Mel Corn, Author at Acorn Leisure Holidays
Hikes: Simonside and Beyond

Hikes: Simonside and Beyond

If you love your steep climbs as a hiker, then this walk you will absolutely love. I live in Rothbury and when I visit Simonside I choose to walk from my house rather than park at Lordenshaws. From door to door, this is 10.5 miles (which is around the same if you were to park in the Riverside Car Park or on the main High Street).

For the purpose of this post, I’m reflecting on my hike taken last year, I decided to have a sunset walk and wow what a treat that was. Once we had climbed to the top we were amazed at how the clouds were fast rolling in, the views were spectacular, it felt like we were in a plane looking out amongst the clouds. We later learned that the weather conditions are referred to as cloud inversion.

Simonside cloud inversion

“A cloud inversion, or temperature inversion is when the normal temperature distribution of air – warm at the bottom, colder as you go up – becomes inverted or flipped upside down. This means you have a cold layer of air trapped at ground level, overlain by warm air.” Source: google.

Excuse the amateur video I took, but still worth sharing.

 

I’m always looking for new routes to extend my hike up Simonside, so if you are looking for something quite a bit longer then keep checking back as there are so many trails it’s difficult to list them all in one blog.

Simonside and Harwood Forest

If I’m looking for a 15 mile route, I’ll start from the main car park in Rothbury by the river, and head up towards Simonside and once I’ve climbed back down rather than turning back on myself by going right, I veer left and I continue walking along the back trail heading into Harwood Forest. You could make this longer but usually 15 miles is enough for me. This route is popular with cyclists and it’s also on the St Oswalds walking trails.

Excerpt from Foresty England:

Harwood is a large conifer forest located to the south of Simonside Hills in Rothbury. Lying within the Northumberland National Park, it provides visitors with access to a network of public footpaths, ranging from popular open paths to quiet trails through the forest.

Harwood is also one of the red squirrel reserves in the north of England, so keep your eyes peeled for this rare species!

The nearest car park is located at Simonside, which is 2km north of the forest.

Simonside, Hepple circular route

This is not for the faint hearted, around 20 – 22 miles but the scenery is stunning. I’ll post a separate blog on this walk I think! I’ll leave you with this picture taken last year, what a lovely warm day that was….was so excited when I found a spring water to fill up the water bottle lol!

I’m always trying to find the time to write up blogs on my walking, places to visit and dining out, but sometimes I find it easier to just post on my social media pages, so if your not following, then please pop over to our FB closed group (Acorn Leisure Holidays) or follow us on our instagram account @acorn_leisure. Mel x

 

Hikes: Druridge Bay to Amble

Hikes: Druridge Bay to Amble

I keep on saying “this is my favourite walk” but the truth is I love them all, well almost. Druridge Beach has it all, beautiful dunes, miles of golden sands stretched as far the eye can see and the best bit…it’s dog friendly. You often see at a weekend a friendly dog meet from labradors to bulldogs to beagles. It’s a firm favourite with families and dog walkers because it’s simply so vast, but, I also think it’s popular because there is access to Druridge Bay County Park. I believe quite a few people start there and follow the lake around before accessing the beach.

Druridge Bay

 

Taken from the publication “Introducing the 10 miles of Druridge Bay” the author provides a brief account of it’s history. He states…“The sweep of Druridge Bay itself, some eight kilometres of sandy littoral a little to the south of Amble in Northumberland, is part of a coastline between the estuary of the Coquet and the more modest outflow of the Lyne about fourteen kilometres back towards the port of Blyth. Contained in that stretch, which does not form part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north, is a rich group of ecosystems including, in addition to the beaches, fresh and saltwater ponds and pools, sedimentary rock outcrops, peat, dunes, agricultural land and mixed woodland”. 

For more information particularly relating to the geology, botany, avian and marine life visit Natural History Society of Northumberland, the link is Introducing 10 miles of Druridge Bay

This is roughly a 7.5 mile walk from Druridge to Amble, I usually have a break once I’m there, visiting the local ice cream parlour before heading back to the car. So my hike is around 15 miles, I definitely enjoy the hot tub when I’m back at the park!

Here are a few pics taken along the way from various walking trips.

 

As you can see, I often borrow different dogs for my walking trips!

I will upload more information and pictures on Amble particularly of the lovely shopping pods and the delicious icecream!

 

 

Family Fun: Carlisle Park, Morpeth

Family Fun: Carlisle Park, Morpeth

Carlisle Park is situated in the center of Morpeth Town, it’s literally a 10 – 15 minute drive from Felmoor Park. If you are looking for somewhere to entertain the kids, then this park packs a punch, or rather it will tire them out!

