© Haltwhistle Walking Festival

Haltwhistle Autumn Walking Festival 2018

September 29th to October 7th

Saturday 6th October

Walk 19: Day 2 of the John Wesley Way - Ireshopeburn to Allenheads

From Ireshopeburn we follow the Weardale Way past Lanehead, which offers plenty of evidence of this area’s industrial heritage. Heading for Weardale Forest we make for the dam above Killhope Mining Museum, following the track to cross the ford. Climbing north to the county boundary, we head east to the summit of Killhope Law (2208 feet). Weather permitting, we will be afforded great views of the Lakeland hills. We descend on the Carriers’ Way towards the East Allen valley, leaving the track at Dodd Reservoir to take the scenic route back to Allenheads.


Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR: NY707640, at 08:20am for the coach leaving at 08:30. Return coach from Allenheads to Haltwhistle

Distance: 11.5  miles  Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 1816 feet  Descent:  1498 feet

Fee: £13  Bring: packed lunch    

Leader: Catriona Mulligan

Walk 20 Allen Banks and Silly Wrea (Please note the grade is Moderate Plus)

Leaving the National Trust car park, we follow the path into the wooded gorge of Allen Banks, then climb to the attractive and tranquil Moralee Tarn. We leave the gorge on a minor road before heading downhill to Lees Farm. We cross the fields to skirt Black Byre plantation, then join another minor road. At the T junction we head uphill, before following  the track towards Harsondale, with fine views towards the North Pennines. Our route now takes us over to Silly Wrea farm, a traditional working farm powered by Clydesdale horses. We return via Allen Banks, this time crossing the river at Plankey Mill and follow the path back to our cars.

Meet: Allen Banks National Trust Car Park, GR: NY797640, at 10:30 am. National Trust members park free, others pay £5

Distance: 8 miles  Grade: MODERATE PLUS Ascent/Descent: 1411 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Cliff Wood

21: Social Evening

Please note this is on Saturday evening, not Friday!

Join us for another of our very popular social evenings. There will be an excellent buffet and time to chat to other walkers. The entertainment is provided by Ian Brown, a well-known local musician. You may find yourself singing along to some of his songs.

Start time: 18:30pm

Location: Comrades’ Club, 2A Central Place, Haltwhistle, NE49 0DF

Fee: £12

Sunday 7th October

Walk 22: Day 3 of the John Wesley Way - Allenheads to Keenley

Picking up Wesley’s trail on the final day, we head north out of Allenheads village. We pass the site of the lead smelt mill before heading north-west to the little valley of Swinhope. We walk out onto the moor at Black Lot and join Isaac’s Tea Trail over to Knock Shield, where we descend to the East Allen river and a picnic spot known locally as “Old Man’s Bottom”. After a footbridge we climb steeply to cross the road, and continue uphill to reach Sinderhope Pony Trekking Centre. Our path is now across fields as we descend to the picturesque Holms Linn waterfall. Our route continues north, with views of Westburnhope Moor to the east, and Dryburn Moor with the Allendale chimneys to the west. We follow the river to Studdon, we now head north-west, finally arriving at Keenley Chapel where our walk ends.

Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR: NY707640, at 08:20am for the coach leaving at 08:30am. Return coach from Keenley Chapel to Haltwhistle

Distance: 13 miles  Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 1665 feet  Descent: 2039 feet

Fee: £13  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Anne Palmer

Walk 23: East Allen, Beacons and Catton

This walk explores the area north of Allendale. We leave the town and skirt the residential area, before we follow field paths above the road to Housty and on to Catton Burn, to arrive in the village of Catton. On a minor road, we cross the fields in a northerly direction and pass through Round Meadows farm to the edge of Purleypots plantation. We head over to Catton Beacon and our highest point, at 1105 feet; here we have views across to the Cheviot Hills. We descend to Old Town and down to the East Allen River which we then trace back to Allendale town.

Meet: Allendale Market Place, GR: NY837558, NE47 9BD, at 10:00 am

Distance: 8 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 846 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Rob Pegg

NB  The descriptions given are correct at the time of publication.  It is sometimes necessary to make changes to routes due to local conditions nearer to the festival. Distances are correct within 10% either way.  

Directions to the starts of walks will be issued by email approximately 2 weeks before the Festival.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on haltywalkfest@btinternet.com or by telephone on 01434 322025.

