DATE                                 28.05.06

DISTANCE                       3 MILES

WEATHER                      BRIGHT AND SUNNY


To day we would be doing a small afternoon walk and once again I got it from the free online walking booklet that I had downloaded and to be honest I was looking forward to it, it was in an area that I never knew even existed yet alone had a 30 foot water fall so that was our destination for the afternoon and of course if all went well we would treat ourselves to tea / coffee and cake afterwards in one of the small tea shops at Bellingham.

The walk itself was a straight walk in see the waterfall and turn around and follow the path back about 3 miles in total & again and according to the booklet there was quite a lot of other stuff see so that was it gear was sorted and off we went, the walk itself starts at the free car park at Hareshaw Linn at Bellingham and some info I copied off the booklet about the walk and area:-

Start from Northumberland National Park car park at Hareshaw Linn, in Bellingham. This area was once the site of an iron works 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.

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.

Climb up the steps. On your right is one of the blocked up mine Entrances. Walk through the kissing gate and into the ‘Linn’ proper.

This is ancient woodland with oak, hazel, elm and ash. 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.

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.

Wander on to the waterfall, but take care. The depth and dampness give the feel of an ancient rainforest - ideal conditions for the 300 species of Mosses, liverworts and lichens.

Return the way you came.

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 iron Works were 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 iron Works.

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.

After all that there isn’t really much that I can add, we both enjoyed this walk, there is some fantastic scenery both natural and man made , Writing as an amputee I did find that there was a few tricky places along the path where the uneven surfaces made life “fun” for me for a bit by tricking my Arty foot thinking that it was flat and level when it wasn’t but nothing to get excited about , like wise I should think that it could get tricky in the winter months when the leaves have fallen off the trees and made the path somewhat slippery , any way we walked about 3 miles saw some stunning scenery all easy and relaxed , there are benches scattered along this route as well as a picnic area with tables so there is no need to rush along . It’s an area where I know that we will return and spend an hour or so walking along again and again you know one of those lazy Sunday afternoon stroll, as normal a few photos enjoy:

Taken at the car park looking at the Hareshaw Burn

Me after looking at one of the notice boards


What I believe was part of an old dam


With the golf course in the background


One of the many small waterfalls along this path


Me having a pose


My better half Yvonne (note the coat even though it was a lovley day)


Same place only no body’s in the way


A few more photos as we walk along, the trees and leaves obstruct the views in a lot of places but it’s still pretty stunning


Me having a break on one of the 6 bridges


A few more photos as we make our way along

Heading up some stone steps

Our first sighting of Hareshaw Linn

A few photos of the Linn


Me heading back up


Looking up


Heading to one of the bridges


Heading down some tricky stone steps

Refreshment stop at the picnic benches

Day after thoughts , none really this wasn’t meant to be a big difficult walk , I did experience a bit of difficulty in a few places along the path but nothing  to get excited about , no this was a nice easy chill out afternoon wander to see a lovley waterfall. Well worth a visit….. thank you .