© Haltwhistle Walking Festival


Haltwhistle Autumn Walking Festival 2019

September 28th to October 6th



Monday 30th September 2019


Walk 7 Eastern delights – Allensford Circular

Flowing between the borders of Northumberland and County Durham, the River Derwent’s name means oak valley. This walk takes us from the river at Allensford  to explore the surrounding hills with old names such as Snods Edge and Shotleyfield. Dropping  back down to the river we follow a delightful path which  takes us back to Allensford Country Park.


Distance: 10.5 miles

Meet: Allensford Car Park GR: NZ077502 at 10:00am

Grade: Moderate Plus  Ascent/Descent: 980 feet

Bring: packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Jennifer Goff



Walk 8 Almost Aydon Castle

This delightful walk starts to the south of Corbridge, initially walking through the village itself, known to the Romans as Corstopitum.  We climb to the splendid Aydon Castle with its virtually intact 13C manor house and its fascinating history  - this is an English Heritage site. Although we will not have time to explore the site itself on this occasion, do make a note to return another day. We continue onwards to Aydon before descending back to Corbridge by way of Brockhole Burn and the hamlet of Thornbrough. There are wide, open views across the valley.


Distance: 8 miles

Meet: Corbridge car park (south of the bridge over the Tyne) at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 550 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Mary Reed

Tuesday 1st October 2019


Walk 9  Low Sunniside and the Wild side - an Allendale circular

Starting with a section of Isaac's Tea Trail, the route follows the East Allen river before crossing at Studdondene and climbing above the valley towards Moor House. The walk now takes us onto the grouse moor, up to the trig point at Gaterley and then to the intriguingly named Rebel Hill, known for its links to an Allendale vicar and the Jacobite rising of 1715. Skirting the northern edge of Catton, we descend to the East Allen river, and back to Allendale.


Distance: 11.5 miles

Meet: Allendale Market Place GR: NY837558 at 10:00 am

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent/Descent: 1400 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Ann Potter



Walk 10 Heavenfield and Acomb (circular)

This airy walk visits the tranquil hill-top church of St. Oswald’s at Heavenfield. It was built from Roman stone. It is believed that King Oswald raised a large wooden cross here, and called his troops to pray before the battle of Heavenfield (AD 633).  Its significance lies in the re-establishment of Celtic Christianity which led to the Golden Age of the Kingdom of Northumbria. Throughout there are excellent views across the Tyne Valley, west towards Cumbria and north towards Scotland.


Distance: 8 miles

Meet: Acomb centre, GR:NY933665 at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 775 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: John Robinson



Walk 11 Fungal Foray

A walk through the woods of Allen Banks – route subject to change, according to where the fungi grow! This is a site we have returned to because the fungi here are the best.


Distance: approximately 5 miles

Meet: Allen Banks Car Park, GR: NY797640, at 10:00am. National Trust car park, bring your card or £4 fee.

Grade: Moderate

Bring: packed lunch, and warm clothing as there will be some standing and listening

Fee: £10

Leader: Pippa Brook



Hadrian

Sandwiches


Suppliers of fresh sandwiches

using local produce


Walking groups catered for

providing packed lunches,

buffets, outside catering available


Enquiries to Karen

Telephone

01434 344337



Friday 4th October 2019


A Reivers’ Way:

Today we begin our three-day adventure through the land of the infamous Border Reivers, families of thieves and rustlers who terrorised the region for 200 years and played a vital part in shaping the landscape and its legends. We start below Deadwater Fell near Kielder and walk through the boggy, tussocky ‘badlands’ back to Haltwhistle, in the safety of a group and with experienced guides.


Walkers will travel by coach from Haltwhistle to and from the start and end each day.

Book for one or more days.



Walk 17 A Reivers’ Way Day 1, Deadwater Fell to Falstone

We start our three day walk at the eerily named hamlet of Deadwater high up above Kielder reservoir close to the English-Scottish border. From the unlikely location for a station at Deadwater, we follow the now disused Border Counties Railway, eventually passing the impressive Kielder Castle, a former hunting lodge and now visitor centre. Our route provides extensive views across Kielder Water with alternate glimpses of beautiful woodland glades. Finally we reach the massive Kielder dam that can hold back 200 billion litres of water, as we follow the river North Tyne along to the lovely village of Falstone.


