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Old stone church half hidden by spreading tree and bush covered in pink flowers
Church of Our Lady at Seaton Sluice, Northumberland | © National Trust/Maureen Ritson
North East

Holywell Dene and Old Hartley walk

A 5-mile (8km) self-guided walk taking in the points of interest around Holywell Dene and Old Hartley, including the history of the local area, the Delaval family, and Seaton Delaval Hall.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Seaton Delaval Hall main gates, grid ref: NZ321766

Step 1

Leave Seaton Delaval Hall by the main gates, turn left on the footpath and follow the estate wall around the bend as far as the gates to the grounds of the Church of Our Lady and its secluded graveyard. Retrace your steps back to the main road and turn left to walk up the Avenue towards Seaton Delaval.

Step 2

Turn left at the first junction (signposted 'Public Bridleway' 'Holywell Dene') into Harbord Terrace. Go to the lane end, round the metal gate, and straight ahead between fields then through a kissing gate and onwards. To the left you can see the obelisk which is a landscape feature of the hall's pleasure grounds (today it's on private farmland and is not accessible). Carry straight on along the bridleway (signpost on right) to reach the wooded Holywell Dene.

Step 3

Walk past Hartley West Farm on your left. Stay on the main path. In the vegetation to the left is a fragment of wall, part of Hartley Mill. When you reach the lower path bear left and ignore the first path to the right. At the fork in the path, either go left then through the gate and turn right down the farm road, or go right down the steps, through the squeeze style to walk beside the burn and across a grassy area to the stile on the same farm road. Cross the stone bridge and follow the tarmac road to reach Hartley Lane. Turn left and follow the road passing, on your right, the remains of the bridge abutments of the 1914 railway line (never used) from Monkseaton to Seaton Sluice, to reach the roundabout on the main road.

Step 4

Carefully go straight across the main road to reach the mid 18th-century Delaval Arms. Keeping the Delaval Arms on your left, proceed straight ahead. As you continue you pass what was Old Hartley's village green. Go down the road to the car park on the cliff edge.

Step 5

Turn left along the clifftop footpath with the sea to your right. Just past the caravan site notice Fort House. Walk around Crag Point and arc right onto the clifftop path. Turn right along Collywell Bay Road and when the road curves left go straight on along West Terrace with the First World War Memorial Garden on your left. At the end of West Terrace is the 18th-century Kings Arms pub. Opposite it find the iron pivot of an earlier swivelling footbridge that spanned The Cut; the pivot is set onto the base of the Harbour Master's shelter.

Step 6

Cross the footbridge if you'd like to explore Rocky Island. Retrace your steps to the old bridge pivot. Ahead of you across the Memorial Garden is the Waterford Arms. Turn right down stairs to the harbour, signposted Holywell Dene.

Step 7

Walk along the side of the harbour, turn to cross the small metal bridge. Then turn left and down a short flight of steps to pass under the road bridge and continue half right to reach the bungalows on Seaburn Grove. Bear right in front of the bungalows.

Step 8

At the roundabout turn left and stay on the footpath all the way back to Seaton Delaval Hall. On your right, notice Lookout Farmhouse built in 1721 and used as a lookout post in time of war. Opposite it you may be able to glimpse the Mausoleum. Further on you may also see, over the wall, the Orangery and the houses previously used by the garden employees. You will then reach your starting point.

End point

Seaton Delaval Hall main gates, grid ref: NZ321766

Trail map

Map route for Holywell Dene and Old Hartley walk
Map route for Holywell Dene and Old Hartley 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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