A nice family walk following the Elsdon Burn, before heading over Gallow Hill. Take time to enjoy the views over Elsdon – the historic capital of Redesdale. Enjoy a cuppa or a pint after building up a thirst from seeing the sights of this pretty little place.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start from the car park in Elsdon. Cross the bridge back into the village and turn left, following the road to Newcastle and Morpeth around the village green.
(1) Just outside the village take the right hand fork (signed Newcastle) over the bridge with metal railings. Cross the small stile on your right. Head straight across the field, cross the small footbridge and follow the line of the wall/fence up the hill (keeping the fence on your right). At the corner of the field go through the gate on your right and follow the grass track to the line of trees ahead of you. Follow the footpath along the original cart track to Haining.
(2) Pass in front of the house, now derelict, go through an old gateway and follow the wall on your left as it turns the corner. Now head for the dense block of conifers on the skyline in front of you. At the conifers, the footpath then follows the fence line on your left to a gate onto the road.
(3) Go through the gate on the other side of the road. Castle Hill lies on your right, keeping the wall on your left walk over Gallow Hill, stopping to admire the view at the highest point. Continue to follow the wall to the gate in the corner of the field. Go through the gate and keeping the wall now on your right, head for Hillhead Cottage. Go through a small wooden gate and follow the line of the old wall on the ground almost up to the house.
(4) At the corner of the house turn left and walk to a stile in the fence. Cross the stile and walk downhill to the barn ahead of you. At the tarmac farm track turn right and then left over the ladder stile after the barn. Go straight down the field and through the gate at the bottom.
(5) Follow the road back to the village. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 554ft - Car park
1 : mi 0.33 - alt. 528ft - Right hand fork
2 : mi 1.12 - alt. 541ft - Haining
3 : mi 1.61 - alt. 722ft - Gate
4 : mi 2.41 - alt. 797ft - House
5 : mi 3.05 - alt. 528ft - Road
D/A : mi 3.47 - alt. 554ft - Car park
Terrain: Road, footpaths and farm tracks, some inclines, may be muddy
Car Parking: In Elsdon, near the village green
Nearest National Park Centre: The Coquetdale Centre, Rothbury
Heading South on the A68 from Carter Bar: Turn left onto theA696 (signed Newcastle), just past Otterburn turn left on to the B6341 to Elsdon. The village car park is through the village on the right
Heading North on the A696 from Belsay: Turn left on to the B6341 (signed Elsdon). The village car park is through the village on the right.
From Rothbury on the B6341: Follow the B6341 to Elsdon, the car park is on the left as you come into the village.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Food and accommodation are available in Elsdon.
The Bird in Bush Inn serves a range of ales and good food, especially Sunday lunches.
In the old schoolhouse dating from the 1700s, the Impromptu Tea Room welcomes walkers and cyclists and caters for vegetarians.
Points of Interest
Elsdon is the historic capital of Redesdale and was once a very important settlement. From the car park, look out for the old Mill House by the burn on the Rothbury road. Behind you are the Mote hills earthworks – relics of a Norman Motte and Bailey and site of an old Anglian Moot. Across the road is a Northumbrian Pele tower from the time of the Reivers, although a tower is recorded on this site as early as 1415.
The church dates back to the 12th Century and its churchyard contains several interesting gravestones, some listed. It is reputed to hold the dead from the Battle of Otterburn (1388).
Crown Farm used to be an inn as was Bacchus House with its statue of the god on his wine barrel above the front door. Over the bridge, Raylee's Farm was once also an inn! Across the green is the surviving inn, the Bird in Bush.
The trees in the village green mark the old cockpit, and a bear baiting site is marked by a stone near the bus stop. The 18th century circular Pinfold is the old pound, where stray animals were kept until owners could pay for their return. Pinfold Cottage used to be a smithy and the Old Smithy itself is on the other side of the green.
You can see several ruins as you climb the hill, remnants of the previous habitation. Look out for curlews, little owls and buzzards, and brown hares streaking through the fields.
Looking back towards The Haining you can see the cottage, Elsdongate, that was the toll house on the road from Otterburn. The Elsdon coal mine was on this road in former times.
Global average : 3.83/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 3.5/5
Routemap quality : 3.5/5
Walk interest : 4.5/5
Global average : 4.33 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good
I think this walk was posted originally in 2019 and has changed quite a bit since then..The "derelict" house of Haining is restored and the current owners request you keep strictly to the footpaths. The stile into the Haining land has gone and you need to use the field gate. There are new stone walls round the Haining and you are advised to go along the gravelled track in front of the house to a gap in the wall on your left, where you turn to enter the planted woodland. This leads you via a muddy footpath to a stile over the boundary fence at the top. You do not walk near the conifers at this stage. Climb over before turning left on the Border County Ride bridle path before following the original route.
Once you get near Hillhead Cottage, the footpath is clearly diverted clockwise round the property and you pick it up directly below the cottage. Continue straight down the hill, passing the cottage below (Starmires) on its left and over a stile (or through the gate) to the road. There is a ditch here which is covered when grass is long and you might fall into it!.
Global average : 3.33 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Average
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good
Lovely short walk, only challenging part was a bit of a hill and some over friendly sheep! The directions were OK, but I suspect the farmer has made a few alterations to the location of stiles , but we managed OK. Just a note if you are taking a medium/large dog, none of the stiles have run holes, so you will need to be prepared to lift your animal over the stiles.The tea shop in Elsdon was delightful, owners were very friendly, and it is located in a lovely sunny spot overlooking the village green. Home made scones are recommended, and they do cater for vegetarians.
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