< Dog Walking Northumberland - Lemmington wood

As of January 2024 the tree cutting operations are complete and the walk from Ros Cottage to the railway is open, but the pathway remains closed at the end of the railway walk, where the steps up the embankment are blocked by a fallen tree.

The Location

A walk in the woods near Alnwick

What's there

A circular walk along a disused railway line then through woods. Parts of the walk are steep and rough so the walk is not disabled friendlly.

How to get there

Postcode for Satnav - NE66 2BG. This is the post code for Ros Cottages as described below. From Alnwick, take the B6341, signposted Rothbury. Follow this road over the Alnwick moors for about 5 miles and you will see a cross roads, with the right hand turn signposted 'Whittingham'. Continue on for Rothbury for a couple of hundred yards or so and you will pass Ros Cottages on the right. Just past Ros cottages, turn right at the road signposted 'Lemmington Hall'. It is possible to park by the trackway a couple of yards down this road, but there is room for 2 cars at the most without blocking the track. If you cannot park here, follow the road down hill for a short way and park on the hard standing on the left, just before the railway bridge.

The Walk

Click here to see a detailed routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
If you parked at the top of the hill, enter the woods by the trackway and turn left, then follow this path through the woods and down to the railway line. The path is steep in parts and more or less follows the road, which is on the other side of a stone wall. If you parked at the bottom of the hill, cross over the road and into the woods by the log stacks. Both paths now join together, so head up hill and onto the old railway line. Keep right and uphill and follow the old railway track.

In the picture gallery you will see an image of a rock, carved with bronze age cup and ring walks and viking runes. If you want to see this stone, go about 400 yards up the line then take the pathway off to the right, which almost starts as a forestry road, but quickly dwindles to a narrow path. Keep to the left and head for the rhododendron trees. At the very end of the rhododendrons you will see the stone down in a small hollow. You can continue round the bushes and back to the railway line.
Now the railway track crosses a small stream on a high embankment, then becomes less of a track and more a narrow path. After a while, the path is crossed by a broken fence and there are steps leading up the steep embankment on both sides. Take the right side steps and follow the path up into the woods

The path goes through some pretty dense Rhododendron bushes for quite some distance, then through a pine forest and into an open space. Just past here the path crosses the stream on a small stone bridge with pillars on either side, not what you expect to see in the middle of a wood!
After a short while the path continues up and splits up a little, so it's not obvious which route to chose. You basically want to head up and right, while keeping out of the denser woods on the right, until you see the rear of Ros Cottages. The path runs right along the back of the cottages, then becomes a decent trackway again. Follow the track a short way down the hill and you will find the entrance to the woods where you parked your car. Unless you did not park here, in which case follow the path right down the hill to the bottom.

The old gate with steps up on the right


There is rock carving in the woods below the upper entrance which is very unusual as it has both two cup-and-ring marks and also a runic inscription. The cup and ring marks are probably neolithic, and the runic inscription was added much later in the Danish period. The runes probably mean 'relics' or maybe 'leave behind'. Both carvings are on the same outcrop, with the runes about 1 foot below the cup and ring marks.

If you parked at the lower car park, and take a look under the bridge, you will see a tall stone column in a field on the left. This column was at Felbridge Park, Surrey and was brought to Lemmington in 1928, as decoration for Lemmington Hall, which is a bit further down. The Hall itself is a Convent, and there are nun's graves in the field beside the column.

Facilities on this Walk

None, just steep climbs and fantastic views

Walks Near Here

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Doug -       24/7/2022 11.22
Thank you for this excellent information. We are walking in the area this Wednesday and will look out for all the interesting items you have pointed out. We will be walking about 9 miles and normally have several doggies within the group.. Brilliant info.. Regards D

Jim -       24/7/2022 16.18
Like many of woodland walks, lots of trees on this walk were blown down by storm Arwen last November. The railway part of the walk is fine, but the upper walk through the trees is impassable. In fact there is a large silver birch tree blocking the steps up into the wood. You can still get up to see the rock carvings, but the route is a bit difficult, and the carvings are hard to find as they are overgrown with moss.

pgdowns. -       12/7/2023 17.51
Everything closed to the public. Now under the control of Scottish Woodlands( To the best of my knowledge). Signs everywhere telling the public to keep out.

Jim -       13/7/2023 16.5
Thanks for the heads up. Checked this out and the paths are certainly closed. It is possible that the wood is just closed for tree cutting, so will update if it re-opens.

Jim -       24/1/2024 12.53
The tree felling is now complete, and the wood is accessable again, but the path is still blocked by a fallen tree on the steps up into the wood.