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 that takes you through a couple of fields beside the river. The river Allen is rocky and fast flowing here, a prime spot for birds like dipper and grey wagtail. On 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’ll start following the purple waymakers up to the Tarn. Keep on the path straight ahead, past the site of the wobbly bridge and up the steps till you meet the main path through Morralee Woods. This is a great habitat for woodland birds, like woodpeckers, nuthatches and treecreepers.

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Small cluster of fungi nestled in grass


Follow this path left before taking the next right and right again and that the fork keep right, following the purple waymakers pointing you up the hill, there are some steep sections here and the terrain varies so please take care.

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As you reach the top of the hill take the steps on the left and follow this path to Morralee Tarn. The tarn itself is an historic feature in the landscape, originally dug out as a boating lake by 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.

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Once you’re ready to make your way back, continue to walk with the tarn on your right then take the path heading left away from the end of the tarn which will take you on a loop until you reach the path you originally started on.


As you come down the little slope by the big fallen tree stump re-join the main path through Morralee Woods, turn right and follow the waymarkers to a gate out of the woods and into the field. Go straight towards the river and then retrace your steps back to 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

near Ridley Hall, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7BP
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