Hareshaw Linn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), designated for its rare ferns and lichen. More than 300 different types of mosses, liverworts and lichen can be found. The ‘Linn’ is also home to red squirrel, great spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, badger and Daubenton's bat.
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 Northumberland National Park car park at Hareshaw Linn, in Bellingham. This area was once the site of an ironworks in the mid 1800’s. On your right is the stone terrace of ‘Foundry Farm’ that once housed the offices of the foundry managers. As you pass the farmhouse look opposite the sheds for the bubbling water of the ‘well’, a spring that appeared whilst people were drilling for coal. Following the footpath, you climb up mounds made from the spoil of 70 ovens that once supplied coke to the ironworks.
(1) Walk through the gate, you will see an old dam on your left. Continue along the path to an open area overlooking a small waterfall. The hummocky ground is the spoil from an old quarry, which produced stone used for building the miner’s houses.
(2) Climb up the steps. On your right is one of the blocked up mine entrances. Walkthrough the kissing gate and into the ‘Linn’ proper. This is an ancient woodland with oak, hazel, elm and ash.
(3) Carry on up the hill past a curved stone seat. Walk over the first bridge to ‘Cupid’s Bower’ seat overlooking the waterfall. Continue on over the second bridge, on the left are the entrances to two old mine shafts.
(4) Carry on over the third and fourth bridges, where you will see tall Douglas firs planted by the Victorians. Walk over the fifth and finally the sixth bridge. This is where the Victorians built a ‘bandstand’ for picnics, music and storytelling.
(5) Wander on to the waterfall, but take care. The depth and dampness give the feel of ancient rainforest - ideal conditions for the 300 species of mosses, liverworts and lichens.
Return the way you came. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Northumberland National Park car park
1 : mi 0.1 - alt. mi 0.1 - Gate
2 : mi 0.43 - alt. mi 0.43 - Steps
3 : mi 0.97 - alt. mi 0.97 - Curved stone seat
4 : mi 1.26 - alt. mi 1.26 - Douglas firs
5 : mi 1.44 - alt. mi 1.44 - Hareshaw Linn
D/A : mi 2.89 - alt. mi 2.89 - Northumberland National Park car park
Car Parking: Northumberland National Park car park at Hareshaw Linn, Bellingham
Nearest National Park Centre: The Coquetdale Centre, Rothbury
Terrain: A walk up a wooded valley on a good path, some inclines, may be muddy
Heading North on the A68 from Corbridge: Turn left off the A68 in the village of West Woodburn (signed Bellingham). *As you drive into Bellingham, the Northumberland National Park car park at Hareshaw Linn is on your right before you reach the main street.
Heading South on the A68 from Rochester: Turn right off the A68 in the village of West Woodburn (signed Bellingham).* Follow as above.
Heading North on the B6320 from Wark: Once in Bellingham, take the second right (signed West Woodburn). Northumberland National Park car park at Hareshaw Linn is on your leftover the small bridge.
T: 08706 082608
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Food, tourist information, shops and accommodation are all in Bellingham. From Easter to September the award winning Heritage Centre at the old Railway Station is open giving a fascinating look at the different ages of the North Tyne Valley’s history, from Reivers to Railways.
Points of Interest
Bellingham has its roots in the 12th Century when St Cuthbert’s Church was first consecrated. Its heyday was in the 19th Century when it was a centre for iron. Hareshaw Linn was the site of two blast furnaces established in 1833 by Messrs Bigge and Partners. At the peak of its operation, it also contained seventy coke ovens, twenty four large roasting kilns for calcining the iron ore, a range of coal stores, a blacksmiths shop, wagon shed, stables and stores. The ironworks was in continuous production until 1848. Ten years later the plant was auctioned and many of the buildings demolished. The dam that you pass on the walk supplied water to power the Hareshaw ironworks.
Nature recovers quickly - you would not believe that this wooded valley once raged with noise and smoke! Today Hareshaw Linn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), designated for its rare ferns and lichen. Over 300 different types of mosses, liverworts and lichen can be found. The ‘Linn’ is also home to red squirrel, great spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, badger and Daubenton's bat.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.