Low Hauxley Nature Reserve - Free Accessible Wildlife Walk

A quiet, accessible wildlife walk with bird hides near Amble in Northumberland. This post is based on a visit in September 2020.

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve

During our recent stay at Cresswell Towers, we decided to pay Low Hauxley Nature Reserve a visit. It had been on my list of places to visit for ages and after my in-laws visited and mentioned it was lovely, we decided to bump it up the list. 

The nature reserve is just past Druridge Bay Country Park on the way to Amble. Druridge Bay is often busy with a full car park and I could not believe how quiet Low Hauxley was in comparison.

It is well signposted, use postcode NE65 OJR. The entrance shares an access lane with a caravan park. There is ample parking which is charged at £2 per day per car (payable at a machine - card payments only at the moment). 

A member of staff greeted us on arrival, took our details for track and trace, provided us with a map and provided lots of advice on the best routes and what not to miss. The staff were brilliant and so friendly. There are open toilets at the entrance in the visitor centre (including accessible). The rest of the visitor centre is closed at the moment. 

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve Map

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve Car park charges

On arrival, we were informed that the first part of the walk (if you face the lake & turn left) is fully accessible with a wide, paved surface. This 1km route is suitable for both wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are two accessible hides too (both marked on the map). There is lots of wildlife to spot including a nice variety of butterflies. 

Face coverings are not required around the walks but if you wish to enter a bird hide, you need to wear one. There are also clearly marked restrictions on how many people can be in a hide in one time. It was so quiet on the day of our visit, despite it being a sunny Saturday and we always had the hides to ourselves. You can pull the windows down and get a really good look at the birds. We were so lucky to spot a couple of herons. 

In pre-COVID times, you could hire binoculars but this service is not available at the moment. Steve is in the market to buy his own but it is tricky at the moment as there isn’t really a chance to try before you buy. Anyway, if you have some, bring them. We really missed having a pair. 

We had fun using the posters to identify the birds we had spotted. We were able to spot several varieties of birds, even with our naked eye. 

As well as the seating at the entrance, there are benches at regular points along the route. 

The routes are very well signposted too.  It would be impossible to get lost. 

As we reached the last accessible hide, we were about half way around the circular walk. The lady at the entrance informed us that the second half of the walk is through woodland and on grass so may be a little muddy. Steve wasn’t keen on getting his trainers covered in mud so at this point, he headed back with Heidi and Jack and myself and Harry continued to finish the circular route. 

The rest of the route may not be suitable for wheelchairs as it is through woodland and on grass. Personally, I think it would be ok for all-terrain pushchairs on a dry day.  

The woodland reminded us of the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter. There are owls nesting here but we didn’t spot any. You may also spot red squirrels around the site, especially near the car park so keep your eyes peeled. 

Once through the woodland, you reach a wide grassed path between fields. Expect to pass fields of sheep and crops. There are a couple of hides on this side too including a members only hide (there are 6 in total around the circular walk - 2 of which are accessible). 

I think this is an orchid, either way, it was so peaceful. It was nice having some one-on-one time with Harry. We chatted about VR gaming and how the British Countryside isn’t true countryside as it has mostly had interference from humans. 

At the end of the circular walk (or if you are at the entrance, turn right instead of left as you face the water), there is a small natural play area which is open. I love this alternative tunnel entrance for little ones. 

The entrance is also home to a little pop-up caravan serving scones (for which they are famous), snacks, ice creams and drinks. The caravan takes cash or card and is a lovely little addition. There is ample seating at the entrance and you are welcome to bring your own picnic to enjoy too. 

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve Cafe

Dogs are not permitted here (except guide dogs) due to the wildlife which is understandable. There is a path to Hauxley Beach nearby which is dog-friendly. I am often asked about recommendations for free places to visit where no dogs are allowed by parents who have little ones who are a little apprehensive - this place is perfect. 

We spent around an hour walking around the nature reserve including stopping for a drink afterwards. The circular route is 2-3km depending on how many little diversions you make to visit the various hides and the accessible route is 1km linear (so 2km there and back). The accessible route is mostly flat and there is a slight incline as you continue past this route but nothing too bad at all. 

You can combine a visit to Low Hauxley with nearby Amble, Warkworth or Druridge Bay Country Park, all are within a 10 minute drive. 

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve is accessible by public transport - the X20 or T01 buses stop nearby. There is a bit of a walk from the road to the reserve though (as far as I could see). 

At the moment, the reserve is open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-4pm. The reserve is part of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust & donations are welcome. 

If you liked this post, check out the following walks: 

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Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area, leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Remember face coverings are required for indoor attractions / shops for those aged 11+ (usual exemptions apply)  

Check for local lockdowns / travel restrictions before visiting anywhere. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed after this post was published. 


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