Walking St Oswald's Way and Northumberland Coast Path
Heavenfield and Cresswell to Holy Island
Guide to St Oswald's Way, stretching 97 miles (156km) through Northumberland from Heavenfield near Hadrian's Wall, to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) and taking in almost the whole length of the Northumberland Coast AONB. Includes an option to continue to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the final stage of the Northumberland Coast Path.
SeasonsSpring, summer and autumn; late autumn for birdlife; expect snow on higher ground in winter
CentresHeavenfield, Cresswell, Amble, Kirkwhelpington, Rothbury, Craster, Warkworth, Bamburgh, Holy Island, West Mains, Berwick-upon-Tweed
DifficultyNo special difficulties to encounter on the routes in this guide, though a reasonable level of fitness is assumed. Some of the stages as described are fairly long, though they can be broken down into shorter sections. Crossing to Holy Island must be timed to coincide with low tide
Must SeeWarkworth Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Hadrian's Wall, Simonside, Lordenshaws, Howick Hill Fort, Dunstanburgh Castle, St Cuthbert's Cave, Lindisfarne Priory, Lindisfarne Castle, Cheswick Sands
This guidebook describes the St Oswald's Way and Northumberland Coast Paths, both long-distance trails through Northumberland. St Oswald's Way (156km, 97 miles) begins in Heavenfield and traverses parts of Northumberland National Park and visits Hadrian’s Wall, the Simonside Hills and the beautiful Coquet Valley, before continuing up the coast to Lindisfarne (Holy Island). The Northumberland Coast Path (100km, 62 miles) takes in the whole of the Northumberland Coast AONB with its breathtaking coastal scenery and birdlife. Both trails converge on Holy Island, with the Coast Path continuing up to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Each trail can be walked in a week.
The guide includes practical advice on when to go and what to take, and information on the region, its weather, wildlife, history and heritage. Detailed route descriptions and clear, step-by-step instructions are accompanied by 1:50K OS mapping. Public transport options and accommodation listings are also given.
Described as the cradle of Christianity in England, Northumberland's history is long and varied and the trails reflect this with visits to some magnificent architecture – rambling castles, Norman churches, medieval abbeys – as well as sites of enormous archaeological and geological interest, quiet villages and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. From rugged hills to coastal dunes this is one of Britain's most beautiful landscapes for walking and backpacking far away from it all.
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Rudolf Abraham (www.rudolfabraham.co.uk) is an award-winning travel writer and photographer specialising in Central and Southeastern Europe. He is the author of 14 books, and his work is published widely in magazines.View author profile
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