Free parking by war memorial in Wylam village.
8 miles west of Newcastle, 1½ miles south of A69
Parking: in village, ½ mile, pay and display (not National Trust)
access through country park
Wylam ½ mile
Newcastle to Ovington, alight Wylam
NCN72 (level riverside ride)
Situated on the banks of the Tyne, discover the humble birthplace of great railway pioneer, George Stephenson.
Wander or cycle along one of Tyneside's first wagonways which passes directly outside George Stephenson's birthplace. Now part of the Hadrian's Wall National Trail, the wagonway linked Wylam colliery with the coal staithes (landing stages for unloading wagons) downstream.
The cottage was once on the edge of industrial Tyneside but it's now an oasis surrounded by meadows, chalk grassland, woodland and riverside. Stroll down to a quiet stretch of the River Tyne, or head to the bustling Tyne Riverside Park, just a short walk away.
Discover the humble miner’s cottage where pioneering railway engineer Stephenson was born, then explore the surrounding woodland and meadows.
Sitting beside Wylam's historic Waggonway, on the idyllic banks of the Tyne, you'll discover the humble birthplace of great railway pioneer, George Stephenson.
It's astonishing to think that this stone cottage was where a young George and his entire family lived, in just one room. At the time of George’s birth in 1781, the house - known as High Street House - was divided into tenements for four families. Outside, ran the wooden waggonway along which horses pulled 'chaldrons' containing coal from Wylam Colliery to the Tyne quayside.
George worked with his father at the colliery moving coal and driving the gin horses. Showing promise and ambition, George soon gained the post of engineman at a pit down the Tyne near Newburn. A great career had begun. The Liverpool to Manchester Railway opened on 15th September 1830. And just the day before, Stephenson’s 'Rocket' won the competition for the engine to pull the waggons to Rainhill (Manchester); the others did not finish the course.
Visitors can walk or cycle along the Wylam Waggonway, which runs past the Birthplace, and follow the course of the River Tyne, spotting a variety of wildlife along the way.