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2023 Festival - Day 1


A little bit of rain was not going to put us off.

Walk 1 – Cauldron SnoutS Cauldron Snout

Here is the merry band pictured in Haltwhistle Market Place waiting for the coach to take them to the start of the walk. The waterfall is on the boundary between County Durham and Cumbria (historically Westmorland), England.




S Lynnshields WalkWalk 2 – Lynnshield Waterfall
The group photo was taken in Haltwhistle Market place just before setting off. We may have had soggy sandwiches at lunchtime but we also had a great view of the waterfall on the picturesque Park Burn.   S Lynnshields 3





S Mosses 2








Walk 3 – Mosses and Lichens
These are just a sample of the wonderful discoveries made en route. Thank you to expert of the day, Gordon.

S Mosses 4S Mosses 3


The Saintly King

Sow imageThis year’s long distance walk is the St Oswalds’s Way. This is a long distance walking route that runs from Lindisfarne to Heavenfield, but who was St Oswald?

Oswald was born around 604. After his father died in 616, his Uncle Edwin came to the throne. Consequently, Oswald and his brother, Oswiu, were expelled from Northumbria. They settled in Iona in the Hebrides and converted to Christianity.

In 633, Uncle Edwin was killed fighting King Cadwallon of Gwynedd and Penda of Mercia. The following year, Oswald killed Cadwallon at Heavenfield, near Hexham. The story goes that Oswald erected a wooden cross under which he prayed before defeating the Welsh in battle.

Oswald then became King and one of his first acts was to invite St Aidan from Iona to found a monastery at Lindisfarne.

Throughout his life, Oswald was said to have lived a ‘saintly’ life. Bede said that, after witnessing Oswald giving his food to the poor, St Aidan was greatly impressed. He seized Oswald's right hand, stating: "May this hand never perish." According to Bede, the hand and arm remained uncorrupted after Oswald's death.

Oswald was killed in 642 whilst in a conflict with the Mercians under Penda, during the Battle of Maserfelth. Bede says that he spent his last moments in prayer.

Oswald soon became to be venerated as a saint and miracles were supposed to happen at the spot where he died, which is believed to be in what is now known as Oswestry. The town sits close to the boundary between England and Wales and was named in his honour.


The Best Bit?

The Wall 1Visitors often ask, ‘Where can you see the best bits of The Wall?’ This is open for debate but Walltown Crags near Greenhead is generally thought to be towards the top of the list.
Over the Easter Weekend, we made the most of the April sunshine and completed Haltwhistle Rings Walk 5 which takes in the beautiful Walltown Country Park and the dramatic Walltown Crags.Walltown Crags 1

The views from the remains of Walltown Turret are spectacular. You can see why the Romans chose this site for their watchtower. As you look along the Wall, you can see how the Romans overcame obstacles while building it on the Whin Sill in this wild and demanding landscape.North view 1
If you like what you see on the photos, join us during the Festival - Walk 10, Walltown and the Vallum. We take a different route, but you will get to see these magnificent views for yourself and walk beside, arguably, the best preserved stretches of The Wall.Wall East view 1
To find out more about Walk 10 and how to book, click here.


Best Foot Forward

Shaftoe Crags

Picture Geoff Chrisp

Preparations for the 2023 are now well in hand and the current focus is on the all-important recces. This is where the teams venture forth with map in hand to check everything from the parking arrangements, comfort break opportunities and wonky stiles to the best spots for coffee and lunch breaks.IMG 0549

Even a little bit of snow does not deter our intrepid explorers. Here are two of the team, James and Cath, checking out Walk 22, Steer Me to the Crags. This is a wonderful walk in any weather but the sprinkling of snow made it just a little more special.

The great news is that there are proper toilet facilities at beautiful Bolam Lake – a rare treat on a Festival Walk!



To find out more about this walk and to book, click here.


slack house farm

Please click on the advert to find out more.