Boots & Beer Walking Weekender ALWINTON, NORTHUMBERLAND
With Mark Reid FRGS – author of The Inn Way guidebooks & Mountain Leader
NB: The Weekend Walks will be going ahead as planned. Due to social distancing measures, the Evening Entertainment will be replaced by free time for you to relax at your accommodation. We are currently unable to provide outdoor clothing or equipment.
Alwinton, pronounced ‘Allenton’, is situated near the confluence of the rivers Coquet and Alwin on the edge of the hauntingly beautiful Cheviot Hills. It is the last village in Coquetdale, a remote settlement with just a handful of traditional Northumbrian cottages lining the narrow street. Alwinton developed at the junction of several important routes across the Cheviots, most notably Clennell Street, one of the oldest and most famous routes into Scotland; indeed this settlement has been the ‘Gateway to the Cheviots’ since prehistoric times. Alwinton is a Dark Sky Discovery Site.
The Rose and Thistle is an historic country inn, where Sir Walter Scott stayed whilst researching Rob Roy; the name of the pub is said to date from the times when the border between Scotland and England kept changing, and so the pub would change its name to either the Rose or Thistle depending on which country it was in!
Mark Reid has written The Inn Way… to Northumberland and so knows the village and surrounding countryside like the back of his hand.
PHOTOS from our most recent Northumberland weekend – April 2019
Walking Weekender based from: Rose & Thistle, Alwinton
When booking accommodation, please mention the Walking Weekend as the rooms have been reserved for us.
Friday evening (9pm) – Meet at the Rose & Thistle for our ‘icebreaker’ pub evening, where you can relax, socialise and meet your fellow walkers, choose your level of walk for Saturday and Sunday. Friday and/or Saturday evening meals will be pre-ordered before the weekend. These meals are optional and are not included in the price.
Arriving early on Friday? Your guides (Mark & Richard) will be eating at the pub at 7:30pm on Friday evening – you are most welcome to join us for a meal; just let us know so we can add you to our table.
Saturday evening (7:45pm) – Meal at Rose & Thistle (optional), followed by a fantastic Pub Quiz Night with Mark Reid as your quizmaster! Prizes for the winning team.
There will be a choice of adventurous or leisurely guided walks on Saturday and Sunday, with Mark Reid and Richard Tarran MVO (who have exceptional local knowledge). The precise routes will be determined just before the weekend, taking into consideration weather conditions etc. You will be able to sign up for your chosen walk at the Friday evening ‘icebreaker’, where you will also be able to discuss the walks with Mark Reid.
Saturday (9:30am) – choice of adventurous or leisurely walks, with routes across the Cheviot Hills and Coquetdale. Routes will include routes up onto Widy Gyle, Bloodybush Edge and the Border Ridge – superb walks full of interest, variety and far-reaching views. Return back to the pub late afternoon to recount your day’s adventures.
Sunday (10am) – choice of adventurous or leisurely walks, with lower level valley and hills routes taking areas such as Biddlestone, Holystone and Clennell Street. Return back to the pub mid afternoon for a final drink before bidding fond farewells… until the next Walking Weekender!
Choice of walks: We usually offer a choice of adventurous or leisurely walks on both days. Saturday is a ‘full day’ from 9:30am until 5pm, whilst Sunday is a ‘half day’ from 10am until around 3pm. We will either split into two groups from the start, or we may walk as one group during the morning and then offer ‘longer’ or ‘shorter’ routes after lunch.
Alwinton facilities & accommodation
How to get to Alwinton
From the A1 at Morperth (Northumberland), take the A697 northwards to Weldon where you head west along the B6344 to Rothbury. Continue westwards along a minor road through Coquetdale to reach Alwinton.
Alwinton has a pub, B&B, camping, self catering accommodation, car park and toilets.
Alwinton offers a range of accommodation, including…
Rose & Thistle, Alwinton (B&B and basic camping)
Alwinton B&B – call 01669 650253
Newton Farm B&B – call 01668 650076 (1.75 miles away)
Clennell Hall Country House, Alwinton (B&B & Camping; 1 mile away)
MARK REID is the author of 17 walking guidebooks including ‘The Inn Way’ series. He is a qualified Walking Group Leader, Hill & Moorland Leader and Mountain Leader, and has an unrivalled knowledge of the history and geography of the North of England. Mark has a BA (Hons) Geography degree from the University of Lancaster and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). Mark Reid has walked over 22,000 miles of footpaths over the past 23 years, and has taken over 12,000 people out walking in the countryside. Mark has appeared on ITV YORKSHIRE on the TV walks series ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ along with ITV weatherman Jon Mitchell, as well as ITV1’s The Dales.
Experience & fitness
- No walking experience required. Full guidance will be given.
- A reasonable level of fitness is required as the natural environment can be demanding at times. All walks may include uneven ground, rough terrain, stiles, stream crossings, fields, valleys, moorland, hills, pathless hillsides, paths and tracks, lanes and country roads as well as a number of ascents and descents; we may experience adverse weather conditions. A typical day’s walk across the Cheviot Hills.
- We can provide full outdoor walking gear, including waterproof jackets, trousers, fleeces, rucksacks, gloves and hats. Please provide boots.
- We are fully qualified, insured and first aid trained Mountain Leaders
- So far, we have taken over 11,000 people walking in the countryside, and have a wealth of experience dealing with all ages and abilities.
- Part of the attraction of hill walking is the challenge of tackling different terrains, landscapes and weather conditions. Every effort is made to minimize potential hazards; however, the very nature of hill walking involves a certain level of unavoidable risk or accident and/or injury. By taking part in this activity, you are aware of and accept these risks.
- Our full Terms and Conditions can be found here
* The choice of walks is dependent upon there being more than 10 participants taking part in the weekend; if there are less than 10 participants then there will be one walk per day (full day’s walk on Saturday and shorter walk on Sunday, finishing mid afternoon).