This short walk explores the lovely countryside around Shilbottle. From this lofty vantage point you get great views towards Alnwick and also towards the coast throughout the walk.
Route details: Turn right out of the car park of Shilbottle Community Hall and walk along the pavement with the privet hedge on your left and the road on your right.
As you walk up the road you pass the store, sport and social club, chemist and post office.
Shilbottle (ancient name Shilbote) was built on the back of coal mining. Coal mining began in the district around 1728 and by the end of the 18th century six shafts were operating around Blue Lodge Farm (aka Colliery Farm).
The National Coal Board took over the mines after the Second World War and production continued until a decline in the 1970s. The pit closed in 1981 and the work-force transferred to nearby Whittle, Northumberland.
At the second sharp right in the road you bear left (ie keep walking in the same direction) and walk towards and pass the bus stops that are on either side of the road.
Take the first right down Middle Road as you pass the Parish Church of St James on your right.
At the end of the road turn right and then at the next T-junction turn left and walk up the pavement with the houses on your right and a field beyond the road on your left.
A few hundred yards up the road take the first public footpath on your right (Footpath sign – West Cawledge Park 1½) and this takes you down a very narrow path with a high fence on your right.
You will reach a track and turn right along it and walk just 20 yards down the track and cross the stile on your left taking you into a grassy field.
Turn left in the field and follow the field path around the edge of the field to where you reach a stile and cross it.
Immediately after crossing the stile turn right and pass through a small wooden gate. Walk in the direction of the yellow public footpath arrow which is pointing towards a corner in the fence.
Once you reach this corner you follow the field boundary on your right.
Away to your left you get some great views of Alnwick.
As you reach the corner of the field ignore the stile on your right but cross the one in front of you. Keep walking in the same direction following the field boundary on your right.
When you reach the corner of the field turn right and pass through the large gateway onto the road. You have a short section here walking up the road so please be careful and walk on the right so that you are facing oncoming traffic.
Just after the 30mph signs and just before the Shilbottle sign, you turn left down Tyelaw Meadows (Public Bridleway sign – Townfoot ¼). As the road bears off to the right you continue straight on down the Bridleway.
The track you are following goes into a wooded section as you drop down before rising up and passing through a farmyard. Ignore the road going off to your right but continue to follow the track as you pass a couple of stone cottages on your left.
As you continue you soon reach and pass back out into a field and you follow the field boundary on your right.
At the corner of the field don’t pass the stile in front of you but turn right and you pass through a little nick and walk up the edge of the field with the field boundary on your left and a fence initially on your right.
When you reach the corner of the field keep walking in the same direction and pass through another small nick before you rise up, passing a public footpath arrow, as you enter another field walking along the edge of the field and you start to pass a few houses on your right.
Away to your right you get some stunning views of the Northumberland coast and it makes you realise what a view just a little bit of height can give you. At the bottom corner of the field bear right and pass along a short path to the road and turn right along the main road with a privet hedge initially on your right and a school on your left.
You soon reach and pass the school and then turn right back into the car park.
By Jon Monks
Start and finish
The walk begins and ends at Shilbottle Community Hall, which is located next to the school.