A walk in the woods near Alnwick
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.
Click here to see a detailed OS 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 below 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 (see the first image in the gallery below) 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.
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 in1928, 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.
None, just steep climbs and fantastic views