April 2021 - 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