Saturday 29th September

Walk 1: Crammel Linn to Haltwhistle

Our coach journey takes us to Moscow in Cumbria and our walk commences close to the impressive Crammel Linn waterfall, which straddles the Northumberland/Cumbria county border on the River Irthing. After passing through woodland near Gilsland Spa, we walk along three national trails, the Hadrian’s Wall Path, the Pennine Way and Wainwright’s ‘A Pennine Journey’. We then cross open moorland with great views, and gently descend towards the South Tyne near Featherstone Castle, passing an interesting war memorial that stands on the Maiden Way near Kellah. We continue to follow the South Tyne, walking through the beautiful North Wood, before finally meandering along its banks to our destination at Haltwhistle.

Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR NY707640, at 08:50am. Coach leaves for Moscow at 09:00am

Distance: 13.5 Miles

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 1284 feet  Descent: 1576 feet

Fee: £10  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Geoff Chrisp

Walk 2: A Roman Experience - Crindledykes and the Wall

Starting at the football ground to the north of Bardon Mill village, we gradually climb northwards, skirting Barcombe Hill, after which we see the well preserved Crindledykes lime kiln. We then walk south-west, close enough to the Roman Fort of Vindolanda to see it spreading before us. From there we go to the Wall itself, where we follow the iconic route as far as Housesteads. The return route takes us over fields and Throrngrafton common, through the hamlet and back to Bardon Mill.

Meet: Bardon Mill Football Ground, GR: NY781647, at 10:00 am

Distance: 8 miles  Grade:  Moderate Plus  Ascent/Descent: 1293 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Jennifer Goff

Walk 3: Do you know your trees?

You may know your oak from your beech, but can you tell the difference between alder and birch leaves? We have an expert leader who knows all this and much more about trees – Bill Burlton, retired Forestry Commission Environment manager for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham. He takes us on a walk around familiar woodland at Allen Banks and the surrounding woods where there are more than 20 varieties of tree to spot. We walk to Midgeholm, Kingswood and Plankey Mill on a circular route with plenty of stops to identify and appreciate the trees. Numbers are limited on the walk, so please book early.

Meet: Allen Banks National Trust Car Park, GR: NY797640 at 10:30 am National Trust members park free, others pay £5.

Distance: 5.5 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 971 feet

Fee: £10  Bring: packed lunch, extra layers for standing and listening on a cold day.

Leader: Marj Baillie

Sunday 30th September

Walk 4: Wark to Housesteads

From Wark, an old meeting place for Clan Chieftains, we set out across the fields to the west, passing the remains of Ramshaws Mill before heading for Low Moralee and Bleaklaw. After Pit Wood we walk along the farm track to Goatstones Farm. We cross an extensive prehistoric burial site and have a wide view north from Ravensheugh Crags. A new farm track has been laid out to Great Lonbrough Farm, but beyond this the going is tougher, over open access land north of Stell Green. There is a section through the forest, past a bothy, then an uphill section to Hadrian’s Wall itself. The final half mile is down the hill from Housesteads Fort.


Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR NY707640, at 08:50am. Coach leaves for Wark at 09:00am Return coach from Housesteads to Haltwhistle.

Distance: 11.5 miles  Grade: Moderate Plus  Ascent: 1220 feet  Descent: 786 feet

Fee: £13 Bring: packed lunch

Leader: Chris Marples

Walk 5:  Hollin Crag and Cawfields

We walk eastwards through Haltwhistle and make our way up to Oaky Knowe and Hollin Crags. We cross Shield Hill at the Doors, and from here should have lovely views of the Wall. We then descend to the Haltwhistle Burn close to the Fell Chimney, seeing the remains of past coal mining. We cross the Military Road, following the Burn to Cawfields Quarry, then follow a lovely stretch of Hadrian’s Wall as far as Shield on the Wall. From there we take a pretty route southwards  to Haltwhistle over Hallpeat Moss.

Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR NY707640, at 10:00am

Distance: 7.5 miles  Grade: Moderate   Ascent/Descent: 858 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: James Blythe

Walk 6: In the Footsteps of Capability Brown – Kirkharle to Cambo

Kirkharle Courtyard is the birthplace of Capability Brown, and we follow his likely route to school in neighbouring Cambo. We walk in the company of Angus McTavish, an expert on the life and times of Capability Brown. We head north-west from Kirkharle to St Wilfred’s Church, where Brown was baptised, and on over the main A696 towards Little Harle Tower, from where we have an excellent overview of the landscape that inspired and was ultimately shaped by Capability Brown. We follow the River Wansbeck towards Wallington Hall, passing underneath the beautiful Wallington Bridge before walking through the gardens of Wallington towards the pretty estate village of Cambo, where we visit the village hall, the site of the old school. From there, we return on paths through farmland, taking the permissive path back towards Kirkharle Courtyard. We then take a closer look at the grounds of Kirkharle itself, including the newly restored lake.

