The Simonside Hills

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.

Technical sheet
No. 2817306
A Whitton and Tosson walk posted on 17/12/19 by Northumberland National Park. Update : 17/12/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h35[?]
Distance Distance : 6.94km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 209m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 209m
Highest point Highest point : 422m
Lowest point Lowest point : 217m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Whitton and Tosson
Starting point Starting point : N 55.291262° / W 1.943173°
Download : -


(D/A) This walk follows the red waymarkers. Start from the wooden information shelter near to the car park entrance. Turn left onto the forest road passing around the side of the wooden barrier. Follow the forest road uphill. At the junction, keep following the red route waymarker to the right. At the next junction turn right, a tall mast is on your right in the trees. Keep following the forest road.

(1) At the junction, by a small clearing in the trees, turn left and continue uphill along the forest road. Walk around the wooden barrier.

(2) A short distance after the wooden barrier, and just before the area that has been felled of trees, is a grassy path on the left leading up to Little Church Rock which is well worth a visit. After exploring Little Church Rock retrace your steps back to join the forest road. Continue along the forest road as it gently heads downhill through the felled area. Little Church Rock is thought to have been a gathering place for illicit preachings during medieval times. Bronze Age burial cairns are in the clearing there too.

(3) Just before the two large boulders on the forest road take the footpath on the left that heads uphill. Look out for the large flat stone on the ground that is ‘criss cross rock’. Cut with curved grooves, possibly prehistoric rock art, or, medieval carters and drovers to make the track less slippery for their ponies. Carry on up the footpath and through a narrow gully. At the junction take the left-hand path up and over the heather moorland to meet the red gravel forest road. Just before it curves to the right, take the footpath on the left, past the National Park interpretation panel. Follow the footpath steeply up the crags. The path is steep in places, with stone pitching, please take care.

(4) At the top of the crags turn left along the flagged path and head for the stone cairn on your left which marks the summit of Simonside. Follow the path from the summit over the moorland and through a rocky outcrop.

(5) Continue along the path for a distance and then head down the stone steps of the Old Stell Crag rock outcrop. Keep to the flagged path across the heather moorland and on to Dove Crag. Keep following the path steeply downhill, looking out for a footpath leading off to the left.

(6) Take this left-hand footpath, heading down towards the trees. Turn left onto the forest track.

(7) At the junction after crossing the Coe Burn, turn right and follow the forest road downhill with the burn on your right.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 221m - Car park
1 : km 1.39 - alt. 293m - Clearing
2 : km 1.93 - alt. 310m - Little Church Rock
3 : km 2.28 - alt. 310m - Footpath opn the left
4 : km 3.09 - alt. 409m - Crags
5 : km 3.86 - alt. 390m - Rocky outcrop
6 : km 4.9 - alt. 365m - Footpath to the left
7 : km 5.88 - alt. 318m - Coe Burn
D/A : km 6.94 - alt. 220m - Car park

Useful Information

To reach the car park at the start of this walk, take the B6342 South out of Rothbury.

After about 2 miles, turn right on the sharp bend near the National Park boundary sign, onto a single track road. Follow this road, passing the Lordenshaws car park on your right. Continue between the trees, passing a layby on your left, and turn left into the main Forestry Commission car park.

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

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Sun 08 Nov 2020 17:31:51 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 18/10/20
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Tree felling restricted some of the route however we did this walk on a Sunday, when no machinery was being operated, and were therefore able to take the suggested walking route. Car parks were closed so had to find space on the roadside. Very peaceful, well marked route, excellent pathways but the last section was very muddy, fortunately we wore wellies. Fantastic scenery.

on Mon 06 Jul 2020 11:26:11 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 05/07/20
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Lovely walk and fantastic scenery, very good ‘footpath’ along the whole route.

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