The SIMONSIDE Hills
The Simonside Hills
The Simonside Hills lie within Northumberland National Park on the northern-most edge of Harwood forest. From the ridge at the top there are fantastic panoramic views of the River Coquet and then further north to the Cheviot Hills, the market town of Rothbury and the village of Thropton right across the coastal plain to the North East coast and the North Sea. They consist mainly of Fell Sandstone which is harder than the surrounding rocks and therefore are more resistant to erosion and weathering resulting in the rugged ridge which make a prominent feature of the land scape.
The Simonsides are designated as a European Special Area of Conservation and are a very popular destination for walkers and hikers. As a result of the number of walkers the paths got very worn and were in danger of erosion so work on the paths has occurred with the introduction of flags and stones. Reclaimed flagstones were airlifted by helicopter together with many tonnes of local sandstone. After many hours of hard work flagging and pitching, the paths have been repaired and mark a defined, easy and eco-friendly route to the top of the ridge for walkers.
Simonside looks as if it is an open expanse of wilderness but it actually well managed country side with hill sheep farming, forestry and vegetation management for game bird farming. The heather, which makes a spectacular display in late summer, is burned in a managed way to enhance the game bird habitat.