St Oswald's Way - 8 Days & 7 Nights8 Days & 7 Nights 4.4 Read 17 reviews
- 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.
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travellers, Multi-Generational, Mixed Abilities, First Timers
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Historical Journeys
Grade & Terrain
The St Oswald’s Way is graded Moderate overall but each itinerary has its own grade.
Generally, the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths, with ascent and descent involved, so a good level of fitness will be required. The route also includes a few sections where you are required to climb over a dry stone wall on a ladder stile, extra care should be taken at these points.
Most 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. The way is marked with the ‘St Oswald’s Way logo - a bold black arrow (normally on wooden posts or signs).
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Additional nights before, during or after your walk.
When To Go
You can start this walking tour on any day of your choice between April and October.
Getting to the Start
Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest options. Onward travel is by rail or coach
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.
We generally recommend using public transport as parking is generally not available in Holy Island.
Getting from the End
Edinburgh and Newcastle airports are the closest options. Travel by rail and /or coach.
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.
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.
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 trousers), 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 daypack.
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.
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 cardiovascular 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.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as St Oswalds 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.
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.
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.
Yes, we recommend you check the tidal chart for your arrival day into Holy Island (lindisfarne) and also for your first days walking to make sure that you can cross the causeway. Check out the safe tide crossings here.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Lindisfarne and overnight
Arrive in Lindisfarne and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the nearby sights.
You will be guaranteed a warm welcome when you check in at the Manor House Hotel! They have ten bedrooms which all include tea and coffee making facilities, digital TV and are en-suite (with the exception of our single room.) Their recently refurbished Island Bar is open throughout the day for tea and coffee, or for those who fancy a tipple or two they serve an array of wines, spirits and beers including the locally produced Lindisfarne mead. The restaurant and garden are also open daily to both residents and non-residents for lunch and dinner; whenever possible their dishes are prepared from seasonal and local produce.
The Lindisfarne Hotel was built in 1902 and has been fully modernised with 8 refurbished en-suite rooms, which have all the amenities that you require for a comfortable night’s stay. They also have a guest lounge and dining room, patio and grassed garden area for those warm summer evenings.
Formerly called the Northumberland Arms it was during 1995 that a major renovation programme was undertaken and the business was renamed as The Ship Inn, although the Islanders still affectionately refer to the pub as "The Tavern". The Ship Inn is now proud of being awarded a 4 star hotel rating by the English Tourist Council. All rooms are en-suite with hospitality tray, providing tea, coffee, herbal drinks, bedside radio/alarm, television and hair dryers. The Ship Inn has a great reputation for the food and drink that it serves. They offer a wide variety of ales, beers, wines and spirits and each meal is cooked using local fresh ingredients.
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 the 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.
The Victoria Hotel is a welcoming AA 3 Star hotel that overlooks the village green in the heart of historic Bamburgh. The village is overlooked by magnificent Bamburgh Castle which has featured in many historical films. All of their bedrooms offer high quality furnishing and all modern conveniences including hairdryer, complimentary refreshment tray, and LCD TV. Opened in 2012, Baileys Bar & Restaurant offers high quality, locally sourced food, cooked free to Rosette standard.
Budle Hall is a family run B&B and is said to be one of Northumberland’s loveliest small country houses. They have 5 well-appointed en-suite rooms and they have all the amenities you require for a comfortable and relaxing overnight stay.
The Sunningdale is family owned and offers a warm welcome to all. It is their aim to offer excellent service and quality during your stay. They have 21 en-suite bedrooms, all of which are comfortably furnished and include colour televisions and complimentary tea and coffee making facilities and toiletries. The communal area of The Sunningdale underwent an extensive refurbishment, with the aim of providing you with the use of a modern and relaxing lounge, breakfast room and restaurant during your stay. Their restaurant offers a superb selection of delicious home made excellent value food. They use high quality delicious produce such as locally reared and butchered lamb and pork, Lakeland matured beef and a superb selection of daily fresh fish.
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 Seahouses where you can take boat trips to the nearby Farne Island. Heading south you pass another 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.
