There are lots of walks in and around Harbottle. They range from a 'gentle stroll' to the 'full day out' . You can walk straight from the cottage on this first walk which is from Harbottle to Low Alwinton and return.

Harbottle to Low Alwinton - Time 1 Hour - Gentle Stroll
It's always best to take a waterproof and whilst you' don't exactly need walking boots, walking shoes are advisable as it can get clarty in places

Turn left at the bottom of the drive and you'll see the Stables on the right which were part of the original Harbottle Castle Estate which is at the bottom of the lane. This substantial country house, once the home of the Fenwick-Clennells is now split into three. It remains a fine example of a typical Northumberland country house. The lane bears round to the left and continues over the footbridge. This is the River Coquet one of the most beautiful rivers in Northumberland and famous for Trout and Salmon fishing.

Once over the bridge, turn left and follow the clarty track with the river on your left and you'll pass Keepers Cottage. No explanation required, it's still occasionally occupied and sits silently in the valley bottom next to the river. Continue up the path through a small wooded area to the new metal gate, go through the gate and don't forget to close it securely before moving on to the top of the field and the top gate. I mentioned the new metal gate as though it was a bit inferior, well it used a be a wooden gate which seemed to be there for ever. I always thought that when I retired I might become 'gatekeeper'. What a job, a nice seat and an occasional cup o' tea as I open and close the gate to passing walkers, bit o' crack and back home for teatime. I have a right liking for gates........

At the top gate you'll get a stunning view of the Simonside Hills and across to the Drakestone and beyond towards Alwinton. It's always worth a lean on the gate (another metal one) watch the sheep a while,
a bit of quiet contemplation then stroll along the field path towards Park House. From here it's a gentle walk down the lane to the Lime Kiln at the bottom on the right. There's an information panel which explains the kiln and what it was used for.

As you go across the cattle grid (there's only some many metal gates I can cope with) you'll see Alwinton Church, officially the Church of St Michael and All Angels. A beautiful church and well worth a visit. When you pass Low Alwinton Holiday Cottages go left onto the main road. If you stop on the bridge looking west you may see a Heron perched in the trees or stood in the river, magnificent bird.

The walk back to Harbottle is all on the road, with the odd diversion along the woodland path on the left half way along

The first house you come to is the Manse, and sits beside the Oak Tree field, home to Harbottle Show (first Saturday in September - www.harbottleshow.com)

On the left is the old Harbottle Castle now in ruins. Another information panel explains the castle's history and a trip to the top is a must. As you leave the castle and walk along the road into the village there are some lovely cottages and typical border houses. It's always worth dropping into the Pub, the Star Inn is also an information point and sells newspapers and, after a gentle stroll it's nice to have drink........

If you've enjoyed a walk whilst on holiday and you'd like to share it, then email the words and pictures and I'll post it up on the site.