A medium walk of 3-4 miles on the Simonsides hills, just south of Rothbury.
Moors, a walk along a ridge, excellent views but no facilities.
Postcode for Satnav - NE61 4PU. This is for Lordenshaws farm, the car park is just past the farm.
From Rothbury take the B6342 south (signposted for the Hospital in the town). Follow this road over the bridge and to the left, out of town and up a steep hill for about 3 miles. Here you will see a narrow roadway on your right with a Northumberland National Park sign and a tourist sign for Simonside. Take this road and follow it for about 3/4 of a mile until you see the car park on your right.
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Cross over the road from the car park and follow the stone lined path up hill. About half way up the path splits, with the left fork signposted 'St. Oswald's way'. Take the ridge path on the right and follow it up to the summit of the Beacon. Now follow the ridge path along and down to a gateway, then up the next hill, Dove Crag. Just before you reach the summit you will see a pathway off to your right marked with a white arrow in a red circle. Take this path and follow it round the hill, then down into the trees.
Follow this path until it reaches a larger path, turn left, and walk along the path through the trees until you join a forestry road.
Turn right onto the forestry road and follow it for a while, until you see the red path signposted and leading off on the right. Follow this path down through the trees and along by Coe Burn for quite some distance, until it eventually brings you out at another car park. Follow the track out of the car park to the road, turn right and walk back along the road for just over a mile, back to your car. This road is narrow in places so it would be best to keep dogs on a lead here.
About halfway between the summit of the Beacon and the point where the ridge path splits from St Oswald's way, a small path leads off to the right along the side of the hill to Thompson's Rock. This rock is about 6 feet high and 5 feet wide, and has a 3 inch hole bored right through it about 4 feet from the ground. The hole is not smooth, but is runs unevenly throug the rock. It might have been made by running water, or it might be man made. It does align with the point on the Cheviot hills to the north west, where the sun sets during the midsummer solstice and it's claimed that the sunlight bursts through the hole at sunset near midsummer.
None, just a good walk with magnificent views.
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