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|Elsdon Valley Trail|
|Author: Claire, Published: 15 Jun 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 3 mile circular walk from the pretty village of Elsdon in Northumberland. Elsdon is the most complete example of a medieval settlement within the Northumberland National Park and you will have chance to see the remains of a motte and bailey castle, a medieval peel tower, an old pinfold and the beautiful old church. The walking route performs a simple loop across the surrounding open hills and moorland with stunning views throughout. |
The walk follows a tarmac farm access lane for the first mile and then crosses the open moors and fields for the return leg. The fields can get a little boggy in part after wet weather and in winter and the hay fields can be quite long so good boots are a must. There are several steady climbs and descents throughout. For almost the entire route you will be sharing the moorland with sheep and cattle so take care with dogs. You will need to negotiate a number of gates, footbridges, steps and five stiles. Two of the stiles are ladder stiles over stone walls (although the adjacent gates for these may well be open) and the other three are step stiles over wire fencing (these have no gaps underneath so dogs may need a lift over). Approximate time 1.5 hours.
Elsdon is located on the B6341, about 10 miles south west of Rothbury. The walk starts and finishes in the small lay-by parking area, just off the B6341 at the northern end of the village. From the B6341 take the small turning signed to Hudspeth, Landshot and Eastnook and you will see the small lay-by immediately on the right (alongside an information board and picnic bench). Approximate post code NE19 1AB.
|Start to North Landshott Farm|
Start point: 55.234 lat, -2.1001 long
From the parking lay-by it is worth making your way into the middle of the adjacent small wooden footbridge over the stream. The pretty stream is called Elsdon Burn, burn being a common name for small watercourses in Scotland and North East England, thought to derive from the Saxon word brunna.
|North Landshott Farm to Sleeper Bridge|
Start point: 55.2352 lat, -2.0854 long
Ignore the path signed over the stone wall, simply continue along the tarmac access lane which winds downhill. Go through the gate to pass alongside the next cattle grid. The lane swings left and levels off. Just before the next cattle grid, turn right onto the signed footpath to East Todholes. The path leads you over a wooden sleeper bridge across the stream.
|Sleeper Bridge to West Todholes Farm|
Start point: 55.2315 lat, -2.0784 long
Continue through the wooden gate and keep ahead for a few yards with the stream running down to the left. As the stream swings away to the left, bear left (carefully, as it can be boggy here) to join the path which runs immediately alongside the dry stone wall on the left.
|West Todholes Farm to Whiskershiel Burn|
Start point: 55.2266 lat, -2.0884 long
Continue on the tarmac lane which climbs more steeply. As the lane begins to level off, look across to the right. Here you will have great views into the valley to the village of Elsdon. From here you can appreciate the scale of the grass mound remains of the motte and bailey castle. Elsdon Castle is the best preserved medieval motte and bailey castle in Northumberland, dating from about 1080.
|Whiskershiel Burn to End|
Start point: 55.2293 lat, -2.098 long
Turn left immediately after the bridge, following the line of the burn on the left. The path swings right and leads you over a narrower footbridge. A few paces later you’ll see a fork in the path, keep left (at about 11 o’clock) across the open field. Soon the burn will appear again on the left. Cross the first wooden footbridge (via a few steps) over the burn (NOT the second bridge which is further along, over to the right).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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