Howick Hall

Howick Hall

Route: Howick Hall Gardens and Rumbling Kern

Area: Northumberland

Date of walk: 19th March 2020

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.7 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny

Howick Hall has been the ancestral home of the Earls Grey (of Earl Grey tea fame) since 1319. The Hall itself is not open to the public, since a disastrous fire in 1926 completely destroyed the interior. The grounds surrounding the Hall are superb and comprise two separate areas – the Gardens and the Arboretum

The Gardens were developed between 1920 and 2001 and are mainly informal, and the Arboretum was opened in 2006 by Roy Lancaster and covers 65 acres. The majority of the trees and shrubs (around 12,000 in all) have been grown from seed collected in the wild from earlier expeditions to remote parts of the world

We started today’s walk from our rented holiday accommodation, the Bathing House, part of the Howick Estate, and set in a wonderful position on the cliff top overlooking the sea. For anyone else following this walk, it may be started just as conveniently from one of the parking spaces near Seahouses Farm, or from Howick Hall itself. Whatever route is chosen it’s important to walk anti-clockwise, as there is no access to the Hall if approached from the coastal path

After leaving the cottage we followed the track and then the lane leading to Howick Hall and its gardens (an entry fee is payable). A map of the grounds is available at the entrance, and we walked around the formal and informal areas. Even at this early time in the season there was plenty of interest and colour, including snowdrops, daffodils and rhododendron

We then followed the ‘Long Walk’ beside Howick Burn as it wends its way down a wooded valley to the sea. We left the arboretum via a one-way gate (hence the reason for walking the route in an anti-clockwise direction). From here it was a short stroll to the coastline. We turned left and followed the coast path back to the Bathing House, passing by several sandy coves along the way, to end a superb walk

For an alternative longer route including Craster in the circuit click here, and for a shorter walk around the gardens click here

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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