This section although not the longest in distance is at 15 miles potentially one of the most challenging. The section has no real opportunity for splitting it in any meaningful way and apart from the few houses as Harwood there is no community other than Kirkwhelpington which is at the very end.
The section starts with a steady climb out of Rothbury, quickly leaving the housing behind. The first climb takes the route to a road at Whitton. At this point it is worth turning around to admire the view back into Rothbury.
After only a few hundred metres on this country road the way take off again up hill on a track that then turns into a grassed walk. This passes close to Sharp’s Folly, a stone tower that stands in the corner of a field.
Passing through Whittondean the ascent continues towards the first hill at Lordenshaw. The path crosses into the lands contained within the Northumberland National Park as this ascent is made. Lordenshaw is the location of an Iron Age hill fort and stands at 268 metres. The route passes just to the west of the summit point and from here there are panoramic views over the whole of the Coquet Valley and up into the Cheviot Hills to the NW.
Turning to the south west the view is onto the Simonside Hills, which are all contained in the National Park’s Authority. Below is a small road with a car park that is popular for walkers to use as a starting point for walking on the Simonside Hills.
On the far side is the line of the path that will take the Way to its highest point on the trail.
At the road there is a very interesting interpretive panel that give detail on the history and natural history of the area. Then the next climb begins up initially a set of granite slabs then onto a series of stone steps. This only goes so far before the path become stony and then ultimately a track carved out of the heather and grass.
The route of the trail does not take the walker to any of the Simonside summits but skirt to the east side of the Beacon reaching a height of just over 300 metres. From here the walk is over the open moorland heading towards Coquet Cairn and an entry into the Harwood Forest.
For approximately 5 miles the trail is now in the eastern side of this large forest, departing the National Park as it heads towards Harwood. The route passes by Fallowlees and Redpath the SSE to the small cluster of houses.
At the Harwood houses the walk is back onto the road as it curves to the right and then left heading to a minor road that joins the B 6342 with Elsdon.
Once on this minor road there is a dogleg before crossing onto open field at the stile. Having walked south then west along a plantation edge the route turn south again for the final section to Kirkwhelpington. On this final 3 miles the route crosses very minor roads at Catcherside and Knowesgate.
For some walkers there may be a stop at Knowesgate as there is a small hotel and filling station shop. This is also the first point on the days walk where public transport can be picked up.
This hotel has been subject to ownership changes and has from time to time been closed to the public. At the time of this being updated in 2011 our understanding is that renovation work means that rooms are not going to be available in 2011 but that refreshments and meals are available.
From Knowesgate the trail reaches Kirkwhelpington joining the entry road from the A 696 on the north side. The stopping point is close to the T junction by the side of the church and close to the Post Office.
Note that this community has no overnight accommodation at present but two nearby providers can arrange for collection and next day return to the village.