Hepburn Woods 1- Berthele's Stone - Northumberland
Hepburn Woods Walk 1

Visiting the Berthele's Stone an abandoned settlement and an Iron Age Fort

Location OS Landranger Sheet 75 ... Start point NU073248

Length 3.5 miles

How to get there Take the B6346 Alnwick to Chatton road. At Harehope Hall where B6346 indicates left, continue on past Old Bewick and turn east for Hepburn Woods where signposted. Stop at the Forest Enterprise car park

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Start :- From the car park take the track up into the wood and follow it until you come to a junction.

There is a bronze age grave at the right of the junction
Continue ahead on the 'Red Route'. A few yards beyond the junction there is a deviation to the track signposted left up into the woods.
The path leads to the "Bertheles stone" a huge boulder that has at some time detached itself from the crags above.

The track comes to another junction the grassy "Red Route" going left. Take the "Green Route" right.

Back on the main track the views are stunning. Click picture for a larger version.

About 80 yards after the track takes a right hand bend, leave the track and cross left across a small stream

Take a lightly marked path up through some slender trees for about 120 yards, to a stile at the right hand of a fence.
In the field beyond, the path roughly follows the right hand fence,and exits on to the moor. There it a field ahead and to the right
Follow the path keeping the fence to your right and you will come to the abandoned settlement.
This visit to the Settlement softens the ascent of Hepburn Crags and the views particularly of Bewick Hill are very good from here.

The walk now makes it's way up across the field toward the outcrop at the south end of the Crags.

At the top keep the fence line on your left until you come to a conveniently placed marker in the fence.
From the marker set off through the heather half right toward a stone outcrop on the horizon, there are a number of sheep paths.

The gate to the next area will soon be seen ahead a few hundred yards to the left of the outcrop.

It's not easy to work out how much fence you need! and then why take it back down the hill ?

Through the gate follow a heather track towards a copse of five birches the path meanders back toward the fence above the crags.

The path is going towards a point to the left of Ros Hill seen in the distance. Ros Hill (Ros Castle) is the subject of Hepburn walk 2

The path leads left to the site of and iron age fort. The shape of the outer ramparts are quite clear and it has a diameter of approx 180 feet.
The path follows though the fort down to a picnic table which must have the best view for such a table in Northumberland.
For consideration, when using the countryside

This selection of walks in Northumberland follow recognised public rights of way or permissive paths and should be easy for most people to negotiate: but please remember that wet and winter weather can make paths muddy in places and the summer months produce fresh growth of vegetation - so wear suitable clothing and footwear.

If on any of these walks you find obstructions, or damage to stiles or footbridges which make paths impassible, please report these details as soon as possible to the countryside department of the Local or National Park authority responsible for the area.

Relationships between local farmers and those who use the footpaths are generally very good and there is no reason why they should not remain so given reasonable attitudes and understanding. Remember that the countryside is the farmers' livelihood, so please observe the Country Code : keep to the paths; close gates after you ; and take care not to cause damage, or leave litter; keep your dog under control; and leave all wild flowers for others to enjoy.

Taken from: Country Walks in East Tynedale by Philip R. B. Brooks (1978) NBM Sept 2009

Dogs in the countryside :-

On Rights of Way - Dogs must be kept under close control, preferably on a short lead.

On Access Land - 1) Keep your dog on a short lead from 1 March to 31 July this to protect ground nesting birds from disturbance

2) Local restrictions may include a ban on dogs.

3) Note that restrictions do not apply to Guide/Hearing dogs, or if you are using a public right of way

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