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Northumberland Walk
Elsdonburn & Trowupburn from Hethpool

Nat Park - Northumberland

County/Area - Northumberland County

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.2 miles / 13.3 km

Ascent - 1800 feet / 545 metres

Time - 5 hours 50 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NT894281
Lat 55.546489 // Long -2.16955
Postcode NE71 6TW (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Elsdonburn & Trowupburn from Hethpool
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This glorious walk in the Northumberland National Park explores a beautiful area of grassy rounded hills south of the England Scotland border. The area sees few walkers with the route following paths and tracks across the undulating landscape. The area is also rich in Iron Age relics including hillforts and settlements.

The start is the small parking area just south of Hethpool (grid ref. NT894281). After parking, exit the car park and return along the lane passing the cottages on the left. Follow the road as it bends left and continue to the next bend (grid ref. NT894286). Turn left across the cattle grid and after a short distance turn right at a fingerpost signed to Ring Chesters. Follow the rising grassy path (the Hillforts Trail) which has regular way posts. Continue across a stile and stay on the marked path cross a second stile. The onward path follows the wall/fence on your left to pass through a small gate.

Continue on marked path through a partially felled plantation. The path soon turns left and descends to a stile. Cross the stile and head uphill to the hillfort of Ring Chesters (grid ref. NT867289). Maintain direction and descend to a track (grid ref. NT865286). Turn left and follow the track downhill. Cross ford and pass through a metal gate.

By the Border Ridge sign, turn right past Elsdonburn Farm (grid ref. NT874284). After 650 metres you reach a fork. Keep left and follow the clear track across the western flank of Ell's Knowe with a plantation on your right. Pass through a gate and head southwest aiming for the highest point. You soon reach a fence. Keep this on your left and complete the ascent to the summit of Madam Law. Descend alongside the fence to reach the col of Wideopen Head (grid ref. NT861265). Turn sharp left through a gate and join a grassy track. Just before a sheepfold (grid ref. NT871265) bear right to descend to Trowupburn (grid ref. NT876265).

Continue past the farm (on your right) to join a tarmac lane heading uphill. After 400 metres turn right onto a signed footpath (Hillforts Trail) up to Great Hetha. Follow the grassy track uphill with several way markers to reach the hill fort earthworks on top of Great Hetha. The view from the summit is outstanding. Continue following way markers downhill to reach the left-hand corner of a plantation. Turn right along the edge of the plantation and continue down to the private road. Turn left along the road back to the start.

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