Walk 27 - Warkworth - Easy Route
Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Maps: OS Explorer 332
Walking time: 1 ½ hours
Start and Finish point: Stanners Car Park, Warkworth. If you are travelling down Warkworth High Street, heading north, turn left just before the ‘The Greenhouse’. Go down the side of the church (sign Car Parking) and then turn left just before the river. You can park anywhere on your right after that turning. Grid reference: NU246062
This walk explores Warkworth and the River Coquet as it loops around the town.
Throughout the walk you keep getting glimpses of the medieval castle towering above and you will pass the castle near the end of the walk.
The walk is good under foot throughout.
From the car park walk along the road, with the river on your right.
At the end of the road continue along the path passing the public footpath arrow.
As you continue on ignore the footpath going up to your left, heading to Warkworth Castle, but continue on with the River Coquet on your right.
The source of the River Coquet is just a little bit further on than Chew Green, right at the top of the Coquet Valley. It is about forty miles in length and ends at Amble by the Sea. As part of the 2014 Rothbury Walking Festival there are a series of day walks along the complete length of the river ‘from source to sea’.
After a little while you pass through a kissing gate and the path opens up, still with the river on your right.
You then reach Warkworth Hermitage. Sadly, it is closed during the winter months as the only access available is across the river. It is in part of the Manor of Warkworth, once called Sunderland Park, and was built as a chantry chapel in the period 1332-49, by Henry Percy II, son of the first Percy, Lord of Alnwick; although some of it was built at a later date. The Hermitage consisted of three chambers hewn out of the rock; later in that period rooms were added to the face of the cliff; these were altered about a hundred years later.
Turn left at the landing jetty to the hermitage and walk up the tarmac track (public footpath sign). You initially follow the fence on your right before you gradually rise up through the trees on the tarmac track.
At this time of year, you get some lovely autumn colours on the trees.
As you reach the road bear left along it, walking away from Warkworth water treatment works, and continue up the road with a hedge either side of it. Bear left along the next road and when you reach the T-junction at the end bear left and continue along the footpath next to the road.
After a short while the footpath stops, so you have to cross the road, but keep walking in the same direction.
You reach and cross a number of roads. Away to your left you get your first glimpse of Warkworth Castle. When you see the Cricket Club (formed in 1874) on the opposite side of the road, cross the road and walk up the footpath, taking you up the side of the cricket ground on a concrete path taking you up the left-hand side of the pitch (Public Footpath – Warkworth Castle ¼).
You reach and pass through a small kissing gate and continue along the path heading towards the castle, with the river down to your left.
After crossing a few steps, ignore the path going off to your left and continue straight on, passing the castle on your right.
Warkworth Castle is a ruined medieval building. When the castle was founded is uncertain: traditionally its construction has been ascribed to Prince Henry of Scotland in the mid-12th century, but it may have been built by King Henry II of England when he took control of England's northern counties. Warkworth Castle was first documented in a charter of 1157–1164 when Henry II granted it to Roger Fitz Richard. It is a great day out in its own right so if you do have time it is certainly worth a visit.
After passing the castle you reach the main street in Warkworth and pass down it.
As you drop down bear left just in front of the ‘The Greenhouse’. Walk past the cars on your right, angle parked in the middle.
Follow the sign saying car parking and continue, passing the church on your right.
The present church dates from the 12th Century. However, a wooden Anglo-Saxon church was mentioned as occupying the site in AD 737, when King Ceolwulf of Northumbria gave Wercewode (as Warkworth was then known) along with St Lawrence’s church to the Abbot and monks of Lindisfarne.
As you reach the river turn left and return back to your car.
Revised Jan 2017