A moderate circular walk with expansive views

Enjoy a circular walk with some short steep inclines and stiles. This lovely walk takes you up to the ancient Drake Stone, a mythical place from where there are stunning views over the surrounding countryside and over to the ruins of Harbottle Castle.

Download The Drake Stone and Harbottle Walk

Walk Route

Grade: Moderate
Length: 5 miles (8km)
Time: Allow 2 hours 30 mins
Map: O.S Explorer OL16

Route description

A. From Harbottle First School over the heather moorland

Walk from Harbootle First School to the Forestry Commision Car and follow the forest track, signed ‘Drake Stone,’ uphill through the wood. Go through the gate, and turn right to follow the footpath over the heather moorland (Harbottle Crags Nature Reserve, managed by Northumberland Wildlife Trust).

B. Through the kissing gate

Pass through the kissing gate and continue uphill along the sandy footpath, making for the cairn ahead on the left.

C. Take the left fork which leads up to the Drake Stone

The path splits just after the cairn. Take the left fork which leads up to the Drake Stone – this is huge Fell Sandstone boulder, which local legend suggests has healing powers.

D. Cross the stile

Cross the stile and contine on the path along the edge of the lake.

Please note: The bog surrounding the lake is dangerous with very deep water underneath it, so please keep to the footpath.

E. Turn right, heading uphill towards the trees

At the fence turn right, heading uphill towards the trees, keeping the fence on your left. Go into the woodland and keep following the footpath straight ahead, until you come out of the wood at a gate.

F. Through the gate, and turn right

Go through the gate, and turn right following the track downhill to the road.

G. Cross the metal road bridge

Turn left onto the road, walking towards Alwinton. Cross the metal road bridge over the River Coquet.

At G – You can make a shorter walk by turning right onto the road and heading back towards Harbottle. The Forestry Commission Car Park is on the right. This walk is 3 miles / 4.8km

H. Take the minor road on ther right, signed Park House / Harbottle

Take the minor road on ther right, signed Park House / Harbottle. Go past Low Alwinton Lime Kiln on your left and continue uphill along the road passing Park House on the right.

I. Follow the track straight across the field

As the road ends follow the track straight across the field. Cross the stile and follow the track downhill over the field to the woodland. Carry on along the track and past a cottage on the right.

J. Look out for a footbridge on the right across the River Coquet

About 300m along look out for a footbridge on the right across the River Coquet. Cross the bridge and keep to the path. At the main road turn right through Harbottle village.

K. Follow the road past the ruins of Harbottle Castle on your right

Keep following the road out of the village and past the ruins of Harbottle Castle on your right. The Castle is wellworth looking around. Continue along the road back to the Forestry Commission Car Park which is on your left.