Distance:  12 miles

Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place GR: NY707640 at 08:20 am, for a bus leaving at 08:30 am. Return bus from Falstone.

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 930 feet Descent: 1210 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £15

Leader: Geoff Chrisp




Walk 18 The Wilds of Wanney

We walk through fields eastwards from Ridsdale, and across Elishaw Moss, to go over the brow of a hill. Here the magnificent arena of the Wannies unfolds. We head towards Great Wanney Crag, and avoiding the cliff face popular with climbers, we take the gentler path to the summit. This spot is almost exactly in the centre of Northumberland and, on a clear day, you can see the sea to east, the Cheviots to the North, the wilds of Kielder and the Scottish border to the west, and Tyneside and the North Pennines to the south. We head down around Sweethope Lough before heading back towards the Wannies, taking forest tracks past disused quarries, lakes and outcrops including Little Wanney Crag. We walk through woodland back to Ridsdale.


Distance:  8 miles

Meet: The Gun Inn, Ridsdale, GR: NY908845 at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 750 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee:  £7

Leader: Anne E Palmer




Saturday 5th October 2019

19  A Reivers’ Way, Day 2 – Stonehaugh to Lampert

This walk now starts at Stonehaugh

Day two takes us out to Stonehaugh, a forestry village in the east.  On this walk, you will begin to understand how the “Moss Troopers” came by their name. Forestry has eaten into the landscape they would have known, but many of these bogs defeated afforestation and colourful carpets of mosses remain as havens rich in invertebrates, insectivorous plants, and attracting the evocative call of divers and waders. Finally, we reach Lampert at a point where the water needs to decide whether it is going into the River Tyne and the North Sea or west to the River Irthing and the Irish sea.


Distance:  12 miles

Meet:  Haltwhistle Market Place, GR NY707640, at 08:20 am, for a bus at 08:30 am.

Return bus from Lampert.

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 1370 feet Descent: 1080 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £15

Leader: Catriona Mulligan



Walk 20 Birtley Round

This walk starts in the pretty village of Birtley and takes us onto the hills to the north, where there are views over Redesdale towards the Cheviots. We walk down towards the North Tyne, which we follow for a while before heading back towards Birtley through farmland, and pass the site of a bastle. In previous festivals, other routes near Birtley have been very well received.


Distance: 8 miles

Meet: Birtley Village GR: NY879782  at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate   Ascent/Descent: 800 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: David Lewis


Walk 21  Flash Fiction Walk  (Bellingham Circular)

Have you ever fancied writing a short story but don’t know where to begin? This walk is for you.

Sarah Davy is a writer, workshop leader and author-in-residence at Forum Books in Corbridge. She will walk with us on a delightful circular route from Bellingham. There will be regular stops to discuss what we see; Sarah will help us to think about how to compose a short piece of fiction with ideas from the walk. On our return to Bellingham, we will have tea and biscuits at the Carriages tearoom beside the Bellingham Heritage Centre. There will be time to start writing our stories. Some people might complete theirs!

Numbers are limited so do book early for this new special interest walk.


Distance: 4.5 miles

Meet: Bellingham Heritage Centre car park, Station Yard, Woodburn Road, Bellingham, NE48 2DG at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 374 ft

Bring: packed lunch, extra clothes for standing and listening, pencil and notebook (ideally waterproof)

Fee: £10

Leader: Marj Baillie



Wednesday 2nd October 2019


Walk 12: Haydon Bridge and northwards to the Wall

Starting at Haydon Bridge, a dangerous place to be in the 16th century, we climb north up to Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. Crossing the Stanegate, the first northern limit of the Roman Empire, we continue north to reach Housesteads, the most complete example of a Roman fort in Britain and, until the end of the fourth century, home to an 800 strong infantry regiment. Set high on a dramatic escarpment with stunning panoramic views to every side, it is easy to see why the Emperor Hadrian chose this place for his massive northern frontier. Work began on the wall itself in AD122, and Housesteads was completed within a decade. From here, we descend through extensive areas of cultivation terraces where crops were grown to feed the soldiers, and gradually downwards to the Tyne valley and back to Haydon Bridge.


