Leisurely walk along quiet valley roads, suitable for less abled users/pushchairs, from Ingram along the River Breamish and past Reaveley Farm.
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) From the visitor centre, take the Woodland Walk through the trees to the wicket gate at Ingram Bridge Car Park. Once through the gate turn right, crossing over the bridge. Continue down the valley road for approx 1 mile.
The tree at the entrance to the Woodland Walk is a Walnut Tree, its leaves when crushed smell of eucalyptus. Many of the bird boxes throughout the woodland have metal plates fitted to prevent woodpeckers enlarging the holes to steal the chicks. The yellow flowering bush is called gorse, it flowers all year round and in full bloom smells of coconut - “when gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of season”.
(1) Cross the bridge, at the road junction turn left, following the sign to Reaveley.
(2) Follow the tarmac road as it bears left, and continue on passing Reaveley Cottage on the right. Carry on along this road, passing Reaveley Farm.
The mature trees along the roadside are predominantly ash. They naturally lose limbs leading to large holes in the trunk which provide ideal nesting sites for numerous birds, for example, Barn Owls and Jackdaws.
(3) Immediately beyond the farm buildings, turn left at the road junction, heading back towards the River Breamish.
This area is ideal for barn owls, the open ground is rich in voles and mice which forms the majority of their diet, therefore don’t just dismiss a white bird as a gull as barn owls have been seen hunting during the day.
(4) Turn right at the junction & re-trace your steps back to the visitor centre (D/A).
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 404ft - Visitor centre
1 : mi 1.18 - alt. 348ft - Bridge
2 : mi 1.65 - alt. 371ft - Tarmac road bearing left
3 : mi 2.09 - alt. 410ft - Reaveley Farm
4 : mi 2.37 - alt. 390ft - Junction
D/A : mi 2.74 - alt. 404ft - Visitor centre
Getting there : The walk start point is 5km/3miles west of the A697 Powburn to Wooler road. Leave the A697 at the junction signed Ingram, 1 mile/1.6km north of Powburn. Follow the valley road for 3 miles, on crossing the River Breamish park in the Ingram Bridge Car Park immediately on the left. To reach the National Park Visitor Centre follow the signed Woodland Walk through the wicket gate.
Start at O.S Grid Reference: NU 019 163 Ingram National Park Visitor Centre
Car Parking: Ingram Bridge Car Park OS Grid Ref NU 017 163
Toilets: Ingram National Park Visitor Centre
Nearest National Park Centre: Ingram
Terrain: Smooth aggregate footpath and tarmac roads
During the season the visitor centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm and our information centre staff would welcome any comments on your experience today.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Points of Interest
Heddon Hill – The parallel lines of earthworks running across the face of the hill are thought to be cultivation terraces dating back to Anglian times before the Norman Conquest. Faced with a shortage of well drained flat land, people went to considerable effort digging into the hillside to create level areas on which to grow crops of barley and oats.
Roadside hedges, made up from thorny’ species such as hawthorn, blackthorn and dog rose, are a valuable habitat for small birds and animals. They provide food, shelter and for many species somewhere to nest.
You are likely to see a variety of wildlife on this walk. Birdlife includes buzzard, kestrel and heron and during the summer months curlew and oyster catchers. Red kites have recently returned to the area too. Red squirrels can be seen scurrying around the trees at the visitor centre. The River Breamish also provides a home to dippers, grey wagtails and otters.
Take an invigorating walk to Cochrane Pike to see some spectacular views. This walk takes you through moorland sheep country surrounded by the sounds of the curlew, oyster catcher, skylark and meadow pipit. You may see buzzard or kestrel, or the recently-arrived red kite in the skies, and the heron in the river valley.
Escape the hordes and enjoy some archaeological delights
Take time out to see Linhope Spout, a 60 foot (18m) chute of water, which lands in a plunge pool 6ft (2m) wide and 16ft (5m) deep.
The Shepherds Cairn is a memorial to two shepherds who lost their lives in the winter of 1962. They were found just half a mile from their remote home at Ewartly Shank. Because of this event the National Park Voluntary Rangers set up the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team - a volunteer organisation that turns out in all weather to help save lives.
A lovely family walk following the Harthope Burn before a moderate climb opens up the area, offering spectacular views to the top of the valley and the Cheviot Hills, as well as to the coast. The Harthope Valley is the starting point for many inspiring walks up onto the Cheviot Hills.
An easy circular walk from Alwinton; taking in the ruins of the castle at Harbottle and then up to the Drake Stone in the Harbottle Hills. Descend to Harbottle Lake and return via the forest path. Great views on a clear day.
The hills in the southern part of the Northumberland National Park offer some fine walking. This route starts from the small village of Alwinton and follows paths, tracks and quiet country lanes for the most part. However some sections are pathless and a good sense of direction is necessary. The walk is best avoided if low cloud is covering the hills. Also do be prepared for some boggy areas especially after rain.
Alwinton and the River Alwin route is a favourite route with walkers, starting in Alwinton, that used to be one of many trackways in the border hills frequented in times past by cattle drovers, shepherds, pedlars and whiskey smugglers.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.