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Thread: Walking in Northumbria

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    HI

    Am thinking of taking the short trip up the road to Northumberland/the cheviots to do a bit of walking and either one or 2 nights camping pretty soon.

    Just wondering if anyone could suggest some routes/campsites/pubs etc

    I fancied doing a bit of the hadrias wall walk in a circular fashion

    any suggestions would be appreciated

    cheers
    Andy

  2. #2
    Mini Goon SteveO's Avatar
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    Hi Moggy,

    walk in a circular fashion

    LOL... like a whirlin Dervish or like wot you do when you're a kid and you walk in spirals; man, you'll get totally dizzy!

    sorry, couldn't get that image out of my mind. Where was I?

    By the nature of the beast Hadrians' Wall doesn't lend itself to a circular walk. However, you've got a few options open to you:

    a) do the old-fashioned linear thing and catch the Hadrians' Wall Bus (timetable available from Touroid Info Centres) back to your start. The bus runs up and down the B6318 (known locally as the Military Road) that parallels the Wall, covering the journey 5 or six times a day (apparently)

    b) walk part of Hads' Wall route and then cut north along the Pennine Way (look for Steel Rigg / Twice Brewed for the Penn Way along the wall and then, just to the East it cuts north). You'll have to fashion your own return route to get back to your start.

    Akshally, I'd prolly suggest walking part of the HWall Path, maybe from Twice Brewed, and head east and when you so desire catch the bus back to your start.

    Have a look at http://www.hadrians-wall.org/

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    lol stankh stevO, ill check it out.

  4. #4
    Mini Goon stouffer's Avatar
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    Moggy as SteveO says the bus is a great day to explore the wall either doing a walk and getting it back to your start point or nipping around to see some of the Roman sites.

    Just make sure it's running on the days you want! It doesn't run daily until 27th May, it's Sunday and Bank Hols only up until then. It's a mistake I've made to my cost, after walking in a straight line 15 miles away from my car one day!! (You'd think that working for the National Park I'd know better)

    Once Brewed would be a good base as there's a pub and a couple of campsites not far away (one just along the road at Winshields Farm I think) and shops not far away at Haltwhistle. Get in touch with the Tourist Info Centre there at tic.oncebrewed@nnpa.org.uk and they'll help you out with campsites.

    As well as Once Brewed/Steel Rigg there are car parks at Cawfields and Walltown to the west and Housesteads Fort to the east, all smack bang in the middle of the best bits of the wall (Housesteads is more expensive for a day's parking). If you get the map out there's plenty of footpaths running either side of the wall so you can often fashion a circular walk of sorts. Again as SteveO says walking along the HW path then cutting north to return along those paths is great to see what an impressive sight the Wall must have been from the north in its day, perched on top of the Whin Sill outcrops.

  5. #5
    Mini Goon stouffer's Avatar
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    Oh and on a sunny day the Milecastle Inn along by Cawfields is a canny place for a pint and some scran in the beer garden.

    To answer the other half of your question, if you were fancying the Cheviots you're spoilt for choice walking wise. Off the top of me head I only know of a couple of campsites in and around the National Park tho. There's one at Clennell Hall near Alwinton where I've stayed before, its a fantastic location for walking in the Coquet Valley, there's plenty of routes up towards the border ridge. The campsite is pretty basic although you're ten minutes walk from the Rose and Crown pub in Alwinton (take a headtorch!)

    Further North there's Highburn House just outside of Wooler, I've not stayed there but it looks pretty decent. You'd be nearer a few boozers and shops in Wooler and you've also got access to the Harthope and College Valleys from there, and further south the Breamish Valley.

    The real beauty of the Cheviots is the emptiness of the place, often you'll only see a handful of people on a day's walk. Sometimes these days the Hadrian's Wall path can be as busy as Hexham high street. There's plenty of stuff to explore up there too that people don't know about like the iron age hillforts.

  6. #6
    Goon PGJ's Avatar
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    Hi,

    For walks in Northumberland of varying distances and difficulty I can recommend www.shepherdswalks.co.uk. I've done a couple and found them very good. The Windy Gyle walk starts a few miles past Alwinton and is good and I understand that The Schil walk is worth trying as well. Hope this is useful.