I’ve visited this park twice, this blog post will feature images from last year’s mini walk and from today’s walk (Easter Monday 2021). The best place to park but not always the easiest to grab a space is next door to the Leisure Centre. Make sure you grab a parking disc if you don’t already have one, we usually leave a couple spare within the lodges (please pop them back after your stay). They cost £1 and can save you up to £50 in parking fines. The discs can be purchased from the local newsagents which is located just next door to the Fish and Chips Shop (Carlos) in Morpeth, many shops do sell them though.

Next door to the Park entrance there is an ice cream van and a fantastic Chinese Takeaway called Fortune Cookie. Perfect option if you are opting for an afternoon walk followed by a takeaway option.

The images of the food below are not mine but taken from their face book page.

 

 

 

 

Let’s forget about food for a minute and look at the things that the kids can do to wear themselves out. Carlisle Park is a multi award winning park, and I can see why. Set within gorgeous settings with picturesque views of the river, I could quite happily spend a couple of hours just soaking in the sun and watching people.

The park contains the William Turner Garden, formal gardens, an aviary, play areas, a paddling pool, woodland walks, picnic areas, toilet facilities, tennis courts, bowling greens, skating board and more.

The image below is taken from a previous year when the paddling pool was open, at the moment it is closed until May. To preserve the pool they keep water within it, hence why it looks green on the next photo.

For our walk, we grabbed a coffee and a tea and seeing as we don’t have kids we headed up the bank to explore the woodland walk. It’s not a big walk, just a nice circular route that brings you back into the centre of Morpeth.

And when Rob can find some little mountain to climb that’s exactly where he takes me, up and up and up. As usual I’m always 30 steps behind lol. If you read more of my blogs you’ll see a theme emerging, whilst I consider myself quite fit, I absolutely hate hills and he’s always finding a walk that has plenty of them in it!

 

The views at the top are gorgeous, Morpeth Castle is pretty impressive. It’s really just a 30 minute walk if that.

Once we were heading back down you end up at the other entrance, this is where the William Turner Garden is located along with the Emily Davison statue and the Aviary.

 

It’s a lovely walk and the fact that you can grab a chinese (check opening times) after a late afternoon stroll is definitely a bonus! I should say the park is dog friendly, just keep them on the leads at all times.

Chinese Takeaway: Fortune Cookie, open from Tuesday – Sunday, 12:30pm – 8:30pm

Here’s the menu, but feel free to check out their FB Page too: Fortune Cookie

More information on Carlisle Park, can be found here, click the link: Carlisle Park information

Thanks, Mel x

 

Short Walks: Ross Back Sands taking in stunning views of Bamburgh and Holy Island

Short Walks: Ross Back Sands taking in stunning views of Bamburgh and Holy Island

There’s nothing better then hitting the beach when the weather is warm or hot and in the North East pretty much all of the coastline is dog friendly too. This beach which is called Ross Back Sands is simply stunning and rather quiet as there is very little car parking, in fact, it will take you around 15 minutes (a miles walk) to get from your car to the beach.

Ross Back Sands is steeped in history, located on the north side of Budle Bay, about two miles north-west of Belford. “Ross is the site of a medieval deserted village.[1] Today, there is a large farm at Ross and a few farm and old coastguard cottages, including Ross Farm Cottages. Ross Low is a stream which flows by the settlement into Budle Bay. Ross Back Sands and Ross Links are located to the east of Ross. During World War 2, Ross Links was used for anti-tank training, and there was a small light railway, probably used for moving target practice.[2] A pillbox just to the west of Ross Farm is one of a number of World War 2 defences in the area”. Reference: https://co-curate.ncl.ac.uk/ross-northumberland/

Upon leaving your car simply head down the lane and keep going, you will end up at Ross Farm which is also home to the Lindisfarne Oysters. The farm itself is a working farm, so please keep dogs on a lead at this point, there maybe sheep or horses grazing the land nearby.

Ross SandsRoss Sands Ross Sands

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve hit the beach gates, you certainly won’t be disappointed with the panoramic views. To the left of the beach in the distance you will see Holy Island and to the right side you will see the impressive Bamburgh Castle.

For our walk, we headed towards Holy Island, a nice and easy stroll, around 7 miles in total including the walk to the beach from the car. Here are a few pictures I took along the way.

Ross Sands Ross Sands

Ross Sands

The storms we have had recently have unearthed the remains of a shipwrecked vessel, you can see them jutting out of the sand and water.

Ross Back SandsRoss Back Sands

Once we got closer to Holy Island, we veered around the corner and came across this. The structure is called Guille Point Beacon. It is one of two navigation towers which were reportedly built back in the 1800’s. Standing proud at around 70 feet tall and known locally as the “Old Law Beacons”.

Tom Blackwell states “Vessels entering the harbour lined up with the two beacons on a bearing of 260° (just south of due west) before turning sharply northward as they approached the tip of the spit – a course which safely guided them through the sand bars”. Credit to Tom Blackwell and Keith Park, link to further information can be found here Lighthouse Guile Point

Ross Back Sands

You may even see some seals if your lucky on this stretch of the beach. We also did have to take a small detour on the way back as there was an area cordoned off to protect the nesting birds.

