Heritage - River Coquet

The River Coquet is Northumberland’s longest river.  It rises in the Northumberland hills at Alwinton and flows down through Rothbury, Felton and Warkworth towards to sea to its estuary at the fishing port of Amble (although the harbour is still named Warkworth Harbour!). 

Just before it reaches the sea it winds around three sides of the historic village of Warkworth in a distinctive horseshoe or U shape with Warkworth Castle standing proudly on a defensive mound at the ‘neck’ of the U – an ancient fortress built in the 12th century. (For more information please see the Warkworth Castle section of the website).It is possible to walk from the estuary of the River Coquet at Amble along Rotary Way, then right around the three sides of the horseshoe via The Butts, past the old and new bridges, around the back of St Lawrence's church and along the 'Mill Walk'. 

At the far end of the Mill Walk is a very unusual feature almost hidden by the trees – The Warkworth Hermitage (or The Chapel of the Holy Trinity to give its full name). This is a chapel carved in stone and can only be reached via the ferry. The origins of the chapel are not clear and it is thought that it was built as a chantry chapel between approx 1332 to 1349 by Henry Percy II although the myth is that it was created by Bertram of Bothal in the 14th century as a penance for having accidentally killed both his brother and his wife and that he lived there for the rest of his life. (For more information please see the Hermitage section of the website).The Hermitage (like the castle) is operated by English Heritage.

Warkworth has always been a popular day trip destination for families. Just after the Second World War there would be numerous bus trips to the village at weekends and families would bring a picnic with them and hire a rowing boat. Today there are still rowing boats for hire during the summer months and visitors can also see swans and ducks on the river. If they are really lucky jumping salmon can be seen! The River Coquet is famous for its salmon and is very popular with anglers. It is a tradition that the first salmon caught each season is presented to the Duke of Northumberland.


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