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Explore Holystone Wood
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.2/5)

Holystone burn SSSI, upland ancient semi-natural woodland

You won't find a more atmospheric and tranquil woodland than Holystone Wood.

Holystone is tucked away in a quiet corner of Coquetdale. The peace and tranquillity of the area attracted a religious order that built a nunnery here in the twelfth century, around which Holystone village grew.

The nunnery has long gone, but the tranquil surroundings remain, offering both beautiful walks and much of interest for the historian and naturalist alike. There are waterfalls, crags and plenty of aged broadleaved woodland which is a delight to walk in at any time of year.

Nearby Holystone Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest jointly managed for conservation purposes by Forestry Commission and Northumberland Wildlife Trust and lying within Northumberland National Park.

Explore on foot

Only one trail to Lady's Well is waymarked. This is a short, 1/4 mile route (green markers) which leads you to the National Trust landmark where St Paulinus supposedly baptised 3000 Northumbrians during Easter week, AD 627.

None of the longer paths and trails within the wood are waymarked and it is recommended that you take an OS Landranger or Explorer map with you to aid navigation. Mountain bikes and horses are welcome in this wood.

What do other visitors say?

love these woods

Tony L, 24/Jul/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

A lot of ticks among the firs but well worth the visit. Sometimes it is easier to follow the deer trails than footpaths.

Anonymous, 8/May/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

5 STARS FOR THE WOODS, 1 STAR FOR THE FOOTPATHS. Even with an OS map it is difficult to navigate around the woods due to footpaths not being restored after harvesting & fallen trees blocking paths. The main forestry roads have been cleared back for about 5m but the footpaths are badly overgrown. Misplaced priority's? Great views of a young red squirrel feeding around the carpark.

Gordon Stephenson, 29/Aug/2015
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Last updated: 20th November 2017

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What's Here?

  • Information
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Cycling
  • Mountain bikes welcome
  • Dogs
  • There are no dog bins provided in the forest. Please take all bagged dog waste home with you or flick unbagged waste off the paths and into the undergrowth. Don't give your dog a bad name!
  • Horse riding
  • Horses welcome
  • Ancient Monuments
  • Lady's Well is a reputed ancient site, although the current stonework dates from more recent times.
  • Walking
  • Paths at Holystone follow unsurfaced track at some point in their length. Access to all paths is via a gate at the car park. The shortest walk to Lady’s Well (green) is the most level trail. A walk to Dove Crag involves walking over rough ground, especially the return route from Dove Crag that crosses Holystone Common. This involves a long descent and climb back out of the Common.
  • Viewpoint
  • Views of Coquet Valley
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NT951026
Postcode: NE65 7AX

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Kielder Castle

01434 250209

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.