Ross Back Sands

If your looking for a new beach to explore then I’d definitely recommend this one, the next time I venture out here I’ll be heading over to Holy Island and possibly combine it with a nearby trip to Budle Bay which is also a fabulous beach!

Access to Ross Back Sands: Park on the grass verge prior to getting the Farm (there is no vehicle entry beyond this point).

Sat Nav: Ross Farm NE70 7EN

To get to Ross Back Sands from Felmoor Park it’s relatively simple (via the A1) and is only around a 40 minute drive. I’m focusing my blogs mostly on walks and nearby attractions within an hour’s drive of the park.

After a day of exploring, kick back and relax under the stars in one of our hot tubs. We have a small collection of luxury lodges and holiday homes located on a beautiful country park. Prices start from £350, check out our availability on our website. Link to the property pages can be found here, Collection of properties

Have an enquiry, feel free to drop us an email at info@acornleisureholidays.co.uk

Woody's Lodge

Walking and hiking is my passion, so if you’d like to read more follow me on our FaceBook Page and Private Group. I regularly recommend places to visit and we also from time to time post offers and updates on our properties and the park. Here’s the link: Facebook, Acorn Leisure Holidays

Enjoy your visit to Northumberland, Mel x

Please respect the countryside, remember to take your litter home and keep our coastline clean.

Short Walks: Bewick taking in Cateran Hole

Short Walks: Bewick taking in Cateran Hole

Northumberland has a plethora of walks, hikes and trails to explore. This one is a new one for me, it’s a fairly short but moderate walk. We did 6 miles taking in the wonderful views of the moors and the picturesque ruins of Blawearie. Parking along the grassy verge we headed onto the footpath and took the first left, you’ll see a stone marked with CH. This is the sign that you are almost at the dark cave entrance. If you like a little exploring then it’s worth checking this out.

BewickBlawearie

A little something about Cateran Hole, information taken from trusty Wikipedia.

Cateran Hole is a circa 35m length cave set in the Gritstone of Cateran Hill in Northumberland. It lies about 4 miles due north of Eglingham, and can be reached by lining up the tall mast behind the farm with the left-hand end of the wood to the side of the Quarry House farm (to the north of the cave), then walking on this bearing.

A shallow crater with cut steps lead down into an easy rift passage which ultimately chokes. After the initial steepness of the steps, the passage is roomy with a slight downward tilt, running between two large planes of Gritstone which close in above. After about 30m a block, protruding downwards from the ceiling, reduces the route to a crawl into a small chamber which is choked by large blocks ahead. This crawl is sandy and often completely dry, although in very wet weather it occasionally sumps.[1] The main fault, however, continues, and it is likely that this cave could be extended by concerted digging (a dangerous activity), although it is difficult to see why this would be done in Gritstone, where there is unlikely to be found any significant lateral development.

Cateran Hole is reputed to have been a smugglers’ hiding place,[2] although locals claim that it once linked nearby Chillingham Castle with Hepburn. The latter seems an unlikely conclusion as it tends in the direction of neither, while the carved stone steps favour the former.

Cateran Hole

I’m not very good myself with dark and dingy spaces but I persevered to take some photos, thankfully it was a little wet towards the end of the crawl space so I didn’t have to face that fear!

Cateran HoleCateran Hole

Cateran Hole

After a couple of miles of walking, we decided to stop for a short lunch break at the ruins, incredible views and at this time of the year the rhododendron’s looked fabulous. I also loved the swings hanging from the old and imposing tree. Photographers will love the window view of the landscape from within the ruins.

BlawearieBlawearie

 

Blawearie Blawearie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mel

Before you get to this walking trail, there is also a mini Thrunton Woods you could explore. It’s called Hepburn Woods. I’ll certainly be going back to explore as there are so many walks in the area to do for all fitness levels.

I’m slowly updating my walks that I have done prior to Lockdown and during, if you like walking/hiking like myself then make sure you are following our FB posts – I’ll also set up a newsletter for regular walks from those that wish to subscribe.

Blawearie

For more information on my route, visit the following link: View Ranger

Access: From Alnwick take the B6346 to Edlingham, then continue straight on until reaching Old Bewick. Park considerately on the grassy triangle or the road verge beside the farm.

SatNav: NE66 4DZ

From Felmoor Holiday Park we are approximately a 30 minute drive to Bewick.

Looking for a weekend away or a mid week break to relax and charge those batteries then make sure you check out our availability on our website. Prices start from £350 depending on property. All of our properties come with their very own private hot tub, wifi, Sky TV and we are very dog friendly! 

Stag Lodge, Northumberland

Have an enquiry, drop us an email, info@acornleisureholidays.co.uk, we’d love to welcome you to our premier lodges and holiday homes. Nicola & Mel x