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St Oswald's Way walking holidays
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Highlights

  • Arriving on Lindisfarne before your walk and exploring Lindisfarne Castle and Priory.
  • The abundance of religious and local history.
  • Following the breathtaking Northumberland Coastline and staying in seaside villages.
  • Trying out the famous oak-smoked kippers in Craster.
  • Walking through the heather-clad moors of the Simonside Hills.

The St Oswald’s Way is a fascinating, historical 97 mile walk through some of the finest landscapes in Northumberland. The walk hugs the coastline heading south from Holy Island before heading inland across beautiful countryside to Heavenfield. This walk will energise and enrich you with the fascinating history and wonderful landscapes of England’s northernmost county.

Starting your walking adventure in Holy Island you follow the stunning Northumberland Coastline from Bamburgh with its famous Castle, past small seaside villages down to the fishing village of Craster and on through Alnmounth to Warkworth. The walk then heads inland across the beautiful countryside to Rothbury and south to Heavenfield in Hadrian’s Wall country. The walk links places associated with St Oswald, the King of Northumbria in the early 7th Century, who played a major part in bringing Christianity to his people.

Your holiday features hand-picked overnight accommodation in high quality B&B’s, country inns, and guesthouses. Each is unique and offers the highest levels of welcome, atmosphere and outstanding local cuisine. We also include daily door to door baggage transfers, a comprehensive guide book with detailed maps and pre-departure information pack as well as emergency support, should you need it.

We offer a number of different itineraries on the St Oswald's Way, each of which is made up of the following sections. Individual itineraries are detailed on the right.


Holy Island to Bamburgh - 19 Miles

The first section of the walk, which is also the longest starts at Lindisfarne Priory on the beautiful Holy Island and heads westwards to the mainland via the causeway. (please check the tide times in advance) The path heads south through Fenwick and the Kyloe woods with its surviving population of red squirrels. As you head to Belford through higher ground you will be amazed by the views around you. From Belford the path heads East to Budle Bay and then reaches the attractive village of Bamburgh with its superb castle.


Bamburgh to Craster - 14 Miles 

Bamburgh was the site of King Oswald’s royal seat and the most familiar landmark is the magnificent Bamburgh Castle. From here the section of the St Oswald’s Way heads down to the popular seaside village of Seahorses where you can take boat trips to the nearby Farne Island. Heading south you pass other seaside village down to Embleton Bay. Where possible and if tides allow you can walk on the beach as an alternative to the path. You then pass the romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh - another famous Northumberland castle before arriving in the fishing village of Craster.


Craster to Warkworth - 13.5 Miles 

From the picturesque village of Craster which is famous for its oak-smoked kippers, the St. Oswald’s Way continues south along the stunning coastline. You pass the sight of Northumberland’s earliest Stone Age settlement of Howick as you head down to Boulmer. Heading towards Alnmouth again you can walk along the beach while you pass two golf courses, one of which is the oldest in England. After reaching the peaceful village of Alnmouth the route passes through dunes with great views of Amble and Coquet Island. The path then meets the River Coquet for the first time at the historic village of Warkworth.


Warkworth to Rothbury - 18 miles 

Warkworth is a beautiful village with a fantastic setting, which lies beneath the castle with the river Coquet passing through it. From here, you head west through the scenic valley which is another long section of the walk. The path passes through the village of Felton then through woodland and along riverside paths to Welton Bridge. The route then stays on the southern side of the river and passes through attractive farmland on route to Rothbury.


Rothbury to Kirkwhelpington - 15 Miles 

The picturesque and ancient village of Rothbury is surrounded by hills and when the St. Oswald’s Way leaves here you leave the River Coquet behind and head south over remote and secluded countryside. The route enters the Northumberland National Park and passes the remains of an Iron Age hill fort and rock carvings. Passing through the heather-clad moors of the Simonside Hills you will feel a real sense of freedom. You then reach the Harwood forest which is protected by the Forestry Commission and head down past Knowesgate until you reach the small village of Kirkwhelpington.


Kirkwhelpington to Heavenfield - 17.5 Miles 

The final section of the St. Cuthberts Way leaves the picturesque village of Kirkwhelpington and runs southwards through rolling countryside. This section of the walk is fairly remote and passes many interesting small settlements before reaching Great Whittington. South of here the route joins the Hadrian’s Wall Path and runs westwards along the Roman frontier to the historic site of Heavenfield—the end of the St. Oswalds Way. However, there is no public transport from Heavenfield and no accommodation so we will book your last nights accommodation in Wall or Chollerford which is just a mile or so on from the end of the walk.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.


Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is available to solo walkers at a supplement.  Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins/doubles.


Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the itinerary, but because of limited availability we may have to accommodate you at an alternative location. Alternative details will be noted on your accommodation sheet.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you limit your luggage to one bag of 20kg.



