A nice family walk following the Elsdon Burn, before heading over Gallow Hill. Take time to enjoy the views over Elsdon – the historic capital of Redesdale. Enjoy a cuppa or a pint after building up a thirst from seeing the sights of this pretty little place.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start from the car park in Elsdon. Cross the bridge back into the village and turn left, following the road to Newcastle and Morpeth around the village green.
(1) Just outside the village take the right hand fork (signed Newcastle) over the bridge with metal railings. Cross the small stile on your right. Head straight across the field, cross the small footbridge and follow the line of the wall/fence up the hill (keeping the fence on your right). At the corner of the field go through the gate on your right and follow the grass track to the line of trees ahead of you. Follow the footpath along the original cart track to Haining.
(2) Pass in front of the house, now derelict, go through an old gateway and follow the wall on your left as it turns the corner. Now head for the dense block of conifers on the skyline in front of you. At the conifers, the footpath then follows the fence line on your left to a gate onto the road.
(3) Go through the gate on the other side of the road. Castle Hill lies on your right, keeping the wall on your left walk over Gallow Hill, stopping to admire the view at the highest point. Continue to follow the wall to the gate in the corner of the field. Go through the gate and keeping the wall now on your right, head for Hillhead Cottage. Go through a small wooden gate and follow the line of the old wall on the ground almost up to the house.
(4) At the corner of the house turn left and walk to a stile in the fence. Cross the stile and walk downhill to the barn ahead of you. At the tarmac farm track turn right and then left over the ladder stile after the barn. Go straight down the field and through the gate at the bottom.
(5) Follow the road back to the village. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Car park
1 : mi 0.33 - alt. mi 0.33 - Right hand fork
2 : mi 1.12 - alt. mi 1.12 - Haining
3 : mi 1.61 - alt. mi 1.61 - Gate
4 : mi 2.41 - alt. mi 2.41 - House
5 : mi 3.05 - alt. mi 3.05 - Road
D/A : mi 3.47 - alt. mi 3.47 - Car park
Terrain: Road, footpaths and farm tracks, some inclines, may be muddy
Car Parking: In Elsdon, near the village green
Nearest National Park Centre: The Coquetdale Centre, Rothbury
Heading South on the A68 from Carter Bar: Turn left onto theA696 (signed Newcastle), just past Otterburn turn left on to the B6341 to Elsdon. The village car park is through the village on the right
Heading North on the A696 from Belsay: Turn left on to the B6341 (signed Elsdon). The village car park is through the village on the right.
From Rothbury on the B6341: Follow the B6341 to Elsdon, the car park is on the left as you come into the village.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Food and accommodation are available in Elsdon.
The Bird in Bush Inn serves a range of ales and good food, especially Sunday lunches.
In the old schoolhouse dating from the 1700s, the Impromptu Tea Room welcomes walkers and cyclists and caters for vegetarians.
Points of Interest
Elsdon is the historic capital of Redesdale and was once a very important settlement. From the car park, look out for the old Mill House by the burn on the Rothbury road. Behind you are the Mote hills earthworks – relics of a Norman Motte and Bailey and site of an old Anglian Moot. Across the road is a Northumbrian Pele tower from the time of the Reivers, although a tower is recorded on this site as early as 1415.
The church dates back to the 12th Century and its churchyard contains several interesting gravestones, some listed. It is reputed to hold the dead from the Battle of Otterburn (1388).
Crown Farm used to be an inn as was Bacchus House with its statue of the god on his wine barrel above the front door. Over the bridge, Raylee's Farm was once also an inn! Across the green is the surviving inn, the Bird in Bush.
The trees in the village green mark the old cockpit, and a bear baiting site is marked by a stone near the bus stop. The 18th century circular Pinfold is the old pound, where stray animals were kept until owners could pay for their return. Pinfold Cottage used to be a smithy and the Old Smithy itself is on the other side of the green.
You can see several ruins as you climb the hill, remnants of the previous habitation. Look out for curlews, little owls and buzzards, and brown hares streaking through the fields.
Looking back towards The Haining you can see the cottage, Elsdongate, that was the toll house on the road from Otterburn. The Elsdon coal mine was on this road in former times.
Enjoy a circular walk suitable for most abilities, with fantastic views over Elsdon on the return leg. Enjoy a cuppa or a pint after building up a thirst and seeing the sights of this scenic Northumberland village. For the adventurous amongst you, why not pair this walk with our Elsdon Burn Walk.
Enjoy a circular walk up to the summit of Simonside, involving some short, steep gradients. A walk along the Simonside Hills must not be missed. From the top, you have a wonderful 360-degree view encompassing the Cheviot Hills and the North Sea coastline. The area teems with wildlife such as the curlew, red grouse, wild goats, and even red squirrels in the forest below.
An easy to follow trail in the Simonside Forest, aimed at families, with plenty to look out for and do along the route.
Enjoy a lovely walk over Lordenshaws hillfort, with great views (on a clear day) over to the Cheviots. Visit out Lordenshaws page for more information about the area.
A circular walk with a lot of interest. From the prehistoric rock art, bronze age burial cairns and iron age hill fort at Lordenshaw, to the lovely scenic walk over the Simonside hills, to the iron age hill fort overlooking Great Tosson through to the tranquil return through the Simonside forest.
The hills in the southern part of the Northumberland National Park offer some fine walking. This route starts from the small village of Alwinton and follows paths, tracks and quiet country lanes for the most part. However some sections are pathless and a good sense of direction is necessary. The walk is best avoided if low cloud is covering the hills. Also do be prepared for some boggy areas especially after rain.
Alwinton and the River Alwin route is a favourite route with walkers, starting in Alwinton, that used to be one of many trackways in the border hills frequented in times past by cattle drovers, shepherds, pedlars and whiskey smugglers.
An easy circular walk from Alwinton; taking in the ruins of the castle at Harbottle and then up to the Drake Stone in the Harbottle Hills. Descend to Harbottle Lake and return via the forest path. Great views on a clear day.
For more walks, use our search engine.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.