Simonside Picnic Area, grid ref. NZ037996, a right turn off the B6342 signposted Simonside, approx 2 miles South of Rothbury. The woodland picnic area is over two cattle grids to the left.
A walk of approximately 5 miles, through a forest trail, a low mountain ridge
and a small section of road walking at the start.
It takes in the site of an Iron Age Hillfort, just off the Lordenshaw car-park, breathtaking views all around and possible sightings of Red Squirrels, Goldcrest and Crossbill in the forest.
Sheep can be found on the moorland.
Leave the car-park and turn right to follow the track back over
a cattle grid to the Lordenshaw car park, just less than a mile away on the
left. Turn left through the car-park and proceed up the path and turn left up
a grassy track to the Iron Age hillfort.
Views down to Rothbury and in the opposite direction, the main ridge leading to Dove Crag and Simonside. This is the next objective.
Return back to the car-park, and cross the track and follow the well worn path up to a wall, turn right behind the wall and follow it up to the Beacon, a windbreak is here. Continue up the path, where it leads to a ladder stile over a fence, cross this stile and walk until the path forks left and right, half way up. The right path is waymarked 'Red', take the left path up to Dove Crag, where the path now skirts the crags facing North. Good views of Rothbury are to be had here.
The next section up to Simonside can be a little boggy, adequate footwear is
essential for this short section. This leads to the summit of Simonside, where
the River Coquet can be seen meandering through the valley to North, and even
further to the North West are the Cheviot Hills. This is the highest point of
Walk on, and almost immediately turn right down a steep but not difficult path which leads to a forest road. Turn right and follow this road as it bends left, another track leads off to the right crossing the Coe Burn over a small bridge.
A path soon leads off to the right, through the wood, signposted with a 'Red' waymarker, continue on this path through the wood and follow the red markers back to the car-park.