 

 

 




Lindisfarne Hotel - Holy Island

The Lindisfarne Hotel has a wonderful location at the start of the St Oswald's Way. This hotel was built in 1902 and provides clean and comfortable accommodation.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Bamburgh View - Holy Island



Bamburgh View - Holy Island

The bamburgh View holds a central position in the village. The owners offer a warm welcome at this newly renovated, comfortable bed and breakfast.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Market Cross - Belford



Market Cross Guest House - Belford

Market Cross Guest House is right in the centre of the village, the 200 year old guest house provides quality en-suite accommodation and award winning breakfasts.


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Farmhouse Guest House - Belford



The Farm House Guest House - Belford

The Farmhouse Guest House is a family run establishment where you will enjoy a personal, warm welcome with all the comforts of home. They offer a high standard of accommodation in an easy, informal atmosphere.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel - Embelton

The Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel is situated just before the village of Craster in the heart of Embleton, a picturesque village within an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Hotel provides comfortable ensuite rooms and delicious meals are available in the A La Carte Restaurant or the Table d’Hote Dining Room.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Fairfield House - Warkworth



Fairfield House - Warkworth

Fairfield house offers 5 star quality guest accommodations in this charming B&B in Warkworth. All rooms are en-suite and are tastefully decorated and equipped to provide comfort for your stay.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Cornhills Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast - Kirkwhelpington



Cornhills Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast - Kirkwhelpington

Cornhills farmhouse B&B is a 4 diamonds silver award B&B and is situated on a typical Northumberland farm in the beautiful Northumberland countryside. Cornhills Farmhouse is well catered to walkers, they provide drying facilities for both clothes and boots.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Matfen High House - Corbridge



Matfen High House - Corbridge

Matfen High House is a beautiful well appointed spacious stone-built house, set in a quiet rural location a few miles from the St Oswald's Way path. Offering double and twin en-suite rooms with shower and bath, this Bed & Breakfast provides comfortable accommodation for walkers.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Hadrian Hotel - Wall

This cosy Hotel in the Tyne Valley is an ideal spot for walkers to relax. With tranquil views over the countryside and comfortable rooms this is a perfect stop for walkers.


 

 

 

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require a single room within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Must of the walk is way-marked and you will be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day. 


Baggage Transfers

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip.  We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 15kg)


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.  Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen.  Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.



Getting to Lindisfarne

By Air


Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest options.  Onward travel is by rail or coach


By Coach/Rail


There is a railway station in Berwick upon Tweed and there is a bus service from here to Holy Island which only operates April - September 1st.  Alternatively you can take a taxi.


By Road


We generally recommend using public transport as parking is generally not available in Holy Island.


Getting from Heavenfield

By Air


Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest options.  Travel by rail and /or coach.


By Coach/Rail


We include your last night in either Wall/Chollerford whcih is a mile from the official end of the walk in Heavenfield.  Regular buses run between Wall and Hexham and then from Hexham there are buses to Newcastle along with a train service.


The best way to plan your journey if the Traveline Website;  www.traveline.org.uk

Included

  • Hand picked accommodation in B&B's, guesthouses and country hotels and inns.
  • Breakfast each morning.
  • Daily door to door baggage transfer.
  • A detailed information pack, guide book with map for your party.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Single room supplement.
  • Additional nights before, during or after your walk.

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

How fit do I need to be?

We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as St Oswald's Way is extremely popular especially in the summer months. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.

Should I check the tides for  Holy Island?

Yes, we recommend you check the tidal chart for your arrival day into Holy Island (lindisfarne) and also for your first  first days walking to make sure that you can cross the causway.   Check out the safe tide crossings here.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureSt Oswald's Way
 
4.3

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (14)
  • Fun (11)
  • Great accommodations (11)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (11)
  • Trying something new (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • World traveller (9), Avid adventurer (3), Occasional traveller (3)

Reviewed by 16 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

The best that the Northumberland coast can offer

By Mrs Walker

from London

About Me rambling sixty somethings

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

      We did this walk in exceptional summer weather and enjoyed the best that the Northumberland coast can offer. We stayed an extra night at Seahouses and visited the Farne Islands which is a world class bird reserve ; we could have tarried longer at many of the sights along the way. There is much to see. The coastal walking is easy. Turning inland towards Warkworth and then Southwards to Hadrians wall the last 3 days walking are more demanding both as to length and navigation. The excellent Harveys map provided kept us on track. Most of the accommodations were very good indeed and others were probably the best available in the particular locations . The last day is over 18 miles and we were puzzled that we had been booked into a B and B an additional 3 miles after the end of the route and think that more planning and guidance could have been provided – possibly to advise on buses or taxis to get to the overnight accommodation. We were caught out on the descriptions on how to find the B and B's more than once as Macs had relied on driving instructions provided by the accommodation owners and in one case with walking directions from the wrong direction. Unfortunately in the second case we were in a place with no mobile phone coverage which made finding the B and B a little adventure in itself!

