The Simonside Hills

Offering a reward like no other, in the form of a 360-degree panorama that embraces the majesty of the Cheviot Hills and the picturesque North Sea Coastline in Northumberland, The Simonside Hills route is one-of-a-kind.

Offering a sanctuary for diverse wildlife including curlews, red grouse, mountain bumblebees, emperor moths and the elusive red squirrels that dwell in the forest, prepare to be truly captivated by this stunning adventure.

Lace up your walking boots and head out on this memorable quest, you are sure to be impressed by the rolling hills, lush landscapes and far-reaching views.

As you meander along the scenic paths, take a moment to enjoy the respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, before finding a spot to relish a  family picnic. No matter the time of year, The Simonside Hills offers year-round magic.

Head out on this breath-taking trail in Northumberland…

This Northumberland treasure is steeped in geological history, inviting you to explore the magic of Simonside and embark on a journey through the rolling hills and lush landscapes.

It offers more than just a scenic adventure, it’s a glimpse into a landscape shaped over millions of years ago, with a whole host of secrets waiting to be discovered.

Lace up your walking boots and head out to uncover the main highlights:

  1. Geological Time Capsule: Experience the fascinating geological history of the Simonside Hills, where the fell sandstones date back a staggering 330 million years. The distinct aspect of these ancient sandstones, formed by river delta deposits, is a unique feature that has left its mark on Northumberland’s landscape.
  2. Bronze Age Heritage: Delve into the rich heritage of the Simonside Hills, which have spiritual significance dating back 5000 years to the Bronze Age. Explore burial tombs and intricate rock carvings that grace the slopes and summits, providing a window into the past and the cultural importance of the region.
  3. Peat Bog Wonders: The blanket peat bog of the Simonside Hills is more than just a landscape feature; it’s an essential carbon store that plays a crucial role in our ecosystem. This habitat is home to a variety of unique plants, including cranberries, bog asphodel, butterwort, and cross-leaved heath, creating a colourful and vibrant environment.
  4. Wildlife Sanctuary: The Simonside Hills is not only a historical treasure but also a sanctuary for wildlife. Keep an eye out for adders, a native snake species, and red grouse as you wander through the picturesque terrain. These hills offer a haven for diverse species that have thrived in this pristine natural setting.

Sykes Cottages has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. Sykes Cottages does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on this website.


  1. Starting Point: Commence your journey from the wooden information shelter located near the car park entrance. The trail follows the guidance of red waymakers, ensuring you stay on course.
  2. Setting Off on the Forest Road: Start your walk by heading up the forest road, carefully navigating around a wooden barrier that marks the initial part of your journey.
  3. Turning Right at the Junction: As you reach a junction, turn to the right, continuing along the forest road, where the landscape begins to unfold before you.
  4. Mast on Your Right: At the next junction, take a right turn. Here, you’ll notice a tall mast on your right, an unmistakable feature of the area.
  5. Uphill Along the Forest Road: The journey continues with a left turn at the following junction, leading you uphill as you absorb the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  6. Little Church Rock Detour: Just before reaching the cleared area with felled trees, keep an eye out for a grassy path on your left. This path leads to Little Church Rock, a captivating site worth exploring. Afterwards, retrace your steps to rejoin the forest road.
  7. Descending Through the Felled Area: Continue your walk along the forest road as it gently descends through the cleared area, offering a unique perspective of the landscape.
  8. Footpath on the Left: Before reaching two large boulders on the forest road, take the left footpath leading uphill, providing the opportunity to explore ‘criss cross rock.’ This distinctive stone features curved grooves, potentially showcasing prehistoric rock art or signs of medieval carters and drovers making the path less slippery for their ponies.
  9. Uphill Along the Footpath: Continue your ascent along the footpath, passing through a narrow gully. At the next junction, opt for the left-hand path, leading you over the heather moorland to meet the red gravel forest road.
  10. Marked by the Stone Cairn: Just before the red gravel road curves to the right, take the footpath on the left, adjacent to the National Park interpretation panel. Follow this path as it ascends the crags. The path can be steep in places, featuring stone pitching, so exercise caution as you ascend. At the top of the crags, veer left along the flagged path, heading for the stone cairn on your left. This cairn signifies the summit of Simonside. After reaching the summit, continue your journey over the moorland and through rocky outcrops.
  11. Descending via Stone Steps: Stay on the path, continuing for some distance before descending the stone steps of the Old Stell Crag rock outcrop. Remain on the flagged path as it traverses the heather-covered moorland, leading you to Dove Crag. Continue your descent, making sure to watch for a footpath leading off to the left.
  12. Taking the Left-Hand Footpath: Opt for the left-hand footpath, which leads you downhill toward the trees. Finally, make a left turn onto the forest track. Continue your journey by turning right at the junction after crossing the Coe Burn, and follow the forest road downhill with the burn on your right.
  13. A Wooded Path: As the forest road veers left, take the footpath on the right, leading down through the trees. Continue following this path until you complete your downhill journey and arrive back at the car park, which will be on your left. This marks the end of your memorable Simonside Hills Walk.
activityarrow_downarrow_leftsmall-rightarrow-top-rightbikeguidescamerachild-friendlycircularclockCottagecrossdangerdestinationpindownloaddropdown-arrowemailFamilyfinish-flagflagfloraflowergroupHeartinfo-altdidyouknowInspirationlinearlocationmap-pinmapparkingpawphonerulersearchshare Facebook Google Plus Instagram LinkedIn Pinterest Twitter YouTube ui-24px-glyph-2_grid-45popularsun-cloudtexturef-check-glyph-16toggleVideoWalkingwheelchair