Tag Archives: forest

A Walk to The Drakestone

1 Sep

On the hunt for a picnic in the heather, we headed to Harbottle in search of The Drakestone.

A good old yarn always helps sell one of mum’s “walks” to the kids, in addition to the promise of a picnic – so they were intrigued by the tales of druids and healing powers that this ancient rock is said to possess.


A great guide to the walk can be found here:

Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion David Wilson guides you on a two-hour walk


Cragside and the Labyrinth

30 Sep

Cragside is so vast, we are always finding new areas of the estate to explore. Spotted this good place for a breather before we got lost in the Labyrinth… enjoy the surprise if you find the middle!















Cragside House & Gardens

Bolam Lake

18 Jul





A natural playground, this easy walk round Bolam Lake has trees to climb, swans to feed and lots of places for hide & seek.
Free parking & a cafe.


Swan Lake

6 Oct

wpid-img_20141006_114255.jpgOne of my favourite spots for an Autumn walk is Bolam Lake. Despite having being dragged out in all weathers since they were tiny bundles in a Baby Bjorn, the usual response to my enthusiastic – “wow isn’t it a beautiful autumn day, let’s go for a walk,” is something like “eeuuuurrgghghhh…”

But Bolam Lake and Country Park is great : not too far to drive, a nice flat circular walk, swans to feed, trees to climb,places to hide and picnic spots a plenty.

As well as fungi spotting, leaf collecting and picking a few last remaining brambles, the girls had a great time feeding the swans and have now renamed Bolam ‘Swan Lake’ as once we reached for the bread, we soon found ourselves fending off 17 in total.

wpid-img_20141006_114240.jpgThe paths are suitable for buggies, although they can be very muddy and there are toilets and a small cafe at the visitor centre.



For more information and special events visit  http://www.northumberlandlife.org/bolamlakecountrypark/Events.asp#4510

Hamsterley forest

1 Jan

New years day bike ride

Pine forests, rushing rivers, waterfalls and mud, Hamsterley Forest is my new favourite cycling spot. OK so maybe as we arrived, in a misty light rain and the temperature dropping to 4.5oC and the road more like a stream, I was not so impressed. But after a mini domestic it was agreed we would give it a go and I am glad we did.
A well known destination for hard core mountain bikers the moderate blue route was perfect for family cycling. Katie started off in the cycle carrier, but she’d soon had enough being prodded by Charlotte and we swapped her into the back carrier on my bike, where she was much happier.
The full route has a guide time of one hour and a half but has options to make a shorter loop back, which we took, given the chilly, wet weather (my pessimism hadn’t quite worn off). It starts off on a quite narrow riverside path through the forest, but was easily manoeuvrable with the wide carrier and although uphill, even after my xmas bingeing I could manage to keep going without too much puff. The scenery is beautiful and the river and birds kept the kids entertained. The route then joins the forest drive, and you can head back two miles to the start or carry on along the tarmac and then wider footpath for a longer journey following the river. If you wanted to miss out the first part, there is car parking at The Grove, which leads straight onto the forest drive.
Parking is ‘c2’a33 and there are plenty of facilities like toilets, a baby change and when we were there a bike hire shop giving away free hot soup.

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