       
      4.0

      Fantastic scenery.

      By KP

      from Scotland

      About Me Occasional Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • Exhausting
      • Waymarks not always clearly placed

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

      Very varied terrain and mostly not a difficult walk. The actual miles per day exceeded those listed.

       
      5.0

      A Spectacular Way to discover Northumbria

      By Journeymen

      from Stourbridge

      About Me Walkers who like to push their personal limits, World Traveller

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Peaceful isolation
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

        St Oswalds Way may have had the odd 'longeur', particularly on the 18 mile stretch but it takes the walker through so many changing landscapes and then there's always the anticipation of what kind of accommodation has been planned on the walkers' behalf at the end of the day.

         
        5.0

        St Oswald discovery

        By HajoDePajo

        from Netherlands

        About Me World Traveller

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday

          Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

          Me and my son walked the first legs of St Oswald way; decided upon just a few days before, but perfectly handled by Laura from the back office. We had a wonderful time. Thrills abound. The most haunting discovery (by my son) was the grave of a slave, Rob, at the old vicarage. Poor man! But his ghost was still there, seeking us through the night, his voice calling. The most pleasant discovery was the easy walk through an historical landscape. The most charming discovery was all the kind people we met at pubs, beaches, hotels and B&B's.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Holiday

          By The Walker

          from Home Counties

          About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

          Pros

          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Relaxation

            Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

            Great holiday. Macs holiday offer matched expectations.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            A challenge and a great time

            By Bilbo Baggins

            from Surrey

            About Me Occasional walker, World Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Great Coastline
            • Well Organised

            Cons

            • Tiring towards the end

            Best Uses

            • A good challenge
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

            Having walked Hadrians Wall in 5 days with Macs in 2010 (and loved it), we wanted another similar challenge in 2011. We did the walk in early October (probably as late as you would want to leave it). Early half of the walk is relatively level and mostly follows the coastline with huge empty beaches and a castle in every town. The last half of the walk heads in land and slightly more strenuous as number of hills and moors to go over. We did the whole walk in 6 days. At times the route is far from stright and signage a little hit and miss in places, but the guide book from Macs saved us whenever we weren't sure. Couple of longer days but if you start early and pace yourself you can break the back of each day by lunchtime/early afternoon. Some great pubs to stop at for a daily lunchtime cider refueling. All the accomodation along the route was pretty good and great hosts at all especially the B & Bs. We had a lot of fun and humour along the way.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Friendly, Patient and Helpful

            By Steve and buddies

            from Bristol

            About Me Occasional Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Iconic locations
              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

              Macs helped our party get over some problems starting the trip. They were always helpful, patient and friendly which enabled us to fully enjoy our trip. The locations are beautiful with hunting Castles, wildlife and suprises. The accomodation was comfortable, the food was good and the beer even better. The weather was not always very kind, but that is only to be expected in the North of England and it enhanced the fun.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Interesting walk

              By Mick the Pilgrim

              from Buckinghamshire

              About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Well Organised

              Cons

              • Plethora of caravan parks

              Best Uses

              • Holiday
              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

              Well organized. Baggage transfer worked without fault.Accommodation good with only minor quibbles( lack of lock on bathroom door at Stamford Farmhouse, Craster a trifle disconcerting, room at Queens Head Rothbury a little small and up three flights of stairs).The coastal section of the walk is not for lovers of the remote and lonely (lots of caravan parks and day trippers)but that is a problem of the route and not Macs Adventure.Overall worth doing and my friend and I derived a deal of pleasure from doing it.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Exhillerating and Relaxing

              By Jan & Dave

              from Leeds

              About Me Seasonal Walker

              Pros

              • Great Accommodations
              • Lovely views
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • History and Landscape
                • Holiday
                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

                Exellent walking holiday with some great accommodation. Clearly marked paths throughout. Lovely to have the occassional bath to relax the aching muscles. Would recommend booking ahead for meals if walking over bank holidays or weekends when places can be busy. Very well organised and good value for money.

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                A fantastic walk with good back-up

                By Margie Was

                from London

                About Me Keen walker, World Traveller

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Varied walking
                • Well Organised
                • Wonderful countryside

                Cons

                • Some days long walks ove

                Best Uses

                • Energetic walk
                • Holiday
                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure St Oswald's Way:

                For experienced walkers this is a great walk with its variety of settings & fantastic coastal & hill walking.

                A short walking day on day 3 meant we could include a boat trip to the Farne Islans (brilliant).

                Due to few places to stay in the last 50 miles - it makes long day walks for the last 3 days.

                One of our night's accommodation was not up to standard (more details being sent).

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