The Cottage Inn provides B&B accommodation just outside the pretty village of Craster. All bedrooms have been renovated to a comfortable standard, room are en-suite with flat screen TV’s, garden views, complimentary bathroom products, hairdryers and complementary beverage tray. During your stay you will be able to sample some of Northumberland’s best foods and ales, they are committed to using local produce where possible. They pride themselves on their cask conditioned ales and always have a good selection from the local micro-breweries.
This is a lovely B&B set in its own grounds surrounded by fields and woods near Craster. Rooms are comfortably furnished and have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay. They have a seating area exclusively for guests and free Wi-Fi.
The Dunstanburgh Castle Hotel is in the heart of Embleton, a picturesque village on the Northumberland coast, set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All rooms are en-suite with flat screen TV’s, hair dryers and complimentary hot drinks tray. They use only the best of local seasonal produce, sourced almost exclusively from small local suppliers. Their commitment to fresh and ethically produced food has earned them awards from Taste of Northumberland and Alnwick Food Festival.
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.
This 5 boutique bed and breakfast rooms opened in May 2017. All rooms have been decorated and furnished to a very high standard with Voyage Maison wall art and fabrics and Barker and Stonehouse furniture. You will enjoy a warm welcome along with a hearty breakfast which is served downstairs in the café.
Warkworth Old Post Office, now a grade II listed building, is constructed from stone, reportedly pilfered from the nearby castle hundreds of years ago! They provide quality, comfortable accommodation and offer a few little luxuries, including Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers and towels; goose feather duvets and real coffee and fresh milk. They also provide a kettle and selection of teas in all the rooms, luxury biscuits and a small shared fridge is available to you for additional refreshment options. All rooms have en-suite shower rooms and are centrally heated with tv/dvd, ipod deck, free WiFi, hair-dryer, radio/alarm clock and spare bedding. An iron and ironing board are also available. There is an area for drying off wet boots and clothing.
In the heart of the village of Warkworth, this 18th-century coaching inn offers comfortable accommodation with a range of rooms, each with a digital flat-screen TV and an en suite bathroom. Some also have luxurious toiletries.
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.
This 19th century country town hotel is perfectly located on the edge of the Northumberland National Park in the village of Rothbury. The hotel has 14 well-appointed bedrooms, all of which have flat screen TV’s and en suite bathrooms.
The Queens Head is a family run pub and has been in the same hands for the last 12 years. All the rooms have en-suite facilities, central heating, flat screen TV’s, tea/coffee hospitality trays with biscuits and hairdryers. The restaurant is light and airy and has friendly staff; the overall effect is a laid back relaxed atmosphere where you can linger over a coffee or after dinner drinks. Breakfast is served in the homely first floor dining room for residents only.
The Anglers Arms is a traditional Northumbrian coaching inn, restaurant and guesthouse offering Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Rooms are en-suite with colour TV, direct dial telephone, iron & ironing board, hairdryer and alarm clock.
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 the 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 to Knowesgate. Knowesgate doesn't have many options for accommodations so you will likely be transferred at the end of your walk to Simonburn.
Hallbarns is a detached farmhouse, on a working farm, situated on the edge of Hadrian's wall.
You are assured the warmest of welcomes at the Greensbury Hotel. The caring and attentive staff are on hand to make sure that you have a most comfortable stay. Rooms are en suite and have everything you require for a restful night. There is free high speed WiFi available for all guests.
This old-school tearoom and B&B is great for walkers. The country-casual rooms feature TVs, free WiFi, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. All are on the first floor and accessed by stairs. Full English or continental breakfast is provided in the old-world tearoom on the ground floor. There's also a garden with tables, chairs and umbrellas, as well as a gift shop.
The final section of the St. Oswald's 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 night's accommodation in Wall or Chollerford which is just a mile or so on from the end of the walk.
Hallbarns is a detached farmhouse, on a working farm, situated on the edge of Hadrian's wall.
Linden House is the perfect escape for walkers offering lovely accommodation with friendly hosts. The house is a large Grade II listed property, all rooms have en-suite facilities and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay. The views from your room across the valley are absolutely stunning and completely unspoilt.
Dovecote is a grade 2 listed, 18th century building, it provides lovely accommodation over 2 floors with lovely views over the garden and the open countryside. There is a guest lounge in the main house with log burning stove, book and games library and satellite TV. In the morning breakfast is served in the dining room, their meat comes from a local butcher and they make their own jam with fruit from their garden.
After breakfast, your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
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