A short walk of about 3/4 of a mile through woods and back along the Wansbeck, just outside Morpeth.
A car park, Woods and a River! These woods are a designated ancient wild woodland nature reserve and you may well see red squirrels, otters, kingfishers, spotted flycatchers, long tailed tits and jays. Nothing else in the way of facilities here, but as the walk is literally on the edge of Morpeth, there are plenty of facilities in the town itself.
How to get there
Postcode for Satnav - NE61 1RG. This is the postcode for Mitford road, the woods and carpark are a hundred yards or so further out of town.
At the northern end of the main road through Morpeth, take the B6343 road to Mitford. A short distance along this road, just as you leave the town, the road turns left to cross the river. Don't turn left, carry straight on into the car park.
Click here to see a detailed OS routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
From the car park, take the path up the hill, follow it around until it turns back down to the river, then head back down the riverbank to the car park. There are a few other paths in the woods.
Scotch Gill probably gets its name from King David I of Scotland who had taken most of Northumberland for Scotland in the early 12th century. He tried to extend his territory south of the Tees, and also support his niece Matilda who was claiming the English throne but was defeated at the Battle of the Standard at Northallerton in 1139. Retreating North to Roxburgh, David's army paused at Scotch Gill (often spelled locally as Scotch Ghyll) and sacked Newminster Abbey, on the other side of the river Wansbeck.
David eventually made peace with Stephen, the king of England and retained his Cumbrian conquests. His son Henry was made Earl of Northumberland but subject to the English king. This was all reversed by Stephen's son Henry II who reclaimed Cumbria and Northumberland for England.