Guide to Thrunton Woods, Northumberland

Thrunton Woods is an area of woodlands near Rothbury, Northumberland. This is a perfect place for explorers who are craving a hike through the woods and following hidden trails. Thrunton woods is a proper adventure spot and a great place for a day out in Northumberland.

Thrunton is part of the Forestry Commission and there are often areas closed off due to timber works so it is a good idea to have a check on the website just in case there are any ongoings that are going to disrupt your visit.

Parking at Thrunton Woods

Parking here is something that I have read can be an issue. There is a small car park down a pothole-ridden road. I was very worried about my little car going down it, but she managed without injury! When looking into visiting, we read that if you get there after 9am you won’t get a car parking space. This filled us with dread as we didn’t leave home until 9am itself. We arrived a little after 10am and managed to get parked. Baring in mind it was Easter bank holiday weekend and lockdown restrictions had just been lifted. Although, if we had been maybe half an hour later I’m not sure we would have gotten parked!

The road down to the car park is a single lane track with some passing points along the way. If you are visiting, please don’t be one of those idiots who park in the passing points… just don’t do it!

Postcode: NE66 4SQ

Parking is free here however, as I have mentioned, get there early to guarantee your space!

Walking Trails at Thrunton Woods

There are a couple of signposted walking trails at Thrunton however, what I would recommend is to follow this one from The Happy Hiker. This one ties in all of the main viewpoints and key ‘attractions’ if you will in the area. We tried to do this but got a little lost as it is quite an overgrown area in some parts and not the easiest place to navigate!

Overgrown Heather at Thrunton Woods

Top Tip: Do your research of the area and get a feel for the size and paths to prevent you from getting lost. Phone signal is not great so be prepared to have a map in physical copy or download.

This route takes you from the car park up the hill to where you will pass a few places that offer incredible views over the other side of the valley towards The Cheviot Hills, the highest hills in Northumberland. We could even see some snowy patches over on the hills which were just insane!

View of the Cheviot Hills from Thrunton Woods

You then come down the valley through many fields of heather. In the summer when this is all blossoming, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to find the path as it was pretty difficult right now! Honestly, we kinda winged it going down this path as there were lots of points where we could have turned off. But basically, we just kept the tree line on our right and kept heading downhill until we reached the valley floor and the river that runs through it.

A bridge over the river in the valley of Thrunton

When we did it, we got a little confused about going up the mountain to the Long Crags and Coe Crags and didn’t end up climbing. However, it does mean that we will have to go back and do it again! It was on the valley floor that we got a little lost and instead of going up the other side and up onto the crags, we pretty much stayed on the valley floor and followed the river back along to the car park.

View over the heather to Long and Coe Crags

The area is very hilly and covered a valley so it is steep on both sides. For this reason, I would not recommend bringing pushchairs or wheelchairs and only visit if you are physically fit enough as there is no real version of the walk that is easygoing.

If you are a walking and hiking enthusiast, then it really is a perfect place to visit!

Something I really like about the woods is that you can decide how far you want to walk. The two signposted trails are shorter ones and of course, you could just keep going further. This is why I think it’s really important to have a good idea of the area so you don’t get lost!

The tall trees of Thrunton

Things to do at Thrunton Woods

What you should be able to tell by now is that the biggest appeal to Thrunton is the hiking and walking elements. However, that are some other things to do while you’re there.

The area is very popular for mountain biking. Although, in my opinion, you would need to be very fit in order to be able to cycle around it as it is pretty hilly. It is also a popular place for horse riding and it is dog friendly too.

Top Tip: keep one ear open for biking when walking on the hills on the main trails just in case they are coming down at some speed!

The density of the woods

There are no play areas or things as such to entertain children on site, however, it is very close to Cragside which is a National Trust location. You could very easily pair this day with a trip there, or if you are staying local.

It is also highly recommended to take a picnic with you as there aren’t many places nearby to grab lunch. There are some benches in a few of the vantage points before you get to Callaly Crag, however after that, we didn’t come across any, so a picnic blanket may be a good thing to take.

Picnic Spot at Thrunton Woods

There was a tearoom on the road up to the car park, however, I can’t really find a lot of information about it, and whether or not it is open etc.

And finally, the toilet situation… there are no toilets at Thrunton Woods. So bear that in mind when visiting.

Thrunton is a really beautiful place however it seems to be not as popular as a tourist attraction as say Hamsterley Forest which is also run by the forestry commission. It could really benefit from a better car park, a little cafe and some better signage throughout the woods to make it more accessible.

On the other hand, I did feel like it was a ‘proper’ hikers spot while I was there and it was refreshing to be in an area not dominated by money-making elements. It’s a difficult one to call, however, I do know that we will be back!

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know in the comments if you have ever been or this is now somewhere you are going to add to your list! Also if you do enjoy my content then I would be so grateful if you dropped your email address below to be notified of every new post I upload!

Stay Safe, Happy Adventuring!

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