Walking around Wooler, Northumberland

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Wooler is positioned on the edge of the Northumberland National Park and is rightly a popular base for walkers. It is a fantastic location from which to explore The Cheviots - a range of distinctive, rounded hills that mark the border between Scotland and England. Providing a 'rain shadow', The Cheviots also make Wooler one of the driest towns in England.

Mountain walks near Wooler

The Cheviot SummitWalks from Wooler - On the summit of The Cheviot
Photo: Julian Whitley

The Cheviot itself is perhaps the most iconic landmark in the local hills. It's the highest summit and has stunning views to Holy Island - one of the best views in England. The 'easiest' way to walk The Cheviot is from the Harthope Burn Valley 2 or 3 miles South of Wooler, from which you can also walk Hedgehope Hill and Comb Fell, two more tops that qualify to be included in the six official Mountains in The Cheviot Hills, Northumberland National Park. The other three are Windy Gyle, Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge.

The Cheviot can also be accessed from nearby Hethpool at the head of College Valley about 5 miles West of Wooler towards the Scottish Border. Surrounded by crowd free hills topped by ancient hilltop forts Hethpool also offers access to The Pennine Way as it meanders from the The Cheviot along the England - Scotland border before descending to finish (or start) at Kirk Yetholm in Scotland.

Or perhaps you would like to walk sections of The St Cuthbert's Way a 100km (62 miles) linear footpath waymarked by a Celtic Cross that connects Melrose Abbey in The Borders, Scotland with Holy Island (Lindisfarne) in Northumberland and passes through Hethpool and Wooler on the way.

More gentle walks from Wooler

If walking up mountains is not your thing (or you are looking for a more relaxing day after a fine day in the hills) there are a variety of footpaths and bridleways from Wooler itself (see below) that make the surrounding hills so accessible. There is some tremendous walking on the hills, but the lower lying, Milfield Plain is great for families. Just make sure you visit Careyburn Bridge which has a number of burn or riverside walks including several options for following Colgate Water through Happy Valley.

Around and about Wooler

Whether you opt for a hill-walk or for lower terrain, a walk in Wooler's surrounding area can show you remains from 5000 years of human history in one day - from Iron and Bronze Age forts through to Anglo Saxon and early Christianity remains. Life around Wooler hasn't always been quiet.

Tradition has it that the Milfield Plain was the place where King Arthur fought the first of his 12 legendary battles against the Anglo Saxons.

Humbleton Hill is mentioned in the opening scenes of one of the country's greatest literary works, Shakespeare's s Henry IV

In August 1513 another battle took place on Milfield Plain near Wooler, in which an army of Scots were heavily defeated. The English knew however, that this was only a `warm up' for a greater battle which would inevitably follow.

The site of the Battle of Flodden, the most influential and last battle between England and Scotland during the reign of Henry VIII, is located eight miles away near Branxton. According to local legend, at Flodden Field, the 15th Century battle site, the ghostly echo of clashing sword and battle cry can still be heard to this day. Its 500th anniversary is being celebrated on 9th September 2013.

Milfield also has a Second World War airfield where apparently Dirk Bogarde was stationed.

Wildlife lovers will also find much to enjoy as kingfishers, otters, red squirrels, deer and feral goats all inhabit the surrounding areas.

Other things to see and do in Wooler

Once back in Wooler you'll find a good mix of places to eat and drink from cafes and delis to a number of upmarket restaurants, including Milan, rated as 4* by AA Gill in the Sunday Times‚ Style review. The town's St Mary's Church dating back to 1764 was extended in 1913 and boasts notable Victorian windows in the nave and a fine 20th Century stained glass in the sanctuary.

Find Hotels, B & B's (Bed & Breakfast), Pubs and Inns and Places to Stay in Wooler


Walks from Wooler in Northumberland National Park, Northumberland

Walk n164 St Cuthbert's Way, Wooler Common and Woodland Park from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, The St Cuthbert's Way, Waud House, Kenterdale Hill, Wooler Common and Woodland Park, Wooler.

Length: 5km (3.25 miles) | Ascent: 160m (525ft) | Allow at least: 1.75hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Easy


Walk n112 Humbleton Hill and Wooler Common and Woodland Park from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, Gallowlaw Gallowlaw Hill, Humbleton, Humbleton Hill, Brown's Law, Wooler Common And Woodland Park, Wooler.

Length: 7.5km (4.75 miles) | Ascent: 300m (985ft) | Allow at least: 2.75hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Easy


Walk n146 Wooler Common and Happy Valley (Low Level Route) from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, The St Cuthbert's Way, Waud House, Kenterdale Hill, Wooler Common, Switcher Wood, Earlhillhead Farm, Carey Burn, Careyburn Bridge, Harthope Burn, Colgate Water (Low Level Route), Skirl Naked, Grimping Haugh, Broom Crook Plantation, Happy Valley, Careyburn Bridge, Colgate Mill, Earle Mill, Wooler Water, Wooler.

Length: 10.5km (6.5 miles) | Ascent: 318m (1043ft) | Allow at least: 3.5hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Moderate


Walk n143 Humbleton Hill and The St Cuthbert's Way from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, Gallowlaw Gallowlaw Hill, Humbleton, Humbleton Hill, Brown's Law, Wooler Common and Woodland Park, The St Cuthbert's Way, Kenterdale Hill, Waud House, Wooler.

Length: 9km (5.75 miles) | Ascent: 370m (1214ft) | Allow at least: 3.5hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Moderate


Walk n107 Wooler Common and Happy Valley (High Level Route) from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, The St Cuthbert's Way, Waud House, Kenterdale Hill, Wooler Common, Switcher Wood, Earlhillhead Farm, Carey Burn, Careyburn Bridge, Harthope Burn, Colgate Water (High Level Route), Happy Valley, Middleton Old Town, North Middleton, Colgate Mill, Colgate Water, Earle Mill, Wooler Water, Wooler.

Length: 12km (7.5 miles) | Ascent: 383m (1257ft) | Allow at least: 4.5hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Moderate


Walk n170 Weetwood Moor, Dod Law, Doddington and The River Glen from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, The St Cuthbert's Way, Weetwood Bank, Weetwood Moor, River Till, Weetwood Bridge, Weetwood Hall, Weetwood Hill, Broomy Knowe, Shepherds House, Dod Law, Doddington Moor, Doddington, River Till, St Cuthbert's Bridge, Milfield Plain, River Glen, Bridge End, Bowchester, Low Humbleton, Gallowlaw Hill, Gallowlaw, Wooler.

Length: 16.5km (10.25 miles) | Ascent: 360m (1182ft) | Allow at least: 5hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Moderate


Walk n204 Commonburn House from Wooler

Route Summary: - Wooler, The St Cuthbert's Way, Waud House, Kenterdale Hill, Wooler Common, Carey Burn, Broadstruthers Burn, Commonburn House, Wackerage Cairn, Tom Tallon's Crag, The St Cuthbert's Way, Gleadscleugh, Akeld Burn, Humbleton, Gallowlaw, Wooler.

Length: 17km (10.75 miles) | Ascent: 532m (1746ft) | Allow at least: 5.75hrs | Grade:Walk Grades Explanation and Help Moderate


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