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Northumberland Walk
The Simonside Hills near Rothbury

Nat Park - Northumberland

County/Area - Northumberland County

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km

Ascent - 710 feet / 215 metres

Time - 3 hours 0 minutes

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference NZ052988
Lat 55.283304 // Long -1.91968
Postcode NE61 4PU (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Simonside Hills near Rothbury Photo from the walk - The Simonside Hills near Rothbury Photo from the walk - The Simonside Hills near Rothbury
Click thumbnails for larger images.

To the south of Rothbury, a small attractive market town on the River Coquet, lie the Simonside Hills. Contained within the boundaries of the Northumberland National Park, they are formed from a dramatic sandstone escarpment and provide easy walking with fine views especially in the northern sector.

This out and back walk is based from the Lordenshaws car park (grid ref. NZ052988) on a minor road off the B6342 that runs south from Rothbury. Other alternative starting points are possible but involve walking through an extensive plantation of conifers - certainly not my idea of pleasant walking! After parking your car, cross the lane and take the obvious path that heads south west to climb steadily to the skyline. This path continues to follow the escarpment to reach the summit of Simonside in just over two miles.

Little descriptive text is required for this walk as the route remains clear for the full length of the escarpment with the summit rocks of Simonside perched above a col. The ridge does continue to Tosson Hill, which overtops Simonside by 11 metres. This adds another three miles to the walk although it must be stressed that although there is a path there is in fact no right away beyond Simonside summit.

The walk, although short offers some extensive views across Coquetdale with the Cheviots forming the skyline and enables you to fully appreciate the understated beauty of this part of the Northumberland National Park. In addition there are some notable archaeological remains dating from the Stone and Bronze ages a few hundred yards from Lordenshaws car park.

Two excellent brochures entitled "Lordenshaws" and "Simonside" are available free of charge from the Tourist Information Centre in Rothbury and other National Park Centres. These provide a brief overview of the history of the respective sites.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL42Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL42Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 81Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 81Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

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Walking in Northumberland

Walking in Northumberland This guidebook contains detailed route descriptions for 36 day walks in Northumberland including the Cheviot Hills. The terrain varies from wild walks and craggy ascents to gentle riverside strolls. Each route ranges from 4 to 16 miles in length and there is the opportunity to link several walks together to create longer treks.
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