St Oswald's Way Celebrates 10th Anniversary
St Oswald’s Way Celebrates 10th Anniversary
One of the North East’s most popular walking trails has celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
St Oswald’s Way, which links up sites associated with 7th Century King St Oswald, has quickly become a bucket list walking route, providing a boost to local businesses and the wider tourism economy.
The original pioneers of the route from Embleton Church Council joined representatives from the tourist industry and St Oswald’s Way volunteers to celebrate the anniversary in an event at Warkworth Castle on the 8th September.
The walking route begins on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and travels south down the stunning Northumberland Coastal Path, past St Cuthbert’s Cave and Bamburgh Castle, through stunning countryside for 97 miles until it reaches Heavenfield near Hadrian’s Wall.
The Reverend Michael Mountney, who had the original idea for the route, and who is still an active member of the St Oswald’s Management Group, said “It is remarkable that what started out as a simple pilgrimage route has grown into something which attracts thousands of visitors to Northumberland every year.”
St. Oswald is a colourful figure, he is credited with uniting and expanding the ancient kingdom of Northumbria until it became the most powerful kingdom in Anglo-Saxon Britain. He is also credited with playing a major part in bringing Christianity to Britain, famously erecting a wooden cross before his victory at the battle of Heavenfield, a replica of which marks the end of the trail.
An exiled prince who regains his crown in dramatic circumstances, St Oswald is thought by many to have been the inspiration for Aragorn in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. He represents a time when Kings ruled through their ability to form alliances, inspire loyalty and by their own strength in battle.
St. Oswald’s Way is divided into six sections from north to south:
1. Holy Island to Bamburgh (19 miles / 31 km)
2. Bamburgh to Craster (14 miles / 22 km)
3. Craster to Warkworth (13.5 miles / 21.5 km)
4. Warkworth to Rothbury (18 miles / 29 km)
5. Rothbury to Kirkwhelpington (15 miles / 24 km)
6. Kirkwhelpington to Heavenfield (17.5 miles / 28.5 km)
St Oswald's Way is managed by a small team of volunteers with support from Northumberland County Council, Active Northumberland and Northumberland Tourism.
Further information and to buy the official guide book and maps: