Written by Northumberland Family Diaries.
We all know the feeling of wanting to get outside and let off steam. Especially with children. What better place to do that than in beautiful Northumberland! With so many child friendly walks on offer, here is a breakdown of walks to do around Northumberland with kids.
These walks have been tested by our little legs and for ease of reading, I shall give them a mark out of ten, judging by the amount of whinging/snacks handed out …
CARLISLE PARK ~ MORPETH
Starting off with an easy walk with a reward of play park and (depending on the time of year) ice cream van at the end. Plenty of bribes then. Excellent.
Carlisle Park is situated in the market town of Morpeth. It can provide the perfect FREE day out with a play park for all ages, paddling pool and in the summer holidays bouncy castles and food vans.
I am sharing it with you however, as a place to take children for a walk. At the back of Carlisle Park is a woodland walk. It isn’t very long making it child friendly. The woodland area is called Postern woods and can be accessed from either side of the park. I recommend accessing via the formal gardens as you can visit the small aviary while you are there.
While you can get along the path with a pushchair, it is worth noting the path can be quite narrow in places. I have been along with a buggy though, just be prepared.
Parking in Morpeth is free, you just need a parking disc which can be purchased for £1 from one of the dispensers.
(If you are wanting to splash in the outdoor paddling pool after your walk, note this is only open between May and September!)
Kids score: 10/10
There are so many different walks and trails around Kielder water and through Kielder forest. The forest itself is part of the Forestry Commission. It often has different trails or activities on for children. We recently completed the Zog Trail which was a lovely walk round and the children loved looking for the different characters.
Parking is £5 for the day and there are plenty of picnic benches around the site. The Zog Trail is located at Kielder Castle at the Kielder village end. If you stop at Leaplish there are places to eat and things to do there also.
Kids score: 8/10
CRASTER TO DUNSTABURGH CASTLE
The reason this is a good one to do with kids is because you are essentially walking in a big field. No traffic to worry about (except for sheep) and plenty of running around space. Because you can also see the castle the whole time you are walking, it makes it a good target to get to.
If little ones aren’t enjoying the walk, you just turn around and come back the way you came. It is just quite an easy one. With stunning views of the Northumberland coastline it definitely makes the list of walks around Northumberland.
Kids score: 6/10
ROTHBURY RIVER WALK
Rothbury is a beautiful village around sixteen miles north of Morpeth. There are plenty of shops to browse here (many independent) and even a couple of pubs to choose from. Cragside National Trust can be found here also.
But the walk I am talking about, is down by the river. Parking is free and again there are picnic tables and a play park, to keep everyone happy. On a nice day, there are different stops along the river where you can paddle as it gets a bit shallower. There are even some stepping stones to venture across.
From the car park you go over a bridge and either turn left or right and follow the river as far as you would like. Our favourite route is to go left but if you are looking for the stepping stones, turn right.
Kids score: 8/10
WOODLAND WALK AT THE ALNWICK GARDENS
This is often forgotten about I find. Most people head to the Gardens, Castle or even the Treehouse. But the woodland walk is a great spot too. Bonus is, it is free to do. You can do the woodland walk without having to pay entry to the Gardens. That is one of the reasons why it makes the list of walks around Northumberland.
It is always quiet here and provides a good circular walk. There is often arty things to look at amongst the trees as local projects are displayed here.
My favourite view point is a little way into the woods, you can vear left and up a very small hill. There is a clearing with a bench and you get THE most stunning views of the Alnwick Castle and beyond, over to the moors.
The circular walk takes you a little bit out of the woods and down by the river. Reward the kids by having a run up and down the wobbly bridges in the Treehouse. Again, free to get into. There is also a small coffee shop here, should you want refreshments.
When I used to childmind, I would bring the children here on a regular basis as they could just run and explore!
Kids score: 10/10
While we are on the woodland theme, Thrunton woods is another good spot. With many different routes to take, you can decide on the day what everyone feels up to. Because parts aren’t really pushchair friendly we don’t bother bringing one. Because of this we usually end up doing the two mile circular walk, but like I say there are many different routes.
It is also very popular here for bikes so that might be something you would consider as well.
Thrunton woods is just off the A697 north of Longframlington. It is free to park here and there are a couple of different places to leave the car along the main track road.
Kids score: 7/10
Ingram is another spot that is just off the A697 on the way to Wooler, past Powburn.
This is a gorgeous spot, where you can park your car up anywhere (within reason) in the valley, and set off for a walk. There are footpaths that take you in different directions up hills, but sometimes we just stick to the road and walk as far along as we fancy. It is also a great place to bring bikes, just of course be wary of passing cars. We love to go down to the stream and through in stones or rocks. You can paddle safely in most areas and even have a go at building a dam.
Over the years, Ingram has grown in popularity. It is no longer a hidden gem and if you want to get a good spot for a picnic or to base yourselves, you need to get there early. Especially on nice warm days and bank holiday weekends. It is still a great place to go though, when considering walks around Northumberland with kids.
There is a tearoom just off the main road through the valley and a small gift shop.
Kids score: 8/10
In the middle of beautiful countryside, Bolam Lake is a great place to go for a family walk. There is also woodland, picnic areas and a coffee shop.
I haven’t been here for a couple of years, my son was very young at the time so won’t be able to rate this one but from my experience I would give it a 7/10. It is a nice place to go for a walk, take in the scenery and relax on a picnic blanket.
There are so many great beaches along the Northumberland coastline, where you can go for walks with kids. I prefer Alnmouth for a few reasons: the car park is right on the beach so you haven’t far to go to get on the sand. There is a play park at the far end of the beach, near the estuary. Alnmouth itself has some lovely little tearooms and gift shops!
You do have to pay for parking during the summer months (£1.50 for cars), and the car park does get busy. But once you are on the beach and walking, it is worth it. There is a golf course on the other side of the car park and of course an ice cream van can be found here during the summer. Most important …
Kids score: 10/10
These are our favourite walks around Northumberland with kids. Whether you are local or just visiting on holiday, I hope this gives you some useful information as to where to go, helping you plan your day.
Read more on my blog: northumberlandfamilydiaries.com