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Children running through the grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
Explore the grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall | © National Trust Images/John Millar
North East

Holywell and Sluice walk at Seaton Delaval Hall

This circular walk will give you the chance to explore the wider estate of Seaton Delaval Hall. Along the way, discover numerous points of interest, including a Norman church, castle ruins, a nature reserve and Sluice Harbour.

Take your pick

If the full, 5.75-mile walk seems like too much, you could opt for the shorter, 4.5-mile version (steps 1–6).

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Main gates of Seaton Delaval Hall. Grid ref: NZ321766.

Step 1

Leave Seaton Delaval Hall by the main gates, turn left on the footpath that runs along the side of the road, and follow the estate wall around the bend until you arrive at the Church of Our Lady. After exploring the church and its secluded graveyard, retrace your steps back to the main road and turn left to walk up The Avenue towards Seaton Delaval village.

Step 2

Turn left at the first junction (signposted 'Public Bridleway Holywell Dene'), which goes onto Harbord Terrace. Go to the end of the lane and walk around the metal gate. Continue straight ahead between the fields, then go through the kissing gate and onwards. To the left, you'll see the obelisk, a focal point for the Delaval family and their guests as they embarked on walks around the estate (today, it's on private farmland and isn't accessible). Carry straight on along the bridleway (signposted on the right) to reach the wooded Holywell Dene.

Step 3

Go through the gate and turn right onto the footpath. Cross the former Blyth and Tyne railway cutting via the stone bridge, and carry on to Holywell village in the ancient parish of Earsdon. Walk straight ahead to the end of Holywell Dene Road, and on the left you'll see Strother Farm.

Step 4

Carefully cross the main road and turn left along the pavement to enter the steep lane on the right, signposted 'Bridleway' and 'Heritage Way'. This leads to the picturesque, 17th-century Holywell Bridge, an important river crossing on the historic route between Tynemouth and Morpeth. Return up the lane and follow the footpath around the corner. Further on is the former 18th-century smithy and Ye Old Fat Ox pub. Retrace your steps along Holywell Dene Road, and at the end of the road turn left on the pavement in front of the houses.

Step 5

Walk along the footpath (signposted 'Footpath' and 'Heritage Trail'), following it around the edge of the field and past Holywell Pond Nature Reserve. There's a bird hide where you can stop and see many different species on the water and water's edge. Continue on the waymarked footpath that crosses the former railway track via two kissing gates, and over the next field to arrive back at the iron gate you came through from the Dairy House Fields.

Step 6

For the shorter walk, retrace your steps from here back through the Dairy House Fields and Harbord Terrace to Seaton Delaval Hall. To continue on the longer walk, go straight ahead along the wide, grassy footpath. Climb over the stile at the iron gate and continue straight on to some steep steps, leading down to the left. Descend them, then go over the stile and down another flight of steps to the bottom of Holywell Dene.

Step 7

Turn right and cross the Seaton Burn using the wooden bridge. Turn immediately left on the path, keeping the burn on your left-hand side. On the left are the remains of Starlight Castle. A little further along, on the left-hand side of the burn, is the site of Seaton Lodge.

Step 8

Continue around the side of the burn and under the road bridge. You'll now be able to see Seaton Sluice Harbour.

Step 9

Retrace your steps – don't go under the road bridge but turn right to cross over the metal footbridge. Then turn left and walk down the short flight of steps, passing under the road bridge. Veer right until you reach the street of bungalows (Seaburn Grove), and then head right so that you pass in front of the bungalows.

Step 10

At the roundabout, turn left and stay on the pavement all the way back to Seaton Delaval Hall. As you climb, notice the old wall on your left, topped by slag, which is a waste product of glass making. Beyond the wall lay Lord Delaval's deer park, and above that his hare park. On your right, notice Lookout Farmhouse, built in 1721 and used as a lookout post in times of war. Opposite this, you may be able to glimpse the Mausoleum.

End point

Main gates of Seaton Delaval Hall. Grid ref: NZ321766

Trail map

Map of Holywell and Sluice walk, Northumberland.jpg
Map of the Holywell and Sluice walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

The Avenue, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland, NE26 4QR

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