The parish of Alwinton is nestled into the rolling foot hills of the Northumberland upland district of Coquetdale, it's surrounded by natural beauty and the legacy of Northumberland's often turbulent history. Situated within the Northumberland National Park, Alwinton is an ideal base for those seeking to explore this beautiful county.
The village of Alwinton is located on the route of a couple of once important medieval drovers roads (used for driving cattle) known as "Clennell Street" & "Dere Street" linking England to Scotland. A number of important Iron Age settlements have also been discovered in the parish showing it's very ancient roots as a place of habitation.
Further up the valley, following the spectacular windings of the River Coquet, lie the remains of a Roman settlement at Chew Green, believed to date between 43 - 410 AD.
Despite its current status as a peaceful and tranquil place, being located within the proximity of the border between the often warring English and Scottish has given this tiny parish a troublesome and often bloody place in history!
During the time of border warfare (from about the 13th - 17th centuries), these lands were fought over and consistently raided by bands of outlaws known as the Border Reivers made up of family clans from both sides of the border. Many of the surnames of the valley still have their origination from these troublesome times - Armstrong, Charlton, Tait's and Armstrong's to name but a few!
Other lawless types chose these remote hills as a location for illicit whisky stills. The cold, clear waters of the springs running freely from the hillside cooling the stills to produce duty free spirits for distribution to both sides of the border - Long before the introduction of the "Duty Free" outlet! The whisky was transported in stoneware jugs, known as "Grey Hens".
Heading South down the valley, Harbottle is the next village you encounter - Boasting not one but two castles!
The closest shopping town to Alwinton is the ancient market town Rothbury - The capital of Coquetdale, with its picturesque bustling main street and foot and road bridges reaching over the river Coquet - Even a set of Stepping Stones!
Just outside of Rothbury is Cragside House and Gardens.
Now owned by the National Trust, Cragside was the very first house
to have electric lighting. Cragside is open to the public and well
worth a visit.
20 miles away is the historic market
town Alnwick, notably famous for
its castle - which stars as the Hoggwart's
Academy in the Harry Potter movies!
While in Alnwick, a visit to the
Alnwick Garden is an absolute must.
Recently the Garden had an awe inspiring
redesign, the flowing water falls
complement the landscaping perfectly.
The Garden also plays host to Europe's largest tree house restaurant.
The beautiful Northumbrian coastline is just a few miles drive from Alnwick, scattered with small fishing communities and coastal castles, the coast being undoubtedly one of Northumberlands biggest assets.