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Wildlife river walk

About this walk

This country side walk always leaves me with a craving for game pie. It covers woodland, rivers and fields and I will often see deer, pheasants, grouse and rabbits on the way. There are quite a lot of hills on this walk, which takes about an hour and is moderately strenuous. With young children, expect to add another half hour at least and it’s worth taking some drinks and snacks for the later part of the walk.

During winter months this can be very muddy in parts, so walking boots or wellies are recommended at this time of year.

Directions

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Start at Alnmouth train station, turn left down curly lane and until you meet a main road. Turn left and follow the road towards the bridge.

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You will see a gate in the left going steeply up hill, walk past this to the next gate, and take this gate. You will see a map of the local area. It can be helpful to take a snap of this on your phone for future reference if you are without a map.

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Follow the track up hill, and round to the left where you have a view of the train station and the rolling cheviots in the distance to the right. The path then goes down hill and skirts the river round to the left under the railway arch.

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Go through the railway arch and continue to follow the river until you meet a farm directly ahead of you, with some telegraph poles heading to the left. Turn left at this point and walk parallel to the farm, until you reach a gap in a hedge.

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Turn left through the gap in the hedge, and walk up hill where you will see a forest on your left. Keep walking until you reach a stile in the fence. Go over the stile and you will be on the old train track, which used to run from Alnmouth to Alnwick. This train track is being gradually restored and is worth a visit. As is Barter Books, which used to be the old train station in Alnwick.

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Turn right and walk for about 20 metres on the train track, and you will see another stile to your left, cross over this and walk up the hill with the fence on your right. Sometimes there will be cows grazing in this field, so best keep any dogs on leads. This is quite an incline, and at the top you will be gaining your appetite for game pie, incentivised by the sitings of game along your walk.

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At the top of the hill you have great views over Alnmouth and the coast, and Alnwick with the Cheviots beyond. When you look down the hill towards the farm, you can appreciate the climb you’ve done.

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Continue along the path until you meet a gate meeting a road, it can get very muddy here. Go through the gate, and turn left along the track, follow the road until you meet the main road, and you can turn left back down towards the train station. Initially there is no pavement so be careful for the first hundred meters or so.

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A walk around Alnmouth Estuary

About this walk

This is one of my favourite walks as it covers the estuary, beach, and hills bordering the coast.

I often do this walk at around 6am from March onwards. To many people the thought of getting up at 5.40am on a work day might be odd. But being the first person to make footprints in the sand after the tide is receding, and being able to watch the sunrise is truly enlightening. Often I will stop on the coastline, taking in the scenery and tranquility of the moment.

Directions

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I normally start from the car park at Hipsburn Football Club, where you can park for free.

From here, facing the road turn left towards Alnmouth and Duchess Bridge. You have a great view of the estuary to both the left and right along this stretch. You can also enjoy the birdsong in the nature area along this stretch of the walk.

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Cross Duchess bridge, and immediately cross over the road to the right and go through the white gate down the steps to Lovers’ Walk. Here you will often see herons along the banks of the estuary.

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Carry on round Lovers’ Walk, where you will see the famous colourful houses of Alnmouth, and you’ll reach Pease Park, where there is a children’s playground. This park is offers beautiful views for parents and fun for the whole family, with the picnic tables and communal, free to use, bbq which is popular with both locals and tourists.

Go through the park, and carry on along the road towards the sea, here you have a great view of Church Hill on your right. I’ve been told that is a great spot for catching flatties, however I’ve yet to see anyone catch anything but seaweed, and that includes me.

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You will reach a junction with Northumberland Road heading to the left. Carry straight on where the estuary opens out into Alnmouth beach.

Follow the road round to the left down the hill towards the golf course, and take the path through the small car park on your right to and follow the sign for the beach, which brings you onto the sand through a boardwalk.

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Turn left and walk along the beach until you reach the old lifeboat house on your left, at this point turn left onto the road through golf course, and walk up the road where you will see a path cut diagonally right up the hill.

When you reach a small car park on your right, turn right and follow the path up the hill. It can get quite muddy and slippy in winter months so walking boots are recommended at this time of year. The path up the hill has some great spots for blackberry picking in the summer too.

At the top of the hill, you will pass a WW2 bunker, built on top of a much older munitions store. There is a waypoint parker which is part of the Northumberland coastal path, this stretches from Berwick upon Tweed to Druridge Bay. Turn sharp left and walk along the top of the ridge, where you have a great view of the links course below, and across the bay you can make out Coquet Island and Amble.

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Continue along the path past the beacon, until you see a stile on your right. Climb over the stile, and cross the field diagonally to the left heading towards the trig point. There are often friendly horses grazing in this field. I often climb the trig point for a great view over the coastline, and and a great view inland of Lesbury and Bilton. We can just about make out our house from here!.

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Walk down the steep path towards the road, over the stiles. Turn left along the road past the Old School House Gallery (or pop in for a well deserved delicious chocolate brownie) towards the roundabout. Turn right at the roundabout and head towards, and over, Duchess bridge back to the car park.