Frequently Asked Questions about Hiking the Northumberland Coast
There are some considerations when hiking the Northumberland Coastal Path and our team of experts have come up with the questions they are most frequently asked. Have a read so that you are armed with all the information you need before setting off along the rugged Northumbrian coast!
How fit do I need to be?
Depending on the chosen itinerary the grade of this trip is either easy to moderate (8 days & 7 nights + 5 days & 4 nights) or moderate (7 days & 6 nights). The path follows the rugged coastline and apart from a small inland detour between Belford and the Holy Island, you are right by the sea for most of your walk. This is a low-level route with very few climbs, nothing that involves too much ascent/descent and perfect for the regular walker. Most of the walk you will be following footpaths and bridleways, but some sections cross beaches or minor roads.
How do the baggage transfers work?
Enjoy the ease of having your luggage transferred daily, allowing you to walk with just a light daypack and your packed lunch. Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved on to your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack as well as sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. This route involves a few climbs where you may find it useful to have your walking poles. As this route primarily follows the coast, we recommend bringing windproof clothing to make it easier to progress.
When is the best time of year?
The route is best enjoyed between spring and autumn. Traditionally, April and May have been the most popular time of the year to walk the route, as the theory goes that the weather is better. However, in our opinion, anywhere between April and September should offer a wonderful experience.
Should I check the tides for Holy Island?
If you do plan to visit the Holy Island, we recommend you check the tidal chart for the day you pass the causeway over to the Holy Island. If you plan to stay overnight, you should also check when it is safe to cross the following day. Check out the safe tide crossings here.
How do I get to the Farne Islands?
The 8 days & 7 nights-itinerary allows for a stop in the harbour town of Seahouses, which where you can hop on a boat to get to the rocky Farne Islands. There are 28 islands, of which 3 are accessible: Inner Farne, Staple (May-July only), and Longstone. Check out the sailing options here. We highly recommend an extra day here to discover the islands and meet the local population of puffins and seals.