The Wannie Railway Line  © National Trust/Paul Hewitt

The Wannie Railway Line

Veiw of Rothley Crags  © National Trust/Emily Johnson

Veiw of Rothley Crags

Rothbury Line  © National Trust/Emily Johnson

Rothbury Line

Lime Kilns © National Trust/Paul Hewitt

Lime Kilns

Route overview

This circular walk will take you onto both the Wannie and Rothbury railway lines. Trains once steamed along these two lines, carrying Wallington's stone, lime, coal and livestock as well as passengers. Sir Walter Trevelyan, owner of Wallington (1846-1879) was the driving force behind the building of the railway. He saw that new revenue would come to the estate by supplying the ever increasing demands of Tyneside; revenue that could be spent on his house and staff and on making improvements to the estate.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map of the Wannie Line Walk on the Wallington Estate
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: The car park behind the former National Trust Regional Office at Scot's Gap, 1 ½ miles due north and east of Wallington on the B6343.

  1. The walk begins at the back of the former National Trust Regional Offices. Walk along the path around the field and turn right down the steps onto the wannie line. Walk along the line until it splits, here you need to take the right hand fork onto the Rothbury line.

    Show/HideThe Railway Lines

    Two railways crossed the Wallington Estate. From Scotsgap Station one headed North towards Rothbury the other heading East to Reedsmouth. Both lines were rural in nature and services were sparse.Sir Walter Trevelyan, owner of Wallington (1846 - 1879) was the driving force behind the building of the railway. He saw that new revenue would come to the estate by supplying the ever increasing demands of Tyneside, revenue that could be spent on his house and staff and on making improvements to the estate.

    The Wannie Railway Line  © National Trust/Paul Hewitt
  2. Once on the Rothbury Line carry on walking passing over two bridges.

    Show/HideThe Rothbury Line

    The line between Scots Gap and Rothbury opened on Tuesday 1st November 1870. It took seven years to build the 13 mile line. Passenger traffic was never heavy with only three daily trains between Morpeth and Rothbury. Freight traffic was mainly agricultural with one daily freight working in each direction with additional traffic to collieries and quarries. The outbreak of WW2 brought a reduced service with only two trains per day. The passenger service was finally withdrawn from 15th September 1952.

    Veiw of Rothley Crags  © National Trust/Emily Johnson
  3. Once you reach the Delf Burn look out for a waymarker on your left which takes you down off the line and along the burn.

    Show/HideTrain crash

    In 1875, a tragic accident occurred at point 3 on the map. A train which included six passenger wagons and eight empty limestone trucks was derailed and crashed down the embankment. Four people were killed including the guard, and a mason from Shafto, one of a team which had just finished rebuilding Rothley Lake House. Several of his workmates were injured including three members of the Robinson family of Scots Gap, one of whom, Robert, was never able to work again.

    Rothbury Line  © National Trust/Emily Johnson
  4. Follow the path and way markers through the Delf Burn plantation. Exit the plantation on the west side through a gate into a field. Follow the field edge around to your right up the hill and through another gate. Cross over the next field with the fence line still on your right .

  5. Cross over the stile and enter the old quarry, you will see the old lime kilns on your left. Head out of the Quarry and through a gate on your right. Turn left once through the gate and make your way down the hill and cross over the road. Enter the field and and walk straight ahead with the fence on your right.

    Show/HideLime Kilns

    Beneath Wallington's estate are are strata of a high quality limestone which is ideal for burning into lime for use in farming and other industries. The quarry through which you can walk today, was the source of the estate's limestone. The miners and workmen lived in the cottages down the track at High Hartington. Some lime was probably exported on the railway. If the kiln's furnace was kept topped up with coal and limestone and the lime was drawn out when ready, the kiln could be kept going for a year, called 'burning' or 'draw sene' kilns.

    Lime Kilns © National Trust/Paul Hewitt
  6. Once the fence runs out carry on walking straight ahead following the line of trees. At the far end of the field turn left down the field edge until you reach the farm track. Turn right onto track and follow it across the stream and past the cottage.

  7. Directly after the cottage turn left off the track onto another field, cross over the bridge and look out for the stile at the top of the hill. Walk along the field edge and go over the ladder stile and small bridge.

  8. Continue along the field edges. Go through a kissing gate into a block of woodland and exit through another gate at the far side. You will see Chesters farm on your right. Carry on down another field crossing over the bridge in the bottom and through a kissing gate. Follow the field edge before entering another woodland block. Once through this block you can see the wannie line ahead. Cross the field and go over a bridge towards the kissing gate up onto the line.

  9. Once on the line turn left through the belt of trees. Continue to follow the railway line until you reach the road. Cross straight over the road and back up onto the line at the another side.

    Show/HideThe Wannie Line

    The Wannie Line runs East from Scots Gap to Reedsmouth. In 1859 the Wansbeck Railway obtained powers to build a line between Morpeth and Reedsmouth and the east section of this line between Morpeth and Scots Gap opened on 23rd July 1862. The western end of the Wansbeck Railway had opened between Scots Gap and Knowesgate on 7th July 1864, finally reaching Reedsmouth on 1st May 1865.

  10. Continue along the line, you will cross another road at Rugley Walls before descending back down onto the line.

  11. Keep following the wannie line, and you will end up back where the two railway lines join at Scots Gap.

End: The car park behind the former National Trust Regional Office at Scot's Gap, 1 ½ miles due north and east of Wallington on the B6343.

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Terrain:

    A circular route along the old railway lines and across fields. Uneven terrain in places can be muddy in the winter months.

  • How to get here:

    By car