Hareshaw Linn, Bellingham, Northumberland National Park.
3.0 miles / 5.0 kilometers
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Map: OS Explorer 42 - Kielder Water & Forest
This short easy going 3 mile romantic and magical walk through ancient woodland, set within a gorge is a great family walk. The walk starts from the Northumberland National Park located to the north north east of the market village of Bellingham on the bank of the River Tyne. The small car park is free with a limited number of parking spaces. There are alternative parking options in Bellingham village.
Though the main path has been developed and managed with a stone laid and rocky pathway, the walk can be a little muddy in places, particularly during the wetter months or after rainfall. Please KEEP to the designated pathway, this is to both ensure your safety and protect the sensitive environment and eco system.
The ancient woodland is quite dense, maintaining a dampness even during the hottest of summers and comprises of Oak, Hazel, Elm and Ash trees. The woodland is home to the red squirrel, the great spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, the badger and daubenton's bat. The site is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest, so designated for its rare ferns, mosses, liverwarts, lichens, fungi and algae - So be careful where you tread!
During the 19th century it was the site of two blast furnaces for calcining the mined iron ore. The route climbs over the mounds made up of the spoil deposits from the quarrying of the iron ore, but these ascents have been managed and are very gentle. Though the walk is only a short 3 miles, it is worth taking it slow to appreciate the nature that is on offer. There are a number of idyllic spots for a picnic, passing a couple of small waterfalls along the way.
The trail concludes at the impressive Hareshaw Linn, a 30ft waterfall which cascades down through a rock formation into a pool. The Linn can be a little congested at times as this is a very popular walk by visitors to the area. The return is a retracing of the path back through the woodland to the car park and start point.