The Haltwhistle Rings are a collection of 22 circular walks of between 4 and 9 miles, all centred on Haltwhistle and its neighbouring parishes. They were devised, tested, mapped and described by keen local walker John Dixon (now deceased) and Mike Swan.
Drawn up as 22 separate leaflets, the Rings were first published in 2003. Each one contained a route description, map, photographs and interesting facts (the famous ‘Did You Knows?’). They were intended to stimulate interest in the beautiful surrounding countryside and to encourage people to return to it following the devastating outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001/2. They were incredibly successful in their aims and were the important foundations of the early Haltwhistle Walking Festivals.
There is a painful symmetry to the Rings as they were revisited for the 2021 Virtual Walking Festival, once again encouraging people to take advantage of the countryside around Haltwhistle following the effects of Coronavirus. The Festival Committee, in conjunction with the Festival Volunteers and local walkers, carried out a comprehensive review of all the routes. New roads, new bridges, footpath diversions; new plantations created and old ones harvested; development of the South Tyne Trail and Cycle Path and new buildings such as The Sill have all made a difference. Advances in technology have also had an impact. This review resulted in the updated Haltwhistle Rings you can now down download from our site.
Although no longer available as leaflets (although there are rumours of sets available in Charity Shops and second hand bookshops!), the original Rings still appear in their initial format on the Haltwhistle Partnership website. (Link to external site)