Harbottle Castle and the Drake Stone from Alwinton

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.

Technical sheet
No. 2506107
A Alwinton walk posted on 31/08/19 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 02/09/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h00[?]
Distance Distance : 8.89km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 181m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 183m
Highest point Highest point : 298m
Lowest point Lowest point : 141m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Alwinton
Starting point Starting point : N 55.350939° / W 2.128169°
Download :
Alwinton Harbottle Lake Harbottle The Drake Stone (centre) and Harbottle Hills from the ruins of the castle.

Description

Park at the car park in Alwinton where there are toilets. £2 for a full day in August 2019. There are also some free parking spaces on the right as you drive into the village.

(D/A) From the car park, turn left and walk through the village, bearing rightwards and following the road to cross the bridge. Ignore the road on the left and continue to the Church at Low Alwinton. You will see a track on the left.

(1) Take the track (Park House) past some holiday cottages, pass an interesting and well preserved lime kiln (information board) and continue gently upwards to pass Park House. Go through a field and follow the obvious track to the edge of the wood, walk with the wood on your left, go through a second gate and the start to descend to pass through more woodland (can be muddy). Continue along the track until it has a tarmac surface. Look out for a wooden signpost on the left, pointing back the way that you have come from. Opposite this is a path to a bridge.

(2) Turn right and take the path over the bridge and past the gates to and the garden wall of the most recent castle. The minor road enters Harbottle Village. Continue straight on through the village on the footpath passing the school land village hall on the right. Leave the village and walk to the car park for Harbottle Castle.

(3) Turn right into the car park and pass through the gate following the path across the field and up the motte to the ruins of the castle.

(4) Good views of the Harbottle Hills and the Drake Stone. Return to the car park.

(3) Turn right and walk along the road (no footpath), passing The Old Manse on the left. After this, you will come to a car park on the left.

(5) Walk into the car park and take the signposted track to the Drake Stone, curving uphill through the trees. Pass through a gate and follow the path through the heather. Keep looking back the views are good. Take the path on the left to the gate to the Drake Stone.

(6) Walk around it or dare to take the easy way up the slab facing you as you arrive. From the Drake Stone, pick up the path through the heather which leads to a good view over Harbottle Lake. Descend to the lake and climb over a stile to follow the path just above the lakeside. You will come to the end of the lake beside a wire fence and yellow marker arrows.

(7) Turn right and ascend gently towards the forest. Enter the forest and follow the path which runs in a straight line, de-marked in places by old concrete fence posts. This path can be muddy and you might have to take minor detours to avoid the worst bits. The path exits the forest at a good track.

(8) Turn right onto the good track and cross a cattle grid. Follow the good track (good views) descending gently downhill to the road.

(9) Turn left at the road, cross the bridge and return to Alwinton (D/A) passing (1)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Car park
1 : km 0.79 - alt. km 0.79
2 : km 2.65 - alt. km 2.65
3 : km 3.52 - alt. km 3.52
4 : km 3.79 - alt. km 3.79
5 : km 4.48 - alt. km 4.48
6 : km 5.31 - alt. km 5.31 - Drake Stone
7 : km 5.81 - alt. km 5.81 - Harbottle Lake
8 : km 6.79 - alt. km 6.79
9 : km 7.66 - alt. km 7.66
D/A : km 8.89 - alt. km 8.89

Useful Information

There is a pub in Alwinton and another in Harbottle. Both serve food and refreshments.

This walk has some muddy sections and the forest path can remain muddy even after a few dry days. Boots would be my recommendation.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The remains of Harbottle Castle are interesting and the castle played an important role in medieval times.

The Drake Stone is a rock climbing venue and the easiest way up/down is graded as a moderate rock climb. This is the easiest grade but it is still a hands and feet scramble. Only attempt it if you are happy to do so and know that you can downclimb.

Other walks in the area

distance 15.16km Vertical gain +493m Vertical drop -496m duration 5h30 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Alwinton - Northumberland

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.

Windy Gyle from Coquet Valley
distance 11.61km Vertical gain +385m Vertical drop -381m duration 4h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Alwinton - Northumberland

Windy Gyle is the key objective for this walk in the deserted hills of Northumbria. Starting in the beautiful Coquet Valley the walk crosses wild moorland and includes a section of the Pennine Way.

distance 4.42km Vertical gain +17m Vertical drop -17m duration 1h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Ingram - Northumberland

A leisurely walk along quiet valley roads, suitable for less abled users/pushchairs.

Lordenshaw Hill Fort, The Simonside Hills and Burgh Hill
distance 13.14km Vertical gain +386m Vertical drop -380m duration 4h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Whitton and Tosson - Northumberland

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.

distance 3.98km Vertical gain +59m Vertical drop -60m duration 1h15 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Kirknewton - Northumberland

A lovely family walk to Hethpool Linn, a dramatic waterfall on the College Burn, returning along St Cuthbert’s Way - we can’t guarantee it, but a good vantage point to see the wild Cheviot goats.

distance 14.3km Vertical gain +562m Vertical drop -561m duration 5h25 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Scottish Borders

This walk in the Northumberland National Park follows the England-Scotland border fence and starts from Kirk Yetholm. The walk uses the Pennine Way to reach Black Hag. The return route follows an alternative route of the Pennine Way back to the start.

distance 6.02km Vertical gain +118m Vertical drop -117m duration 2h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Northumberland

A short Northumberland walk that offers some great views south to the Cheviot Hills. Doddington Moor is home to a stone circle and many ancient cup and ring markings on stones spread across the area.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.