Walking trail

Allen Banks Morralee Tarn walk

Walking trail

Since reopening after the storm damage, this walk allows access into the woodlands to go on an exploration to Morralee Tarn.

A great walk for spotting wildlife all year round

It's the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland and has been here since at least medieval times. This long history has helped make it a fantastic home for flora, fauna and fungi.

A path through the woodland



Allen Banks car park, grid ref: NY798639


Starting at the car park, exit the main gate (where you came in) and take a right following the road over the bridge.

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As you leave the bridge, take a tight left and go through the gate, merging onto a footpath which takes you through a large field beside the river. The river Allen is rocky and fast flowing here, a prime spot for birds like dipper and grey wagtail. Please keep dogs on leads as livestock may be in the field. Upon heading into the woodland, there’s always the chance of spotting a Red Squirrel running around above your head.

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A red squirrel in the trees at Allen Banks


Venture into the woods where you're surrounded by towering Oak and Beech trees. This is also a great habitat for woodland birds, some like the wood warbler or pied flycatcher are just summer visitors but there is the chance of seeing woodpeckers, nuthatches and tree creepers all year round.

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Small cluster of fungi nestled in grass


Follow the temporary signs for Morralee Tarn and make your way through the woodland, past the "resting spot", up to the right and around the corner. There are some steep sections here and the terrain varies so please take care.

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Reach the Tarn. The Tarn itself is another of these historical features in the landscape, originally dug out as a boating lake for the Victorians, it is now a real oasis and a great place to spot some wildlife. With superb views of the Tyne Valley and Hadrian’s Wall in the distance, a walk to Morralee Tarn is always different.

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Once you're ready to make your way back, you can either continue on the path heading out of the tarn which will take you on a small loop until you reach the area you originally split off from or head back the way you came.


Eventually you'll reach the farmer's fields, where you can walk along the river, back over the bridge and take a left into the car park.


Allen Banks car park, grid ref: NY798639

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Allen Banks Morralee Tarn walk


Circular walk along natural and surfaced footpaths. Relatively flat, with some short, sharp climbs.

Allen Banks Morralee Tarn walk

Contact us

Allen Banks Morralee Tarn walk

How to get here

Allen Banks, Northumberland, NE47
By train

Bardon Mill, 1.5 mile (2.4km).

By road

South of the River Tyne, 5 miles (8km) east of Haltwhistle and 3 miles (4.8km) west of Haydon Bridge, signposted off A69.

By foot

Footpaths to the estate from all directions, including Haydon Bridge.

By bus

Carlisle to Newcastleservice stops ½ mile (0.8km) away.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Route 72.

Allen Banks Morralee Tarn walk

Facilities and access

  • Car park
  • Toilets and baby-changing facilities
  • Picnic area
  • Free map, guide and other information