Distance: 13.5 miles

Meet: Haydon Bridge Football Field, GR:NY852645 at 10:00 am

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent/Descent: 1650 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Catriona Mulligan



Walk 13: Slaley: Forests and Greens
Heading south from the village of Slaley, the route climbs slowly to the fells overlooking Hexham and the Tyne valley before turning into the tranquil Slaley Forest. An easy walk through the trees emerges onto the carefully tended greens and fairways of the internationally famous Slaley Golf Club. Using paths specially created around the edges of the course, and passing the impressive Slaley Hall itself, we return to open farmland to begin the gentle descent back to the village.


Distance: 8.5 miles

Meet: Slaley Village, GR: NY973577, at the west end of Slaley Main Street at 10:00am.

Please park carefully.

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 700 feet

Bring: packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: John Johnson


Thursday 3rd October 2019


Walk 14 Old Man's Bottom and Killhope Top

Following the Carriers’ Way at Dirt Pot, Allenheads, we climb to Killhope Law. At 672m it is the highest Pennine summit in Northumberland, with magnificent views across the Lakeland fells and the Pennines. Our descent is along a gamekeeper’s track, which takes us to another carriers’ route, the Black Way. Now on Isaac's Tea Trail we gradually descend to join the East Allen river. We cross the river at Old Man's Bottom, then the track meanders along the river and back to Allenheads.


Distance: 11.5 miles

Meet: Dirt Pot, GR: NY850464 at 10:00 am; Parking is north of Allenheads, just at the beginning of the Coalcleugh/Nenthead Road

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent/Descent: 1650 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Nick Harley



Walk 15  Elks Head Round  - A Trail of Two Allens     

The walk begins at the Elks Head pub, and initially heads north along the West Allen river following the spur of high ground which separates the East and West Allen rivers. We then descend on the east side of the spur to join East Allen and follow it to Isaac's Tea Trail.  Taking the Trail southwards the route passes an old Tithe Barn and Chapel before ascending to Keenley Fell, the highest point of the walk with extensive views across both river valleys.

The route then follows a short section of minor road before dropping into the West Allen valley and returning via Monk's Wood with splendid views of the imposing Whitfield Hall.


Distance: 6.5 miles

Meet: Elks Head, Whitfield GR: NY781570

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 1050 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Kevin Jones



Walk 16  North Pennine Farming - Diversity and Conservation

Robert Phillipson’s family have farmed in the Allen valley for generations. He runs an upland hill farm and the family also have a successful pony trekking business. Robert recently won the North Pennines AONB Pendlebury Award for his conservation work with moorland birds. He will take us on a tour of his farm and the surrounding area, before returning to the High Forest Centre at Sinderhope for tea and biscuits and to summarise the day.


Distance: 6 miles

Meet: High Forest Centre at Sinderhope, GR: NY845520, 3 miles south of Allendale, at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate Ascent/Descent: 900 feet

Bring: Packed lunch and warm clothing, as there will be some standing and listening.

Fee: £10

Leader: Ann Potter


Date

No

Walk Title

Grade

Length in miles

Cost


Sat

28th

Sep

1

Follies and Feathers

Hallbankgate to Haltwhistle

Strenuous

11.5

£10

2

Langley - Castles and Lead Mines


Moderate

7.5

£7

3

Social Evening

(not to be missed!)

Comrades Club at 6.30pm

Includes buffet and entertainment by the famous HexPistols

£15

Sun

29th Sep

4

The Big Round

Strenuous

16

£7

5

A few of our favourite things

Coanwood/Burnstones Circular

Moderate plus

9

£7

6

Walking in the Windmills

Ray Wind Farm, Kirkwhelpington


Moderate


5

£12

Mon

30th

Sep


7

Eastern Delights

Allensford Circular

Moderate plus

10.5

£7

8

(Almost) Aydon Castle

Moderate

8

£7

Tues

1st

Oct

9

Low Sunniside and the Wild Side

An Allendale circular

Strenuous

11.5

£7

10

Heavenfield to Acomb

(circular)

