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.

A photo of The Star Inn pub in Harbottle

Why not finish your walk at the cozy Star Inn pub; perfect for both food and drink.

Download the PDF guide to The Drake Stone and Harbottle Walk

Download Route

Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Walk distance
5 miles / 8km
Walk duration
2.5 hours
Recommended OS Map
O.S Explorer OL16
Dog friendly

Step by step route

Leave the Forestry England Car Park

Leave the Forestry EnglandCar Park and follow the forest track signed ‘Drake Stone’, uphill through the wood. Go through the gate and turn right. Follow the path uphill kepping the fence on your right.

Pass through the next gate

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

Take the left fork

The path splits just after the cairn. Take the left fork which leads up to the Drake Stone, a huge Fell Sandstone boulder, which local legend suggests has healing powers. Once you have finished exploring the Drake Stone continue on and follow the path down to Harbottle Lake.

Cross the stile

Cross the stile and continue 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.

At the fence turn right

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.

Go through the gate, and turn right

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

You can make a shorter walk by turning right and heading back towards Harbottle. The Forestry England Car Park is on the right. This walk is 3 miles (4.8km)

Turn left onto the road

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

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

Take the minor road on the 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.

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.

Look out for a footbridge

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.

Keep following the road out of the village

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

Walk route

Getting there

The starting point for the walk is Forestry England West Wood Car Park.

From Rothbury take the B6381 west through Thropton. At ‘Flotterton’ take the right signed ‘Alwinton’. Harbottle is about 5 miles. The car park is in the woods on the left about 0.3 miles after the village.

Grid Ref: NT 926 049

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