These three walks are all within the northern part of Northumberland Coast AONB between Holy Island and Berwick upon Tweed. They could be accessed easily from Berwick, Goswick and Holy Island. Those in search of budget accommodation could use Berwick Hostel or the campsites at Beal and West Kyloe.
The walks are all at the easy end of the spectrum being on the coast, but involve walking on sand dunes and rocky beaches in places. Obviously it is essential to check the tide times for the two Holy Island walks. These walks were all done out of season in February but the routes are busier in the summer months. The routes are all available on Viewranger but didn’t record in as much detail as I would have liked due to a technical problem. I apologise for this, hopefully you can get the gist of the routes from the details which did record. Maps are courtesy of Viewranger and Ordnance Survey ©.
- Holy Island Coast Path (7m) Leisurely
- Holy Island circular (4m) Easy
- Cocklawburn Beach circular Min 1.5m) Leisurely
Holy Island Coast Path (7m) Leisurely
By Holy Island I am referring to the island of Lindisfarne in North Northumberland which is only accessible via a causeway at low tide. Both of the Holy Island walks begin and end at the car park located on the outskirts of the village on the island.
This is a 6.8 mile leisurely, circular route which heads straight through the village to the village green. Here you head down the path immediately to the right of the Crown and Anchor pub. Here you turn right towards a set of old iron turnstile gates to cross the field past the priory and towards the harbour.
From the picturesque harbour you follow the track up to and around Edward Lutyen’s famous castle.
The track follows the coast towards the nature reserve and the unspoilt north shore of the island.
Keeping close to the coast along the dunes or the beach, you will pass the remains of the lime quarry on your way to the snook where the island becomes tidal. The route then follows the causeway road back into the village and your starting point.
The walk involves a lot of walking on dunes and sand with a couple of sections across stony sections of the beach. There are some facilities in the village including a visitor centre, a few shops, a post office, pubs and cafes.
Holy Island circular (4m) Easy
If you don’t have as much time, you might prefer this shorter 4 mile route to get an impression of the island. This also begins at the car park and follows the same route to the harbour via the village green and the Crown and Anchor pub.
This is a short 4 mile circular walk around the interior of the island which takes in the harbour, Lindisfarne Castle, the lime kilns, the bird and nature reserves and a local farm. The lowering sky in the photos was genuine but not typical, as it was a very dark day in February when I did these walks.
This route gives a broad cross section of island life and there are shops, pubs and cafes in the village at the end. There is an easy diversion to the beach from the gate where the route turns back towards the village.
Cocklawburn Beach circular Min 1.5m) Leisurely
This is a short 1.5 mile walk around Cocklawburn Nature reserve and along Cocklawburn Beach near Scremerston on the outskirts of Berwick upon Tweed. At low tide it would be easy to expand the walk further south along the beach towards Cheswick. Car parking is normally straightforward at the end of the road which is signposted for the beach from Scremerston. There are facilities at Pot a Doodle Doo on the Scremerston road or in nearby Berwick. The figure of 8 route begins with a quick detour to the old lime kiln.
After a short walk past a small tarn you fork right uphill through the nature reserve towards the Northumberland Coast Path and Coast and Castles cycle route. You then circle around the remains of the lime quarry until you reach a gap in the sand dunes which takes you through a crevass in the tall dune grasses and down onto the beach.
Here you could extend your walk further south towards Cheswick if the tide is out, before returning back to the tarn along the sandy beach. The path to your starting point returns via the WW2 look out station on the rampart to the side of the track.
Cocklawburn is a popular place for families and dog walkers who park along the narrow road to the nature reserve. Although the beach is a good walk at any time of the year (this trip was in February) the best time to see the wild flowers on the nature reserve stretch is obviously April to September.
Once again apologies for the poor quality of the digital routes on Viewranger. I am assured that the issue is resolved now.