Walking

Walking trail

Featherstone Castle and Lambley Viaduct walk

Walking trail

This route is a beautiful circular walk that follows public footpaths and bridleways across fields and meadows beside the River South Tyne to join the South Tyne Trail.

The walk is rich in history taking in a 14th-century castle, a prisoner of war camp and an elegant 19th-century viaduct that used to carry the Alston to Haltwhistle railway line.

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Map

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Start:

Wooden fingerpost marked Diamond Oak, grid ref: NY673613

1

Wp 1 – Start. Distance to Wp 2 – 0.3mile (400m). At the fingerpost marked Diamond Oak go left through the wooden foot path (f/p) gate, on to the bridle path or track keeping the castle on the left and river to the right, until the entrance to the Second World War prisoner of war camp is reached (Wp 2) approx. 500yd (450m) from the start. Enjoy the view of one of Northumberland’s most beautiful castles and above the weir look for trout and salmon jumping. Note: The castle is not open to the public. Featherstone Castle - 200yd (180m) from the start is a Grade 1 listed building and was the ancestral home of the Featherstonehaugh family who were believed to have lived there for twelve generations since the Norman conquest. The castle comprises a Jacobean manor and peel tower. The peel tower was built around 1330 and was used to protect the family and their farm stock from raiding Scottish Border Reivers during the 14th to early-17th century. The castle is said to be haunted by a 17th-century wedding party: the Lord forced his daughter into an unwanted marriage, but the wedding party was killed by the daughter’s lover when they were out hunting as part of the wedding celebrations. The party is said to haunt the castle on the anniversary of the wedding.

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2

Wp 2 - Entrance to Camp. Distance to Wp 3 – 0.5mile (700m). Pass through the camp entrance and follow the camp road for ½ mile (800m) with the camp on the left, until it ends at a sharp left corner where a track commences. (Wp3) Look at the camp layout with its Nissen hut bases and guard house (sharp left corner) close to the camp road. Buzzards can often be seen soaring on the thermals above the woods to the left and Dippers, Wagtails and Kingfishers near the river.

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3

Wp 3 - Track from camp road. Distance to Wp 4 – 1 mile (800m). Leaving the camp road continue along a gravel track beside the eroded banks of the river for 200yd (180m) where the track bears slightly left away from the river, towards the road bridge crossing the River South Tyne. Head towards the bridge through a metal farm gate to the metal f/p gate on the left of the bridge where the track meets Coanwood to Lambley road. Cross the road going right to a fingerpost marked P/F Coanwood 3/4m adjacent to the bridge, bear left going through the metal f/p gate and following the track down to the meadow beside the river. At this point the path becomes indistinct on the ground, so follow the river bank for 500yd (450m) heading for a wooden electric cable pole on the edge of the river where just beyond you reach a ditch. Slightly to the left across the meadow, away from the river, there is a dwelling on the edge of the wood. Head for the dwelling on a lightly defined path passing over another ditch and under electric cables, to where the path meets a gravel track to the dwelling. Pass the dwelling keeping it to your right and cross a small stream (Wp 4).

4

Wp 4 - Stream crossing. Distance to Wp 5 – ½ mile (800m). Cross the stream bearing right across a meadow towards the river, aiming for a waymarker post 220yd (200m) away. Follow the waymarker arrow going left along and down the river terrace towards a metal gate and stile marked public footpath on the edge of the wood. From the stile follow the footpath beside the river to a footbridge crossing the river. Cross the bridge turn left and follow the footpath (note there is some river erosion of the footpath that needs a little care at this point) and take the steps to the top of the Lambley Viaduct (Wp 5).

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5

Wp 5 - Lambley Viaduct. Distance to Wp 6 – 2.3 miles (3.7km). From Lambley Viaduct turn left across the River South Tyne and follow the track of the disused Haltwhistle to Alston Railway line to Park Village 2.3 miles (3.7km) away. The track is part of the South Tyne Trail and forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 68 so look out for cyclists. Pass the ghostly remains of Coanwood and Featherstone Stations and cross the Coanwood to Lambley road between the two stations. On reaching Featherstone station refreshment may be had at the Wallace Arms pub 150yd (140m) up the road to the right. From Featherstone station it is another 1200yd (1.1km) to Park Village where the trail passes under a sandstone road bridge and 50yd (45m) beyond it crosses the Haltwhistle to Lambley road, marked either side with signs for the National Cycle Network 68 (Wp 6).

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6

Wp 6 - Sign for National Cycle Network 68. Distance to Wp 7 – 0.4mile (600m). On reaching the Haltwhistle to Coanwood road from the South Tyne Trail turn right and walk up the road 120yd (110m) and just beyond the road junction into the village, visit the National Trust Bellister Estate Orchard on your right. On leaving the orchard turn left, after 20yd (18m) left again and walk through Park Village until reaching the junction of the road bypassing the village. Turn left and walk to a fingerpost beside the road on the left 150yd (140m) away (Wp 7).

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7

Wp 7 - Fingerpost marked ‘Public Footpath Burn foot ¼ m’. Distance to Wp 8 – ¼ mile (400m). At the fingerpost go left towards Burn Foot taking the steps down into the wooded ravine, crossing the stream by the footbridge. Pass over the stile and go in the direction of the waymarker, following a footpath beside the fence enclosing the wood on the left. Leave the fence where it corners left and bear slightly right down the hill towards a footpath gate next to the road bridge. Pass through the gate turning left onto the road bridge over Park Burn river (Wp 8).

8

Wp 8 - Road bridge over Park Burn. Distance to finish/start – 1 mile (1.6km). From the Park Burn road bridge pass Park Burnfoot Farm on the right and follow the road back to the start near Featherstone Castle keeping the River South Tyne on the right.

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End:

Wooden fingerpost marked Diamond Oak, grid ref: NY673613

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Featherstone Castle and Lambley Viaduct walk

Terrain

The walk is on public footpaths and bridleways that cross fields beside the River South Tyne. There is a sharp ascent up steps to the top of Lambley Viaduct to join the South Tyne Trail followed by a level walk to Park Village. There are approximately 1.5 miles of walking on minor roads.

Featherstone Castle and Lambley Viaduct walk

Contact us

Featherstone Castle and Lambley Viaduct walk

How to get here

Address
Haltwhistle, Northumberland, NE49 0JG
By train

Haltwhistle has the nearest rail station. For timetable information call Traveline on 0871 200 2233 Traveline

By road

From Newcastle: take the A69 towards Carlisle, 1 mile (1.6km) beyond the Haltwhistle turn off, turn left at the junction signed Alston (A689), Halton Lea Gate, Coanwood. After 1 mile (1.6km) turn right at the first junction signed Kellah and follow the road for 1.5 miles (2.4km) until reaching Featherstone Castle.

From Carlisle: take the A69 towards Newcastle and ¼ mile (400m) past the Haltwhistle turn off, turn right at the junction signed Alston (A689), Halton Lea Gate, Coanwood and follow the above directions.

By bus

Haltwhistle has the nearest bus stop. For timetable information call Traveline on 0871 200 2233 Traveline

Featherstone Castle and Lambley Viaduct walk

Facilities and access

  • Car parking on the side of the road
  • No public toilets
  • Pubs - Wallace Arms