Meet:  Kirkharle Courtyard, GR: NZ013824, NE19 2PE, at 10:00 am

Distance: 8 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 704 feet

Fee: £10  Bring: packed lunch, extra layers for standing and listening on a cold day.  

Leader: Anne E. Palmer

Monday 1st October

Walk 7: Top of the Shire

Our walk commences at Ladycross quarry in Slaley Forest , but we soon find ourselves striding out onto open moorland, where we follow the Carriers’ Way towards the Beldon valley. We pass an interesting ruined farmstead at Riddlehamhope before descending to the most southerly farm in Hexhamshire – this is the area known to the locals as ‘Top of the Shire’. The streams in this area all merge to form the Devil’s Water, and after walking through farmland, we cross one of these streams, the Embley Burn. A delightful drovers’ path leads us back onto the fells, up towards War Law and finally through the forest and back to Ladycross.

Meet: Ladycross Quarry, GR: NY954551, NE47 0BY, at 10:00 am

Distance: 12.5 miles  Grade:  Strenuous  Ascent/Descent: 1499 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Nick Harley

Walk 8: Falstone Burn and Belling Crags

This circular walk offers tantalising glimpses of Border Reiver country, taking us around an area that saw much action. From Hawkhope car park we head towards the village of Falstone via the Shill where we will see an interesting piece of art work. We then follow a permissive route along Falstone Burn through forest trails and then down to Kielder Water at Belling. From here we should have stunning views of the reservoir, the dam, the valve tower and the Bull Crag Peninsula. We will also visit the Wave Chamber that functions as a camera obscura which projects an image of the waves onto the buildings floor. Our route finally takes us along the lake shore and back to Hawkhope.

Meet: Hawkhope Car park at the north end of Kielder Dam, GR: NY707882, at 10:00 am. Car parking charge of £5

Distance: 8 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 1033 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Dave Lewis

Tuesday 2nd October

Walk 9: Allenshields and Nookton

Explore the lead mining heritage of the North Pennines with this beautiful walk. We start in the historic village of Blanchland and go first to Baybridge, where immigrant miners (from Cornwall!) fought in the pub with locals. We then pass the evocative dereliction of the isolated house at Gibraltar, whose last occupant fell victim to a harsh Pennine winter, and on to the quaintly named Wagtail and the site of the disused Derwent Lead Mine. We climb up onto the moors to the Sikehead Dam, which was created to power the mining machinery, seeing chimneys at the end of a long flue, built to carry poisonous gases away from the smelter. It is then downhill across the heather moors to Blanchland, and the chance to end the day at the haunted Lord Crewe Arms.

Meet: Blanchland car park, GR:NY964504, DH8 9SS, at 10:00 am

Distance: 10.5 miles  Grade: Strenuous  Ascent/Descent: 1632 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Catriona Mulligan

Walk 10: Matfen, Fenwick and Ingoe

This walk takes us around some of the villages in the flatter land to the south-east of Northumberland. The “Fen”, in  Matfen and Fenwick, means flat land. We start at Matfen, an estate village of the nearby Matfen Hall, where the buildings mostly date back to the 19th century. We walk eastwards past the site of the Medieval village of East Matfen, through low lying countryside to Fenwick. We then take a path up to the village of Ingoe, which is set on a prominent escarpment. We return to Matfen on paths and minor roads, where we can end the day in the Black Bull, which will open early for the occasion.

Meet:  Car Park of the Black Bull inn at Matfen, NE20 0RP, GR: NZ030718, at 10:00 am.

Distance: 7.5 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/ Descent: 375 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch

Leader: Anne Palmer

Friday 5th October

The John Wesley Way

This 3 day walk from Friday to Sunday follows part of the route taken by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, over 250 years ago. We pass three Chapels where Wesley preached that are still in use today. If there is sufficient demand, there will be two groups of walkers on each of these days, separated by a half hour difference in start time. People who book will be advised if this is happening.

Walk 17: Day 1 of the John Wesley Way - Middleton to Ireshopeburn

We take the coach from Haltwhistle to our start point at Middleton-in-Teesdale and follow the Pennine Way along the River Tees before crossing to Newbiggin. We visit this attractive hamlet with its old Chapel, then we make for Bowlees. The path heads up through a wood before we reach open country. We climb to Friar House allotment with views across to Holwick Fell. We continue up to Scar End before heading north to skirt the summit at Black Law. We are now following Wainwright’s “Pennine Journey”. At Swinhope Head we pick up a quiet single track road that takes us down towards Weardale. At St John’s Chapel we join the Weardale Way to arrive at High House Chapel and the Weardale Museum, Ireshopeburn.


Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR: NY707640, at 08:20 am for the coach leaving at 08:30 am. Return coach from Ireshopeburn to Haltwhistle

Distance: 13.5 miles  Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 1916 feet  Descent: 1596 feet

Fee: £13  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Alistair Lishman

Walk 18:  Waters Meet, Alpacas and Salmon

We begin our walk at Tyne Green Riverside Park in Hexham, near the beautiful bridge across the Tyne. We will visit the salmon leap where, if blessed, we will see salmon attempting to jump the wear to reach their spawning grounds up river. We follow the riverbank upstream to ‘Waters Meet’, the convergence of the North and South Tyne and the start of The Tyne. Turning in a southerly direction, we pass under a disused railway bridge that once formed part of the Hexham to Allendale branch line. From here we follow a bridleway that passes along the edge of woodland and farmland to the village of Lowgate, where we will walk beside an alpaca farm. It is gentle walking now as we descend down the west side of Hexham back towards Tyne Green.

Meet: Tyne Green Riverside Car Park, Hexham, beside the boathouse, GR: NY939646, at 10:00 am

Distance: 7.5 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 665 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Roy Johnson

Wednesday 3rd October

Walk 11: Muggleswick and Smiddy Shaw

We begin and end our walk in the attractive village of Edmundbyers, with its spectacular scenery. We cross open moorland to reach Strawberry Hill, before progressing to the curiously named Nanny Mayer’s Incline. From there, we pick up the Waskerley Way to reach Smiddy Shaw reservoir, before returning across the moors.

Meet: Edmundbyers (near Punch Bowl pub - DH8 9NL), GR: NZ 017500, at 10:00 am

Distance: 10.5 miles Grade: Strenuous  Ascent:/Descent: 1359 Feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch  

Leader: Gwen Marples

Walk 12: Mohope Moor and Valley

Our walk begins in the village of Ninebanks where we will see a fine example of a 16th Century pele tower. We head southwards out of the village, passing the recently restored Isaac Holden’s hearse house, which dates back to the 1850’s. We then cross over the River West Allen and pass by some interesting disused mine workings in the Mohope Valley near Appletree Shield. Climbing out of the valley and up onto Mohope Moor we walk on a Carriers’ Way path passing places with intriguing names such as ‘Scabby Cleugh’ and ‘Fairplay’. We then descend back into the Mohope Valley and follow a section of Isaac’s Tea Trail towards Ninebanks.

Meet:  Ninebanks, GR: NY782532, at 10:00am. Park in the layby just south of Ninebanks.

Distance: 8 miles  Grade: Moderate Plus  Ascent/ Descent: 1302 feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch

Leader: Nick Harley

Walk 13: Nenthead Mines Walk

Nenthead has a long history of metal mining that goes back hundreds of years. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was one of the most important mining centres in Britain, mostly for lead but latterly, for zinc as well. Although the industry came to an end over 50 years ago, its signs and effects are likely to be visible long into the future. This walk is led by Frank Bouweraerts, a local mining enthusiast, and along the route we look at and discuss the evidence that can still be seen. From the centre of Nenthead the walk follows the River Nent downstream passing several important mining sites. We then visit Alston Moor where earlier signs of mining activity are evident. From here the views over the South Tyne valley towards Cross Fell are spectacular and we discover a mysterious boundary stone along the route. After returning to Nenthead the walk ends with a specially arranged visit to the Nenthead Mines Conservation Society, whose premises are contained in renovated mine buildings. After a short talk about the site, which is a scheduled ancient monument, refreshments will be available. The finale is a dramatic (but quite safe!) view down the nearby Brewery Shaft.

Meet: Nenthead Car Park, GR: NY781436, at 10:30 am

Distance: 5 miles  Grade: Moderate Plus  Ascent/ Descent: 790 feet

Fee: £10  Bring: packed lunch, extra clothes for a cold day

Leader: Frank Bouweraerts

Thursday 4th October

Walk 14: Midgeholme from the Wallace Arms

This walk begins and ends at a well-known local hostelry and gives us an insight into the region’s Second World War history. We walk first of all towards Featherstone Bridge, then through some woodland as we cross the Pennine Way to Midgeholme. We cross the spectacular Lambley Viaduct before returning through the site of the former German prisoner of war camp on our way back to the Wallace Arms.

