From quaint villages to rugged coastlines, Northumberland is brimming with stunning views. And while summer is a great time to visit this beautiful area, there’s no denying the frosted charm of a winter walk. Whether you’re searching for a new route to walk your dog or a refreshing Boxing Day excursion, here are some of our favourite winter walks around Alnwick and the greater Northumberland area.

Picturesque riverside walks in Alnwick

If you’re looking for a gentle stroll to help blow away the cobwebs this winter, why not explore the River Aln? Perfect for dog walks, you’ll get to wander along one of the most scenic waterways in Northumberland. Head to Peter’s Mill Bridge, cross green pastures, and see Alnwick Castle from the riverbank. 


The castle makes a lovely backdrop for selfies — from Hogwarts to Downton Abbey’s Brancaster Castle, the building has played various roles in film and on TV. You can also spot it in the Dungeons & Dragons movie


Even from a distance, you’re sure to be impressed by its fairytale turrets and towers. Want to learn more about Alnwick Castle on screen? Take a look at our behind-the-scenes guide.

Beautiful Boxing Day walks

For a slightly longer walk, why not head on towards Hulne Park? Ideal for Boxing Day walks and revitalising between Christmas and New Year, this circular route is a little more challenging but delightfully satisfying. 


Crossing woodland, moorland, and a gentle incline, this walk takes you through a variety of terrains, including the gorgeous Hulne Park, just by historical Alnwick Castle. Landscaped by Capability Brown, the park has close ties to Alnwick Castle’s Percy family, and once provided them with wood and meat. 


Please bear in mind that Hulne Park isn’t suitable for dogs, so your four-legged friends will need to stay at home for this one. We recommend checking the Hulne Park website prior to your visit, as at certain times Hulne Park may be closed to visitors unexpectedly, please check the website before you visit. 


For those with a keen interest in history, Hadrian’s Wall makes for a fascinating Boxing Day walk. The full path stretches for 84 miles (135km) but you can enjoy incredible views all along, so wherever you decide to start and end, you’re in for a visual treat. Expect rolling fields, rugged moorland and, of course, the ancient Roman wall. There are plenty of circular and linear walk options. In winter, this area can get muddy so it’s best to pack your wellies or walking boots.

The best coastal walks in Northumberland

Is there anything more refreshing than embracing a cool sea breeze on a crisp winter’s day? Just four miles from Alnwick is the vibrant seaside village of Alnmouth. Situated in the Northumberland Coast Area of Natural Beauty, Alnmouth is a wonderful place to visit any time of year — and it's great for winter walks with the family. 


This circular walk from Warkworth to Alnmouth will provide you with stunning views of the beaches, marina and local wildlife.

Where are the best pubs for walkers in Northumberland?

Whether it’s warming up with a hot chocolate or celebrating a hike with a pint and chips, stopping off at a pub is the ideal way to finish up your winter walk — and Northumberland has plenty of cosy pubs to visit.


The Jolly Fisherman Inn at Craster is a top choice for those exploring the Dunstanburgh Castle Walk. This is another great coastal walk near Alnwick. Whether you start at the castle ruins and head south towards Craster Harbour or loop the other way, this has to be one of the best circular pub walks in Northumberland. Not only can you experience the beautiful sea views and spot a variety of coastal wildlife, but you can also pop into The Jolly Fisherman for a well-earned lunch. This refurbished pub is packed with rustic charm and offers a range of seafood classics. During the winter months, it’s the ideal spot for getting toasty by the cosy open fire.


You can usually expect this coastal walk to take around two hours, but just make sure you factor in time for that all-important pub rest! Always check the weather forecast before heading out for a winter walk along the Northumberland coast – it can get breezy.

Where are the best woodland walks in Northumberland?

Part of Northumberland’s appeal is its varied landscape. There’s so much to explore, from beach paths to hilltops, but sometimes you just can’t beat a woodland walk. Little ones will love jumping in puddles, crunching through fallen leaves, and spotting all manner of woodland critters. Fortunately, there are some lovely woodland walks to explore in Northumberland, too.


Plessey Woods Country Park is home to woodpeckers, red squirrels, foxes, and deer, just to name a few forest favourites. There’s also a visitor centre, cafe, and children’s play area, making it a fantastic family day out for the ‘twixmas’ period, between Christmas and New Year. If you’re looking for more family-friendly activities, don’t forget to check out our guide to the top 10 places to visit in Northumberland.

Explore walks around Alnwick Castle

Whether you stay close to Alnwick or venture out to different parts of Northumberland, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of winter walks to enjoy. Although Alnwick Castle is closed to visitors from the end of October 2023 to the 29th of March 2024, it still creates a fantastic backdrop, providing stunning views to appreciate as you stroll or hike in and around Alnwick.


We can’t wait to welcome you back to Alnwick Castle at the end of March but, in the meantime, we hope you enjoy a wonderful winter in Northumberland!