This Bardon Mill to Haydon Bridge Walk is a 7 mile (one-way) section of the Daft As A Brush trail.
This scenic and enjoyable hike ended up being longer than planned because I failed to check Daft As A Brush’s website before starting out for updates on route amendments. Had I done so, I would have found out that the ‘wobbly’ suspension footbridge across the River Allen was washed away some time ago. This would have saved me some shoe-leather but the unintended diversion gave me the chance to see more of the ancient forest at Allen Banks.
Bardon Mill railway station.
Haydon Bridge railway station. I parked my car at Haydon Bridge, caught the train to Bardon Mill and walked back.
From Bardon Mill station you take a metal footbridge across the Tyne.
The route passes through the quaint village of Beltingham. A corner of the graveyard at the village church, St. Cuthbert’s, is reserved for members of the distinguished and colourful Bowes-Lyon family including Francis Bowes Lyon, uncle of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
The Queen Mother planted this tree in the churchyard in 1989.
The trail continues by turning left here at the Victorian letter box.
Looks like somebody took a pot shot at this road sign near Ridley Hall.
The best part of the walk is through the heavily wooded Allen Banks and Staward Gorge valley. The Allen is a tributary of the River South Tyne.
I crossed the River Allen at Plankey Mill where lead smelting mill ruins can be found.
From here a footpath across fields and a quiet country road eventually bring you to a point above Haydon Bridge near Langley Castle.
On the edge of Haydon Bridge you pass East Land Ends farm where local artist John Martin was born in 1789.
John Martin Heritage Trail