Moderate

8

£7

11

Fungal Foray with Gordon Beakes


Moderate


5

£10

Wed

2nd

Oct

12

Haydon Bridge and North to the Wall

Strenuous

13.5

£7

13

Slaley: Forests and Greens

Moderate

8

£7

Thu

3rd

Oct

14

Old Man's Bottom and Killhope Top

Strenuous

11.5

£7

15

A Trail of Two Allens

Elks Head Round

Moderate

6.5

£7

16

North Pennines Farming

Diversity and Conservation

Sinderhope FULLY BOOKED

Moderate

6

£10

Fri

4th

Oct

17

A Reivers' Way Day 1

Deadwater Fell to Falstone

FULLY BOOKED

Strenuous

12

£15

18

The Wilds of Wanney

Moderate

8

£7

Sat 5th Oct

19


A Reivers' Way Day 2

Stonehaugh to Lampert

FULLY BOOKED


Strenuous

12

£15

20

Birtley Round

Moderate

8

£7

21

Flash Fiction with Sarah Davy

Bellingham Circular

Moderate

4.5

£10

Sun 6th Oct

22

A Reivers' Way Day 3

Lampert to Haltwhistle

FULLY BOOKED

Strenuous

12

£12

23

Geltsdale - a unique area of natural and industrial heritage

Moderate

8

£7


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 07565967852




Sunday 6th October 2019


Walk 22 A Reivers’ Way Day 3 – Lampert to Haltwhistle

On day three we continue our journey eastward through the mosses beneath Great Watch Hill, which was no doubt visited by both Border Reivers and the local Wardens loyal to the king. We turn south through Wark forest, part of the larger forest of Kielder to reach Grindon Green, one of several small farms worked in the 1930’s but now engulfed by forestry. Further south as we leave the forest behind, in the distance Hadrian’s Wall, now a World Heritage site, is prominent on the horizon. We cross this impressive Roman frontier, build under orders from Emperor Hadrian in AD 122, and follow the burn down to our final destination of Haltwhistle.


Distance: 12 miles

Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR NY707640, at 08:20 am.

Bus for Lampert leaves at 08:30am

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 800 feet Descent: 1165 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £12

Leader: Neil Park



Walk 23 Geltsdale–Exploring a unique Natural and Industrial Heritage

We start at the village of Hallbankgate, and walk through the RSPB bird reserve at Geltsdale towards Tindale. We will look out for birds, especially on Tindale Tarn, where islands have been built to encourage ducks and waders. We visit Tindale, which today is a tiny village, but which was a hive of heavy industry in the nineteenth century. Evidence of its busy past remains, a fascinating place for anyone interested in industrial archaeology. We return along the south side of the tarn and walk up onto moorland before heading back to Hallbankgate, which was itself the home of a gasworks at the height of the boom in these parts. It is hard to imagine it now.


Distance: 8 miles

Meet: Hallbankgate Village near The Belted Will pub GR:NY580595 at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 650 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Kevin Jones


Booking

All walks are booked via our booking agents, Bradsons. Click here to link to the booking site. Please book online if at all possible. It is quick and easy.


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. If you do not see your receipt, check in the Spam folder.


If you have any queries, contact us on haltywalkfest@btinternet.com or on 07565 967852


We hold waiting lists for walks that are fully booked. Let us know if you want to be added.




General Information about walks


The full details of all the walks and events are given below.   We are keen to help you 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 only once cancelled a walk, and 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.





Sunday 29th September 2019

Walk 4 The Big Round

A great opportunity for anyone looking for a challenge, this 16 mile walk begins and ends in Alston. It is a real gem, taking in many different features. We follow the Pennine Way/South Tyne Trail to reach Garrigill and on to the spectacular water fall at Ashgill Force, where you have the chance to walk behind the waterfall. We then slightly retrace our steps before heading west around Flinty Fell, through places seldom seen. Next we descend to the extensive disused mines at Nenthead, and a superb opportunity to see remnants of our industrial heritage. We leave Nenthead by way of another delightful little village to join Isaac’s Tea Trail for our journey back to Alston along the River Nent.


