Wark- Redesmouth- Birtley Walk - Northumberland
Wark Circular

Via . Redesmouth, Buteland, Birtley

Location OS Landranger Sheets 87 and 80 Start point NY 862771

Length 10 miles

How to get there Wark village is on the B6320, 6 miles north of Chollerford and 5 miles south of Bellingham.

Park by the village green.

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START : From the village green, with the chestnut tree to your back, go left to the river.

Take the bridge across the North Tyne and turn left along the road.
The road ahead offers no continuing right of way along the river

Turn right up the hill passing the cottage to your left.

However for about a quarter of a mile or so along the road ahead there are some beautiful spots to see the river North Tyne.
At the top of the hill take the road left signposted "Low Carry House"
At the junction beyond "Thorneyhirst Cottage", turn right up the road to a gate in the field on the left.
Beyond the ruined farm there is a stile over the wall, beyond it the track leads upward to the right along the wall.
Follow the line of the wall and continue down a field in the same general direction.
Go through a gateway down onto the disused railway track and go right.

Follow the line of the wall and continue down a field in the same general direction. Go through a gateway down onto the disused railway track and go right. Do not go straight across the railtrack as this leads to a wood that is currently not passable due to a landslip. Stay on the disused line until you reach the railway bridge over the road at Heugh

Turn off the track right through a gate. Then left and under the bridge and down to the Heugh Burn, ford.

Follow the road up to a cottage with a large conservatory, go left here down to a wooden gate and through into a wood.

This is Countesspark Woods

Stick to the path through the wood and don't be tempted to use the picnic table and the benches around the pretty log cabin near the riverbank . This is private property belonging to the Duke of Northumberland.

The track makes it's way back to the railway track and along to Redesmouth.

Through what was a railway yard, complete with a playful signal. Just before the railway engine sheds turn right and  go along the new “right of way”.
Follow along the new "right of way" and go right at the road junction.
Along past the trees take the stile right and cross the field over a couple of stiles and up to Buteland.
At Buteland left down the road and straight on across the field. Follow the track round and up to the left past an old quarry.
The views up at the road are quite superb.
At the gate go right and at the corner of the road continue down the field following the wall on your right.

Cross the head of Prestwick Burn and up to the road.

Turn right along the road passing "Lowshield Green Farm" and on to a gate right before "Pittland Hills Farm"
There are two direction markers at the gate take the path left across the field. Not the one along the wall.
Take the path across the burn and follow it along and up to a road.

Do not take the road, but follow the direction of the Birtley signpost and cross the field over the hill to a stile.

Then left up the road to a road junction.

Take the road right and through Birtley. (Another well placed bench. It has been here since the last Coronation)

At the far end of the village go right through a stile opposite the church and take a narrow path downhill.

The site of Birtley Castle (An ancient Motte and Bailly Castle) is to the left of the path Take the path down to a stile over a burn and follow the path over the next hill and down to the road.

At the next junction take the road right and then left down the hill (sign post Wark 1/2 Mile, where the sign post to Low Carry House was near the start)

At the foot of the hill follow the road left and then right, over the bridge, back to Wark.

Back to start

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For consideration, when using the countryside

This selection of walks in Northumberland follow recognised public rights of way or permissive paths and should be easy for most people to negotiate: but please remember that wet and winter weather can make paths muddy in places and the summer months produce fresh growth of vegetation - so wear suitable clothing and footwear.

If on any of these walks you find obstructions, or damage to stiles or footbridges which make paths impassible, please report these details as soon as possible to the countryside department of the Local or National Park authority responsible for the area.

Relationships between local farmers and those who use the footpaths are generally very good and there is no reason why they should not remain so given reasonable attitudes and understanding. Remember that the countryside is the farmers' livelihood, so please observe the Country Code : keep to the paths; close gates after you ; and take care not to cause damage, or leave litter; keep your dog under control; and leave all wild flowers for others to enjoy.

Taken from: Country Walks in East Tynedale by Philip R. B. Brooks (1978)NBM Sept 2009

Dogs in the countryside :-

On Rights of Way - Dogs must be kept under close control, preferably on a short lead.

On Access Land - 1) Keep your dog on a short lead from 1 March to 31 July this to protect ground nesting birds from disturbance

2) Local restrictions may include a ban on dogs.

3) Note that restrictions do not apply to Guide/Hearing dogs, or if you are using a public right of way