Meet: Wallace Arms, Featherstone, GR: NY683607, NE49 0JF, at 10:00 am

Distance: 10.5 miles  Grade: Moderate Plus  Ascent/Descent: 1084 feet  

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch   

Leader: George Reed

Walk 15: The South Tyne and the Wardway

Our walk starts in Alston, the highest market town in England. It is an interesting place to visit. We walk for about 2 miles on the track called The Wardway, then take a minor road and a public footpath to Blackburn Bridge. Soon we are on the west bank of the river South Tyne which we follow upstream to a footbridge. As we return northwards, there is a short ascent near Bleagate, which allows us to contour around the hillside, above the river. The views are delightful, but there is no time to stop for a game of golf!. This is yet another lovely walk in the South Tyne Valley.

Meet: Alston Railway Station, GR: NY717467, CA9 3JB,at 10:00 am

Distance: 8 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 857 Feet

Fee: £7  Bring: packed lunch

Leader: Marj Baillie

Walk 16: Fungal Foray with Gordon Beakes

Back by popular demand, we have another opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of fungi. The aim of this walk is primarily to forage for the wild fungi found here in the autumn months, and Gordon offers us expert advice on the types of mushrooms and toadstools that grow here. The walk starts from the Dipton Mill pub, following a route through the beautiful Dipton Woods where you will see mature beech, oak and birch as well as sections of conifers and ash . The Fungal Foray is always a very popular walk in the festival so please ensure that you book promptly to secure a place.

Meet: Dipton Mill Pub, NE46 1YA, GR:NY929610, at 10:00 am

Distance: 6.5 miles  Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 568 feet

Fee: £10  Bring: packed lunch, extra layers for standing and listening on a cold day

Leader: Neil Park



Walk Title


Length in miles






Crammel Linn to Haltwhistle





A Roman Experience -

Crindledykes and the Wall

Moderate plus




Do you know your trees?

2 places





30th Sep


Wark to Housesteads

Moderate plus




Hollin Crag and Cawfields





In the footsteps of Capability Brown






1st Oct


Top of the Shire (Slaley Forest)

(Few places remain)





Falstone Burn and Belling Crags





2nd Oct


Allenshields and Nookton





Matfen, Fenwick and Ingoe





3rd Oct


Muggleswick and Smiddy Shaw





Mohope Moor and Valley

Moderate plus




Nenthead Mines Walk


Moderate plus




4th Oct



Moderate plus




The South Tyne and the Wardway





Fungal Foray with Gordon Beakes






5th Oct


John Wesley Way - Day One

Middleton-in-Teesdale to Ireshopeburn (Fully booked)





Waters' Meet, Alpacas and Salmon




Sat 6th Oct


John Wesley Way - Day Two

Ireshopeburn to Allenheads FULLY BOOKED





Allen Banks and Silly Wrea

Moderate PLUS




Social Evening with Ian Brown

Comrades Club at 6.30pm Includes buffet and entertainment


Sun 7th Oct


John Wesley Way - Day Three

Allenheads to Keenley (Fully booked)





East Allen, Beacons and Catton




General Information about walks

The full details of all the walks and events are given below.   We are keen to help you to choose the right walks for you, so please contact us with any questions.  Our walks’ grades are described in detail on the Things you need to know page. Please read the page before you book.

The Special Interest Walks have been highlighted in green.  Expect to have more frequent and longer stops than on the other walks, so bring extra layers of clothing. It is harder to warm up than to cool down!

You will hear about the area and any points of interest on the other walks too.  

Details of ascents and descents are included in the walk details below.

We try to provide accurate descriptions of our walks.  Please remember that a spell of very wet weather before the festival will result in waterlogged land and extra bogginess.  

We reserve the right to alter routes or even cancel a walk if the weather is atrocious. We have not yet cancelled a walk, but have occasionally had to use an easier or shorter route for safety reasons.

Scroll down this page for walk details.

When you book, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions as described on the Things you need to Know page.

Booking Arrangements

All walks are booked via our booking agents, Bradsons.

Click here to link to the booking site.

For ‘phone bookings (card or cheque) use 01749 813899. Lines may be busy, so be please be patient.

You will receive your receipt by email. Full joining instructions are sent out by email (or post) before the Festival.

From Friday 28th September at 2pm, the bookings move from Bradsons and are done by ‘phone to Maureen Hart on 01434 322025 (leave message on answer phone if no reply)

If you have any queries, contact us on haltywalkfest@btinternet.com or on 01434 322025

If a walk is fully booked, we will take names on a waiting list. People often have to drop out.



Suppliers of fresh sandwiches

using local produce

Walking groups catered for

providing packed lunches,

buffets, outside catering available

Enquiries to Karen


01434 344337