Stepping Out: A walk that will ruffle no-one’s feathers

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.
Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.
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This lovely circular walk starts from the stunning Budle Bay which is an important bird sanctuary.

This whole area is part of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve and is very popular with birdwatchers, particularly in the winter when thousands of wildfowl and waders spend their winter in the bay.

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.

The walk then passes inland along the Northumberland coastal route and treats you to some fine views of 
Bamburgh Castle.

From you car, walk away from Bamburgh along the path that runs down the right-hand side of the road and just before you reach the Waren House Hotel and Restaurant, take the road up to the left and pass up the single track with a house initially on your right and a hedge on your left.

Budle Bay and Waren Mill is also the starting point of the 26-mile Northumberland Coastal Challenge Walk that takes place on the first May Bank Holiday weekend every year.

This is a large event with walkers passing through checkpoints as they follow the Northumberland Coastal Path all the way to Alnmouth.

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.

After a little while, you pass Widehohaugh House on your right and you pass through a wooded section on the road as it rises up and drops down.

After a few hundred yards, you turn left off the road at the Public Footpath sign (Public Footpath – Draw Kiln Hill ½). The path climbs steeply up through the wood away from the road and you reach and pass through a small wooden gate.

Keep on the path as it follows the fence on your left-hand side and away to your right you can see an old lime kiln.

Over time the soil becomes acidic (due to acid rain) and both grass and crops grow best in a neutral soil, therefore lime is spread on the ground to aid in this.

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.

Jon Monks Budle Bay walk.

In the past, limestone was put in the lime kilns and burnt and then spread on the ground.

The modern way of doing this is grinding the limestone up and then spreading this on agricultural land.

You reach and pass through a small wooden gate with a Northumberland Coastal Path and St Oswald’s Way joint marker on it.

For this section of the coast, the Northumberland Coastal Path (64 miles in length) and St Oswald’s Way (97 miles in length) share the same route before heading off in different directions at Warkworth.

At this point St Oswald’s Way follows the River Coquet inland and the Coastal Path continues down to Cresswell.

Continue on through the next large wooden gate and walk up the edge of the next field before reaching another large wooden gate and passing through it into a wood.

Walk up through the wood with a wall on your left to a large metal gate and continue along the edge of the field with a wall on your left heading to the caravan site.

Pass through a small wooden gate into the caravan park and turn right along the road. As the road bears off to the left, you continue straight on, leave the road and continue to follow the hedge on your right.

You reach and pass through a wooden gate onto a road and turn left along it. Follow the road as it rises up and turns 90 degrees to the right and you reach a T-junction.

Turn left and after about 50 yards turn right off the road (Public Footpath – Bamburgh 1½, Coast Path).

Follow the path that runs down the right hand side of the field.

This is one of the nicest approaches into Bamburgh, with that first view of the castle which really does take your breath away.

As it is fairly isolated, it is not an image you see often, but one that can be appreciated by the walker passing along this footpath.

You drop down to a stile and cross it. Keep walking in the same direction as you follow a row of trees on your right. As you reach a more wooded section, just bear to your right on a prominent path to a stile over a fence and cross it.

Follow the path as it skirts around the edge of the hill on your left. Keep the same contour and you pass just under the gorse bushes on you left and you reach and pass through a kissing gate taking you onto a road.

Turn left along the road and walk up to the main road.

Cross the road to the Coast Path signpost and walk up the hill on the grass path along the edge of the road as you walk away from Bamburgh.

As you reach the top of the hill ignore the path going off to Budle Point, but continue to follow the road.

Ignore all the roads and paths leading from the road and you gradually drop back down to the starting point.

Walk details

Starting point: Budle Bay, Bamburgh.

Directions to start: From Bamburgh, head north up the B1342 and as you leave Bamburgh, the road rises up and then drops down to Budle Bay and Waren Mill. Park in the large layby parking area that adjoins Budle Bay. Grid reference - NU146344.

Walk distance: 3.5 miles.

Walking time: Two hours.