A moderate walk around the park in the centre of Morpeth.
A reasonably easy, and beautiful walk round the Wansbeck in Morpeth, and a walk that takes in the deep gulley that runs behind the Ha' Hill at the back of the park. As the walk is in Morpeth centre, all the town facilities are on hand.
Postcode for Satnav - NE61 1QE.
Driving up Morpeth main street from the south, turn left at the roundabout by the clock tower and follow this round to the car parks. From the north, follow the main road down Newgate Street, until you get to the point where it turns left at the clock tower. Go straight over the roundabout here and down to the car parks.
To park up you need a Northumberlan Parking Clock wheel, which you can buy for £1 at a machine at the car park entrance. This is valid for 3 hours, and once you buy a wheel it can be used in car parks at most Northumberland towns.
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Walk from the car park down to the Wansbeck, crossing the river on a footbridge. Turn left and follow the path between the river and the tennis courts, until you reach a house. Turn right here and then keep left round the side of the Ha' Hill. Here on your left you will find two ornamental gardens, a statue of the suffragette Emily Davidson, and a bird house.
Turn right and follow the pathway along side a small stream, through a deep valley. This is a very quiet section of the walk. Follow this path along, over a wooden footbridge, until you see a path on the right that goes diagionally back up the hill again. Follow this path up and over, until you come to a long flight of steps going back down to the river. Take the steps down to the river by the children's play area. If you can't handle the steps, then are other winding routes down to the side.
Turn left when you reach the river, and follow the pathway past the children's play area, and down to the promenade by the Wansbeck. Now walk the promenade right up to the road bridge.
Here you have a few options. You can follow the pathway under the bridge then further upriver, where you will find a gravel bed for dogs who like to play in water, and a little further up you come to the 'steppy stones'. Cross the river here and walk back to your car through the town.
Cross the river on the road bridge and walk back to the car park on the other side, but this does involve steps down from the bridge over the river.
As neither of these options are suitable for wheelchairs, the third option is to retrace your steps and get back to the car park over the footbridge.
The famous suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was born in London, but her father was a Morpeth man, and her mother was from nearby Longhirst. When her father died, Emily's mother mover to Longhorsley. just north of Morpeth, and Emily often visited her, especially when recovering fron force feeding trauma in prison.
In 1913 she threw herself in front of the king's horse in the Epsom Derby and was knocked over and trampled, and died from her injuries a few days later. Her death shocked the nation and her coffin was first taken to London and then by train to Morpeth, accompanied by hundreds of suffragettes. When her coffin reached Morpeth, she was escorted by 100 suffragettes to St. Mary's church, where she was burried in a railled grave. You can visit this grave today, the church is a short walk south from the park up the old A1.
The Ha' Hill is all that remains of the original Morpeth castle. This was a motte and bailey construction, originally built from wood at the end of the 11th century. This castle was destroyed by King John 200 years later, then eventually rebuilt on the hill to the south, where you can still see the remains today.
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