Flowers o' the Forest 2: Etal, Flodden and Branxton

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This year marks 500 years since the Battle of Flodden Field, the bloodiest battle to have taken place between the English and the Scottish. Sadly, the battle is not as well known as others such as Culloden or Bannockburn.

The countryside around the battlefield is very pretty and there is much to see and do in the vicinity. The walk starts at Etal Castle, which played a part in the battle, then passes the visitors' centre and railway at Hatherslaw, before climbing up to the Scottish first position on Flodden Hill and illustrating why the English chose to make a wide flank march, because the position is pretty impregnable. The walk then traces the route of the Scottish army to the top of Branxton Hill, from where their King, James IV, led them to disaster. Leaving Branxton, the walk heads through New Etal to return to the castle via a ford on the River Till.

Care should be taken crossing the ford and an alternative route is provided as Walk 6972

A whole day can be taken up with the walk, the castle and the railway.

England - North England - Northumberland - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Castle, Church, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Woodland
21/09/2020 - Jen Robertson

We really enjoyed this walk but the path after waymark 22 is seriously overgrown. The gate is impossible to open due to vegetation. We managed to climb over a small section of wooden fence avoiding the electric fence next to it. The path in the wood is completely impossible to find, it has been utterly lost in nettles, trees and shrubs. We managed to push our way through and had to carry our Jack Russell Terrier! We somehow managed to find the small bridge which was also completely overgrown and the stile which was also covered in trees etc. We felt like we had emerged from Mirkwood. Only attempt this if you are up for an adventure! Crossing the ford was a breeze compared to this section! September 2020.

26/06/2017 - Paul Cuffling

A lovely walk with some stunning views across rolling countryside on a clear day. Top tip would be to definitely check the state of the ford before starting. We did the walk on 20/6/17 and there had been no rain for at least the previous three days to our knowledge but it was still dangerous to go across on foot. The ford, however, doesn't prevent anyone from doing this very enjoyable walk. All we did was to follow the directions all the way to Waymark 22, ignore the style and continue straight on to the village of Crookham. Once there take the B6353 through the village and look for the Footpath signposted Heatherslaw on the left after about 1/2 a mile. This takes you back to Waymark 4 where you simply retrace your steps to Etal................enjoy!!

05/09/2014 - Richard Hardy

More like a 2.5. Quite a lot of on lead walking on roads ranging from a fairly busy A Road to quiet country lanes, with some off lead walking on paths and woodland

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Distance away
23.6 Miles