For keen walkers, there is a public footpath starting at Burnfoot that leads directly into the heart of the National Park, enabling you to walk from your front door to the summit of many of the Cheviot Hills, as well as to several rock climbs on the Rothbury Moors. The same footpath interconnects with many others to provide a range of less adventurous, but no less picturesque, circular walks.
There are several lovely walks that can be taken direct from Burnfoot – following the burn down towards the River Coquet; following the road past the fish pass to Netherton village and beyond into the National Park; or following the burn upstream into the Cheviot Hills.
You could quite easily fill your holiday with a different walk from your front door each day.
For the more adventurous there are many bracing hill walks which take you into the heart of the Cheviot, and to the summit of The Cheviot itself. Many of these walks are described well at www.cheviotwalks.co.uk.
The National Park website has a wealth of information about dozens of breathtaking walks in the vicinity: www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk.
If you are a keen walker, then the annual Rothbury and Coquetdale Walking Festival is for you. Held in June every year for two weeks, it already attracts visitors from all over the globe.
The Cheviots Challenge takes place every summer, and is the main fundraising event for the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team. It is exactly what it says in the tin – the routes are challenging, but are also designed to take in dramatic views, waterfalls and historic sites. We would strongly recommend entering – raising funds for a very worthy cause and stretching yourself (safe in the knowledge that at the end of the walk your luxurious holiday cottage awaits!).
Details of the best walks from the door are as follows:
You can follow Scrainwood Burn north up towards Scrainwood or Alnham and come back along the road to Netherton village and back home.
Or extend those walks by returning via Hazeltonrig, round to the north of Harden Hill to Biddlestone and back along the road to Netherton.
Or you could walk into the village and across to Burradon along the road then go past Trewhitt Lake to Low Trewhitt and back home following the Wreigh Burn back to Burnfoot.
Or you could simply stroll along the road to the fish pass to try and spot some kingfishers (in the Spring and Autumn after some rain you can watch the salmon and sea trout leaping up through the sluice gate), or follow each burn for as long as you like and turn back when it’s nearly time for another nap!
For a quick bit of exercise just turn left out of the entrance, walk over the bridge and take the footpath on the left which takes you up the ‘haugh’, the broad Coquet river valley. The footpath is not clearly marked but as a guide keep the burn on your left and follow the fence line. You get through the first fence you come to with the burn still on your left. After crossing the first fence you must then find an opportune place to cross the burn (there is no ford or bridge so be prepared for a running jump). Once you have crossed the burn, keep it on your right until you reach a gate on to the road (about 50 feet to the left of the burn). Here you can either turn left along the road to Netherton village and back to Burnfoot, or cross the road and continue along the path to Scrainwood (the path is much more clearly marked from here).
Once you reach Scrainwood there are several options for further progress. You can simply turn left along the road, left again and back to Netherton. Or you can turn left along the road and then first right up to Hazeltonrig and up into the Cheviots. Or you can turn right to Alnham and then return by a circular off-road route taking in some ancient settlements along the way.
The best way to enjoy any walk from Burnfoot is to pick up a copy of Ordnance Survey Map OL16 (The Cheviot Hills) and find where Burnfoot is on the map. Then you will see the myriad of paths leading away directly from your cottage so you can plan your own route to suit your own requirements. There are many other walks in and around Rothbury – particularly nice is the walk up into the Simonside Hills where you can get up into the heather moorlands and discover some ‘cup and ring stones’.
Only once you get into these uplands do you experience the real space and peace of the Kingdom of Northumbria.