A circular walk of about 2 miles, along a river bank, through fields then back through West Thirston village, with the option to extend the walk for another 2 miles down the river.
The walk starts and ends on the bridge over the Coquet at Felton. Felton village has a tea room, a pub and a village shop. The walk itself has no real facilities apart from a poo bin at the start, just fields and a river. However, it does start and end about 100 yards from a pub.
Postcode for Satnav - NE65 9EE
Felton is situated just off the A1 road, about 10 miles north of Morpeth and 9 miles south of Alnwick. Turn off the A1 into Felton then take the main road through the village until you come to the bridge over the river. It is possible to park on Felton Bridge itself.
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Go to the Southern side of the bridge, signposted West Thirston, take the steps down from the bridge then turn left down the footpath. After about 30 yards, the footpath branches off to the left and goes down to the river. If you go down here, you can get under both bridges along gravel beds, where a dog can play happily for a long while, chasing stones and swimming in the river. Once you have had enough of this, go back up to the main path and continue along the river bank.
The path continues along between a small wood and the river, past an old ruined brick building that was always called 'the slaughter house', and out into fields. The path is fenced off from the fields, and so is quite safe for dogs off the lead. After some distance, the path passes a large tree and climbs a small hill. If you examine this tree carefully, you will see a few axe marks carved in it, that mark the high water level of some major floods from the 1950s.
Not far from the top of the small hill you will see a farm trackway heading off to the right. At this point, you can continue to walk along the river path until you come to a bridge over a stream called Thirston Burn and so add an extra mile or two to your walk. You would then need to turn around and come back to the farm track.
Follow the farm track up through the fields and you will eventually come to a road, where you turn right towards the village. There is a short distance of about 50 yards or so, between the end of the track and West Thirston village, where there is no pavement, so watch out for cars on this part of the walk. Once you reach the village, walk through it until you see a small wood on your right. At the end of the wood, turn right down the pathway between the wood and the church (now a pre-school nursery) and then down a steep pathway with high walls on either side. This descent is called the 'Narrow Bank'. At the bottom of the narrow bank you will be back at the bridges again.
If you wanted a longer walk, it is possible to walk way beyond Thirston burn, up a steep path to High Park, then through old tracks and paths over fields right down to Warkworth.
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