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    wow thanks for all the info ill have a look at it all in more details tonight, i was looking at some stuff for the cheviots last night along with some hadrians wall stuff, am looking forward to it now, as it seems ages since my last camping trip lol

  8. #8
    Widdler Geraint  Evans's Avatar
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    The Cheviot itself can be reached a number of ways, the most interesting being either the Bizzel or the Hen Hole via College Valley. For both of these (if you're taking a car) you will need a permit, and you can get these from Sale & Partners in Wooler (01668 281611). The other side (Harthope Valley) has a good route that links Hedgehope with Cheviot in a horseshoe route. In the same valley, the Schill is good (watch out for adders on a sunny day) and there's a good walk to a waterfall called Davisons Linn. Windy Gyle near Alwinton is a nice walk (and even better MTB ride) but is a little more tricky to find (and is in a military zone). The Cheviots other mountains, Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge are less popular, although you could link them with a look at Linhope Spout, a very impressive waterfall. As for campsites, Wooler is a very good base and has various take aways and pubs and (I think) two campsites. Alwinton is the other main base in the Cheviots, but if you want to stay a bit further out and travel in, Rothbury is very nice and has various low level walks around the Coquet and Simonside Hills in the event of bad weather in the Cheviots (which as you might imagine, isn't uncommon). A good website to have a look at as a start is www.northumberland-national-park.org.uk. There is also a good book called "Walking The Cheviots: Classic Circular Routes" by Edward Baker. Hope this helps.


  9. #9
    Mini Goon stouffer's Avatar
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    Yeah Geraint I'd also recommend Edward Baker's book, I've got a copy too.

    I reckon the Cheviot's an underrated walk especially when you include Hen Hole in the route like you say. You can do Hen Hole and Cheviot from Langleeford (saves the hassle of permits) if you walk round via Goldscleugh. Follow the Harthope Valley back down to give you a route of about 13 miles I think.

    You can do a route to Linhope Spout from there too via Hedgehope Hill and then back along the other side of Threestoneburn Wood. Have a butchers at Linhope Spout on our virtual tours.

    The horseshoe linking the Cheviot and Hedgehope can be seriously boggy mind you

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    wow thanks guys, i think ill go give the cheviots a try, i think wooler is 2-3 hours from here so i could shoot up straight after work on the friday and get the tent up etc.

    i think ill have a bit of a look round the net tonight and see what i can find.

  11. #11
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    You can get a very good breakfast in the cafe just up from the campsite as you go into Wooler.

    From Akeld you can access Yeavering Bell - another good hill that forms part of some nice rounds - if you have MMap Nortumberland I can send some routes....

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    just been looking around the net, can anyone recomend a specific campsite in either wooler or langleeford?

    preferabbly one we can walk straight from so can leave the car


    cheers
    Andy

    ps ed thanks for the offer but i dont have mm, im a tracklogs fan lol

  13. #13
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    You can see what is available here for Wooler - I have not stayed at either since it is a shortish drive for us.

    Further South this gives more possibilities. You cannot camp at Langleeford - but on the fells above wild-camping is an option....

    With both you may not be able to escape using the car (although a possibility from Alwinton?); but there is no traffic (ever!) in Northumberland anyway

  14. #14
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    ahh thanks for that ed, i saw the wooler one,


  15. #15
    Mini Goon stouffer's Avatar
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    Aye there's nowt at Langleeford apart from a bit of grass to park the car on but it's only 15 mins drive from Wooler though. Takes about the same time to get along along to Hethpool in the College Valley.

    Not been to the campsites in Wooler but Highburn House looks ok from walking past it and reading reviews, I'm planning to use it for a trip in the near future.

    Talking of Yeavering Bell you could walk along there straight out of the campsite and then back along St. Cuthbert's Way. Nice route but it doesn't really get you into the high hills. Yeavering might be best as a 'day after' walk, nip up from Akeld like Ed says or park further along on the lane up to Old Yeavering. Have a look at the hillfort then sit on the top and admire the view.

    You can walk straight out of the campsite at Alwinton but again its a wee bit better to drive a bit further up the valley to do do the walks up to spots like Windy Gyle.

  16. #16
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    I once visited the Cheviots when they were frozen solid. I went there deliberately in winter so that I wouldn't sink in the boggy bits. I didn't take a tent, but spent one night in the hut on Lamb Hill and another night in the hut at Hen Hole. That meant I could be out on the highest hills at first light, and could stay out until it got dark, so no long walk-ins and maximum use of daylight. As everything was firm underfoot, I was able to scoot over all the boggy bits and clock up 30 miles per day!

    Last time I was there, also in the winter, I climbed the Cheviot from a cosy B&B at Town Yetholm. It was a bitterly cold day and while it was grand to get back to the B&B in the evening, it would have been fun to have stayed in one of those huts.

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