Go up the driveway and pass the historic house and the water wheel of Black Rock Mill to cross the Bolton-Blackburn railway line at the turreted bridge. Continue along the stone track which forks right and goes through a kissing gate. Continue along the track for a short distance until you meet a waymarked footpath by a gate in the wall on your right.
Leave the farm track here by turning sharp left and following the distinct path uphill towards a wooded ridge.
A barn can be seen over to the right. Stiles lead through the woodland on the hill and the path continues uphill through rough pasture with a wall to your left. Cross a stile in the far wall corner and there are good views south to Bolton from here. Turn immediately right after the stile and follow the path uphill to the featureless moorland summit of Cheetham Close. There is a trig point here and the scattered stone remains of a prehistoric settlement.
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Continue straight ahead off the moor and drop down to the plateau by a solitary boundary post. Turn sharp right here and follow a faint track which soon bears diagonally left down the hillside to a stile in a wall corner by pylons.
Continue straight ahead from the pylons along a boggy path which soon skirts left between grassy hills to reach another stile. Cross this and follow the path downhill along the fence to cross another stile which brings you back to the farm track near to a road. Turn left and join the road. Turn right on the road and walk downhill for a very short distance before turning left along a footpath which crosses fields and the access road to Entwistle Reservoir.
The path leads to a car park. Drop down from here and join the embankment of the reservoir by the lower car park. Cross the embankment and at the far side leave the reservoir edge and continue straight ahead along the stone track past a camping barn. Cross the road bridge over the railway and after it swings right to give a panoramic view across the valley, leave it by turning left along the footpath which starts at a gate and drops downhill through a field and woodland to reach a footbridge at a junction of paths.
Cross the footbridge and another one to follow the shore path which skirts around the eastern side of Wayoh Reservoir. Continue along the shore path beyond a lane and follow it all the way to the dam. Do not cross the dam but continue straight ahead along a path which brings you out on the road alongside the Black Bull. Turn right along the road and drop downhill almost to the valley bottom until Birch Road is reached on the left hand side.
Turn left along Birch Road and follow it as it swings right across the river then turn sharp left along the cobbled road to cross the river again by a bridge that leads to new houses. On the far side of the bridge turn sharp right and join a riverside path around the edge of the new houses. The path now leads past cottages and continues along a pretty wooded stretch of Bradshaw Brook back to the access bridge at the inlet to Jumbles. Thack Moor, a narrow grassy fell, carries the association in its name with heather turves once used for roofing thatch.
We continue our journey to meet the coach and finish in the delightful village of Newbiggin with its many traditional houses. Coach leaves for Hartside at am. Leader: Catriona Mulligan and Geoff Chrisp two groups leaving 30 minutes apart. For some reason, very few people walk the paths in this delightful farming area, and so an air of mystery and isolation is evoked. Previous festival walks in this area have been well received, perhaps for this reason. We start in the hamlet of West Hall and head south east and uphill over pasture land, towards Allensteads. At Kingbridge we see the salmon ladder.
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Although not obvious now, the Romans were here and our route twice crosses one of their roads. Spadeadam features on the walk — the house, and not the RAF station. The final section is on tracks, and a very quiet road back to West Hall.
We are north of the Wall with him again, but walking to a new site, rich in evidence of ancient peoples. The route is north from Sewingshields Farm and crosses rough moorland, hence the grading. Our return is on much the same route, but there will be more to hear about this area as we walk. Meet: Sewingshields Farm by kind permission of the farmer a small donation towards parking will be collected at am. We then cross the river to return via woodland and fields towards the Old School House before descending to the banks of the South Tyne and on towards Williamston.
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Here we cross the river again and head towards Slaggyford, returning over the hill to our original starting point. The walk begins in the village, taking a steady descent across farmland to the Dipton Burn. One short, but fairly steep ascent, takes us into Dipton Woods. Then we follow forest tracks through the woods, past cleared plantations with open views to the north and back to fields and lanes for the return to Slaley and the usual wonderful W.
It has been a few years since we visited this scenic, but lesser known part of the North Pennines, during the Festival. Changing direction, we skirt Whitfield Lough to walk along Millstone Band with extensive views across the Pennine hills. From here we follow a recommended route down to Mount Pleasant and return to Coanwood.
This walk gives us the chance to see, at close quarters, the River Rede, one of the largest tributaries of the North Tyne. It is an area we have seldom visited in past festivals, and we will see evidence of the reiving, farming and industrial heritage.
We continue across farmland towards Redesmouth , crossing the river at the Redesbridge Plantation. We turn back along the south side of the Rede, follow a disused railway line for some of the way, and pass the sites of disused quarries, an aqueduct and a Roman Fort. The Festival Singing Walks are always very popular. This time we have a new singing leader, Ian Brown.
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Ian is a local musician, very well known on the local folk circuit, both as a solo performer, master of ceremonies at concerts and as an enthusiastic teacher of the ukulele! It will be good to return to this pretty route, last used for this walk a few years ago. There will be several stops along the way to learn songs.
Back in Haltwhistle, we have a full tea in Holy Cross Church.
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The acoustics in the church are excellent and we will sing all the songs we have learned. It is sometimes necessary to make changes to routes due to local conditions nearer to the festival. 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. From the village, we climb up on to the fell top, among traces of the old mines and lime kilns that operated in this area, to reach the view point of Cardunneth Pike, looking down on the Solway in the distance.
Our path descends, passing Castle Carrock on our left, to cross the river Gelt, a Celtic word for magic. We begin a steady ascent of a long incline with industrial origins and with fine views up the valley, to the Kings Forest of Geltsdale below Tarnmonath Fell.
The path eventually leads down to the scenic RSPB reserve near Tindale Tarn, attracting a rich variety of breeding birds in Spring including waders and black grouse, which is our finishing point for the day, and where we meet the coach to take us back to Haltwhistle. Coach leaves for Newbiggin at am. Walk 22 a The Lands North of Brocolitia. This is an extra walk because of the heavy demand for places over this weekend. We turn north and follow a track towards Stell Green, where a few ewes may be giving birth. Lambing will be largely complete, so we expect to see lot of lambs as we cross the farmland.
The route loops around via Goatstones Farm and returns to Brocolitia. Meet: Brocolitia car park, GR at am Car parking fee applies.
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This is a relatively gentle walk involving only one short ascent. We follow the South Tyne westwards through North Woods and on to the eccentric Featherstone Bridge, turning uphill to join the line of the disused South Tyne railway which provided a safe overnight location for the royal train during a visit to Tyneside in World War Two. Diverting briefly from the trail to reach Throstle Hall, a grand name for a small farm , we re-join the route and cross the river via the impressive Alston Arches back to Haltwhistle.