abbey walks

Stage 8 - Hexham Abbey to Bellingham



  30.8 km / 19.1 miles

Explorer maps

  Hadrian’s Wall OL43



8.5 - 9 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

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Total descent  


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  This is a strenuous walk but there is an option to take a break at Newbrough. From there the route crosses the various moors heading North and the going can be very wet and boggy. There are no options for refreshments en-route after Newbrough so ensure you have suitable supplies and can navigate across the moors using poorly marked paths.



Walk Description :


1 - From Hexham Abbey turn left along Market Place, which becomes Giles Gate, to the road. Cross over bearing slightly right and ahead on Burn Lane, direction Hexham Business Park. At the end of the road bear naturally left and follow Cycle route 72. Cross over the railway line and under the main road to arrive at a T-junction.


2 - Turn right across the river and keep left at The Boatgarden Inn. After passing the paper mill and before the railway line turn left to walk along the river to Newborough. At the time of writing this the footpath was closed so use the road in that case.


3 - Pass through Newbrough and before crossing the stream turn right, signed T rd (No through road). Continue ahead to cross over the moor. The footpath is not very clear but head towards a group of trees in the far distance ahead. Pass through the gate at the end and continue ahead to reach the Military road.


4 - Turn left and after passing the carpark, turn right, signed Restricted Byway. This is another boggy and wet section. Continue ahead to reach a farm on the left. Then continue ahead and where the track bears left keep ahead down to the stream, crossing over it using the bridge.


5 - After crossing over bear slightly right to mound that used to be a stone wall. Bear left and follow that uphill to reach a road. Turn left and then right on the small and narrow road. Ignore the footpath left but take the next left signed - Byway.


6 - Take the next right signed, Public Byway, crossing over Warks Burn. Continue ahead and just before Ash Farm turn right and then left, signed Pennine Way (White Acorn symbol). Cross over the road and continue ahead on the Pennine Way, with a wall on the left and then a fence boundary. Cross the stile and then continue ahead crossing the field diagonally to reach a house. Turn right through the gate and around the property to the tarmac lane, turn right.


7 - Continue with a stone wall on the right to a T-junction. Turn left to the next T-junction and continue ahead across the road, direction Pennine Way with the field boundary on the right. At the bottom of the hill, bear left to cross Houxty Burn. After crossing keep left to reach the tarmac farm lane and turn right to pass Shitlington Hall Farm.


8 - After passing it bear left through the metal gate and then right through another one. Continue  ahead with a field boundary on the right, up and over Shitlington Crags and then half up the field bear right to pass the mast on the left to reach a track.


9 - Turn right, through the gate and half way into the field, where it bears left, turn left (signed Pennine Way). The track is faint through two fields to reach a tarmac lane. Continue ahead and then left again following the Pennine Way path to the B6320 road.


10 - Turn left and after crossing the North Tyne River turn right down the steps to the river bank, keep left to pass a metal building on the right and then keep left again to pass the old well and up the hill. At the top turn left past the church on the left and then right to the main square and the end of the stage.



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Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.