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Day 2: Simonside hills

When we woke up this morning it was a lovely bright sunny day in Hexham :) We didn't have firm plans for the day in advance, but when we saw how nice the weather was we decided to make the most of it and try out a walk which I'd seen described online as one of the most scenic in Northumberland. The walk was in the Simonside hills near Rothbury, a drive of about 30 miles from where we were staying in Hexham.

The walk started from a Forestry Commission car park, hidden down a narrow single track road. It was the sort of place you can only find if you already know it's there! Luckily there was plenty of place to park though, and the parking was free. We set off following a path through the trees.


The route initially led us through the forest, which was really beautiful.


We had tantalising glimpses of views as we walked.


The path soon began to slope uphill and before long we were out of the trees.


The walk was a circular one, only 4.5 miles long, but the description suggested it would take 3 hours.


The path continued to lead uphill and our efforts were soon rewarded by a view of the hills beginning to appear through the trees.


There was about 250m of uphill to do in total (it was very sunny, that's why I'm pulling a strange face in this photo :D )


We were climbing to the top of this hill.


There were some beautiful views as we went up, but it was quick a steep, rocky path.


Eventually we made it to the top :) 


Well, I think this bit was the very top!


There were some amazing views from up here.


I could see why it was described as one of the most scenic walks in Northumberland :)


(Standing on this rock wasn't as scary as it looks :D )


Now that we were at the highest point, a relatively flat path led us across the top of the hills.


There were wonderful views in all directions.


Eventually the path began to gradually lead downwards.


There was lots of heather everywhere and it looked amazing.


The only problem was that it also seemed to be a habitat for a lot of flies! I don't seem to have got bitten by anything, but I feel like I spent a lot of time trying to swat them away from me.


Soon the descent became quite rapid.


We were now quite a long way below where we'd been walking.


The path was easy now, starting to lead us back towards the trees.


There was still lots of heather everywhere, but fewer flies down here :)


We were most of the way through the walk now, on the final stretch back towards the car park.


The last bit of the walk took us along a forest road...


...and then down through the forest itself.


We made it back to the car and then headed to the nearby village of Rothbury for a late lunch :) 


Rothbury itself seemed like a really pretty village.


We had a bit of a stroll around before getting back in the car to head back to Hexham.


We've been really lucky with the weather today and managed to get away from people while enjoying great views, so all in all it's been a very successful day :) 

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