Distance: 16 miles

Meet: Alston GR: NY716461 at 09:00 am

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent/Descent: 1800 feet

Bring: Packed lunch (plenty of food and drinks).

Fee: £7

Leader: Chris Marples


Walk 5 Coanwood to Burnstones –”A few of our favourite things”

This walk along the South Tyne takes us along, past and over some of our favourite features of the Haltwhistle area, including the imposing Lambley Viaduct. From the car park at Coanwood, the South Tyne Trail takes us a short distance before we divert above the woods. Crossing the river at one of its prettiest spots at Eals Bridge, we regain the South Tyne trail, following it through the riverside woodland  to Burnstones.  We head back northwards along the Pennine Way, crossing moorland to the west of the South Tyne. Then it is back towards Lambley, and over the viaduct before returning to Coanwood.


Distance:  9 miles

Meet: Car Park north of Coanwood GR: NY679595 at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate plus  Ascent/Descent: 1100 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: Neil Park



Walk 6 Walking in the Windmills

We will be visiting the Ray Wind Farm, one of the newest wind farms in Northumberland.  This special interest walk is an opportunity to get up close to some of the biggest wind turbines in the area. The hub of each turbine is 73 metres high, and the span of the rotors 104 metres.  In an average year, the wind farm can produce enough electricity to supply over 30,000 homes.

We will be accompanied on the walk by representatives from Vattenfall UK, who own and operate the wind farm. They will explain how the turbines work, how electricity is produced and stored, and what maintenance the turbines require. They will tell us about how a wild moorland site like this is managed, and what to look out for when walking around the wind farm. There will be the chance to ask questions, and to enjoy the views from this windy hilltop.  

  

Distance: 5 miles

Meet: Kirkwhelpington village, GR: NY997844 at 10:00am – a bus will take us to the farm, and collect us at the end of the walk.

Grade:  Moderate  Ascent/Descent: tbc

Bring: packed lunch, and warm clothing suitable for standing in windy conditions

Fee: £12

Leader: Anne E Palmer


Saturday 28th September 2019

Walk 1  Follies and Feathers - Hallbankgate to Haltwhistle

This route has been changed to start at Hallbankgate.

Most of us who have driven along the A69 will have passed by the entrance to the small hamlet of Low Row, but few of us will have actually walked there. Our walk commences just south of Low Row travelling south east to pass between two “imaginary” follies. We then descend through disused quarries and derelict mines to reach an old railway line. On leaving this railway line we skirt round to the north of Midgeholme, briefly picking up the Pennine Way before following Hartley Burn to join the South Tyne Trail taking us back to Haltwhistle by way of farmland and woodland.


Distance: 11.5 miles

Meet: Haltwhistle Market Place, GR NY707640, at 09:20 am.
Coach to Low Row leaves at 09:30 am

Grade: Strenuous  Ascent: 1050 feet  Descent: 1125 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £10

Leader: Tony Miller


Walk 2  Langley - Castles and Lead Mines

Beginning in Haydon Bridge, the walk climbs steadily, but not steeply, to reveal stunning views of the South Tyne Valley and the fells to the north. Although now a peaceful panorama, the impressive Langley Castle evokes memories of a more troubled past. The remains of flues and chimneys that once carried toxic fumes from the lead smelters tell of a more recent industrialised history. From Langley village the route descends gently towards the river before turning back to Haydon Bridge


Distance:  7.5 miles

Meet: Haydon Bridge GR: NY842645 at 10:00 am

Grade: Moderate  Ascent/Descent: 950 feet

Bring: Packed lunch

Fee: £7

Leader: John Johnson


3 Social Evening

This promises to be another memorable social evening for the festival. There will be a buffet and plenty of time to chat. Our entertainers are the HexPistols who recently played a sell-out concert in the Queens Hall. They are a musical group who sing in close harmony. They are funny, lively and we think you will love them. There will be a quiz as part of their act.



















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

Fee: £15

Start Time: 18:30pm Finish at 22:00pm

Dietary requirements: Be sure to let us know in good time if you are are vegetarian or have any other dietary requirements