When we came to Northumberland for the first May bank holiday earlier this year, we did a really nice walk near a village called Harbottle. We enjoyed it so much that we decided that it was worth repeating on this trip to Northumberland too
The walk starts from a Forestry Commission car park just outside Harbottle. Harbottle is just under 40 miles from where we're staying in Hexham, so we had a drive of about an hour to reach the car park. I thought it might be busy being a bank holiday, but when we arrived there were only a handful of other cars in the car park. There had been quite a lot of other people walking in the Simonside hills yesterday; this seemed deserted in comparison.
It was good to park without any problems anyway and we set off along the trail, following a sign uphill towards the Drake Stone.
This is one of those walks where you get most of the uphill out of the way straight away. The path led us quite steeply uphill through a forest, then out into an open area of moorland.
Before too long we had a view up to the large stone we were walking towards.
The Drake Stone sits on a hill above Harbottle and is said by local legend to have supernatural healing powers.
The path to get to the top was a bit steep and rocky in places, although not as steep and rocky as the Simonside walk had been yesterday.
The views across the surrounding countryside were lovely when we turned around.
Soon we had made it to the top
This was the enormous Drake Stone. It was so large it was actually quite hard to fit it all in a photo!
The views from the top were great, even though it wasn't the sunniest of days.
Once we'd finished admiring them, the next part of the path led us around the Drake Stone and down the other side of the hill.
We were walking towards Harbottle Lake.
The path was a bit steep again in places, but I was better prepared for Northumberland this time around and had remembered my walking pole
The walk instructions had warned that the area around the lake could be boggy.
It didn't seem too bad today, but we did find some boggy bits as we climbed up through the nearby forest on the next section of the walk.
The path through the woods was lovely.
Though there were a few steep bits here too.
This bit was definitely a lot easier with a pole
Once we came out of the forest, the path levelled off into a nice flat track.
I loved the views of the heather here...
...and also the views of the patchwork fields.
I loved walking past all these cows slightly less
Soon we were back down to the level of the road, which we crossed. We then followed another path alongside a river and through fields.
From here we had a view back up towards the Drake Stone on the hill above us.
Soon we were back in the village of Harbottle, not far from where we'd left the car. When we came here last time, we had a drink in the beer garden of a pub here which is also home to a pizzeria. Today we had come back planning to eat and we weren't disappointed! We split a meat pizza and a bolognese pizza between us; the bolognese in particular was amazing
It was a great end to what has been another fun walk in Northumberland