Hulne Park

Hulne Park

Route: Hulne Park, Alnwick

Area: Northumberland

Date of walk: 20th March 2020

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.6 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny

The market town of Alnwick lies in the heart of some beautiful countryside, none more so than the historic parkland surrounding Alnwick Castle. Northumberland Estates owns and manages much of this land, and a number of circular routes have been devised on its land in the Alnwick area. Hulne Park, one of the parks within the larger estate, is a medieval hunting ground of thousands of acres that provided food and wood for Alnwick Castle, and is entirely enclosed by a 3 metre high perimeter wall

The park is one of the most popular areas within the wider estate, and 3 waymarked trails of different lengths exist here. Today there was only one possibility, the ‘red route’, as maintenance work was being carried out on the others. If you plan to walk here I suggest you visit the Northumberland Estates website to check access arrangements. Access is not allowed before 11am, nor are dogs or cyclists. Entry is free

On a glorious early spring morning we parked outside the entrance to Hulne Park and set off down Farm Drive. This is a tarmac section, but since there is no vehicular access except for contractors and a few residents, there’s little or no traffic

On reaching Park Farm we left Farm Drive and crossed the River Aln via Iron Bridge. Hulne Priory, also known as Hulne Abbey, came into view and we climbed the small hill on which it was built. The Abbey was founded in 1240 by the Carmelites, and the ruins are well preserved. After wandering around the ruins for a while we set out on the return leg, most of it being beside the River Aln, with some venerable old trees along the way

The landscape, designed by Capability Brown, was beautiful throughout the whole course of the walk, and we hope to return one day to explore the other routes in the parkland

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