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Summer at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Northumberland
Woodland at Allen Banks | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
North East

Allen Banks Morralee Tarn walk

Explore Morralee Woods on the east side of the River Allen and make your way up to Morralee Tarn through part of the largest area of ancient semi natural woodland in Northumberland. Morralee Tarn is the original Victorian boating lake inspired by Susan Davidson.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Allen Banks car park, grid ref: NY798639

Step 1

Start point: 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.

Step 2

As you leave the bridge, take a tight left and go through the gate, merging onto a footpath that takes you under the bridge and through a field beside the river. The river Allen is rocky and fast-flowing here, a prime spot for birds like dipper and grey wagtail. Follow the path through the first field when entering the second field take a left after the gate and stile and head up the field edge to the gate at the entrance to the woodland.

Red squirrel sitting on a tree branch on Brownsea Island, Dorset
Look out for red squirrels in the trees | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Step 3

Follow the waymarked path about 300 meters and take a sharp left. Keep following the purple waymarkers and continue up the hill for about 250 meters, passing the historic steps and the site of the old summerhouse. The path bends through the trees to the left, and take another left onto the last, and smallest uphill stretch.

Step 4

As you reach the top of the hill you can get views across to Ridley Hall. Descend about 100 meters down the track and you have reached the tarn. A 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.

Step 5

Once you’re ready to leave; to make your way back continue to walk with the tarn on your right go down the hill, passing the charcoal burner and take another left just in front of the kissing gate. Follow this track descending across the hillside for 500 meters and you will re-join your original route.

Step 6

From here you can retrace your steps down the path, and back towards the car park. Just keep following the waymarkers.

Fungi growing on the woodland floor next to a fallen tree trunk
Look out for fungi, which can often be found on fallen tree trunks | © National Trust Images/David Goacher

End point

Allen Banks car park, grid ref: NY798639.

Trail map

A map showing the route of the Allen Banks Morralee Tarn Walk
Allen Banks Morralee Tarn Walk Map | © Allen Banks

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

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