on the B6318 between Newcastle and Carlisle. From the West (Carlisle): Leave the M6 motorway at Junction 43 and follow signs for the A69 Hexham. Approaching Greenhead, follow the signs for the B6318 to Chollerford.
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is an excellent place for a rest day. Because the Island is only accessible across its tidal causeway, you may be restricted by the tide times and not have sufficient time to visit all that it has to offer before your departure. As well as its historic attractions of the Castle and Priory, Holy Island is situated at the heart of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. Please check the Lindisfarne Castle website for current opening times.
Seahouses is known as the Gateway to the Farnes and is well worth a rest day. Famous for its outstanding natural beauty, superb attractions and bustling harbour. Boat trips can be taken to the Farne Islands where you can experience an abundance of wildlife, including entertaining puffins and lazy seals.
In addition to its 12th century church and magnificent castle, the ancient village of Warkworth boasts a variety of artisan shops. It’s also just a stone’s throw from Amble, where you can take a boat trip out to Coquet Island, home to 40,000 nesting sea birds such including puffins, rare roseate terns, kittiwakes and eider ducks.
Rothbury is a pleasant market town straddling the River Coquet, with a number of shops, cafes, and tearooms. Cragside House, Gardens and Estate, former home of the Victorian industrialist Lord Armstrong is situated a pleasant 2 mile walk from Rothbury and worth a visit at anytime of the year. The first house to be lit by hydro electricity, Cragside is also now one of the last strong holds of the red squirrel.