Location: Hepburn Woods

Hepburn Woods is an area of woodland with adjacent moor (Hepburn Moor) in North Northumberland, on an area of relatively high land between Wooler and Belford. It offers fine views of the Cheviot Hills to the west and, from some points, the coast to the east.

You should be able to spot a small car park on the map,and the car park contains a display with some suggested routes, so I won’t give too much detail as you can decide for yourself. Briefly, however, there is an area of woodland with some interesting twisted trees, on the steep slope of a hill; heather moorland higher up the hill; some isolated Scots Pines; and a change to climb a little higher on Ros Hill for a view to the coast. The following shots were all taken on one visit in January 2011, with a Leica Digilux 2.

Looking towards the Cheviots, from the rocks above the minor road.

A Bastle House in the grounds of Chillingham Castle
One of the many interesting woodland features
Still a little bit of colour in the heather, even in January

The path to the top of Ros Hill, also known as Ros Castle

The summit of Ros Hill offers – in fine weather – a view of seven castles – Chillingham, Bamburgh, Lindisfarne, Dunstanburgh, Alnwick, and Warkworth. Unfortunately I can’t show you the view because, on the day I visited, snow was falling from a very grey sky by the time I got to the top.

There is believed to be an Iron Age hillfort at the top, and is now a set of plaques indicating features of the view in all directions.

Northumberland is justifiably famous for it’s castle and coastline and they are very popular locations for photographers. But, if you fancy a change from the “icons”, or want a chance to get an overview of how the north of the county is laid out, then a trip to this area is well worth considering.