Shaftoe Crags Walk - Near Bolam, Northumberland
Shaftoe Crags

Nr. Bolam 4.5Km 1Hr.15min

Location OS Landranger sheet 81 NZ 071824

How to get there Take the A696 Jedburgh road north from Newcastle. At Belsay take the Bolam road following it left past Bolam lake. Approx 1 mile along this road, Bolam Fence Houses are on the left at a crossroads.

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Start:- go past the cottages with care along the track as it is uneven in places. Park in the field just beyond a cattle grid where the track leads left. there is plenty of room next to the wall.

This is the track to the parking spot. The lane proceeds past some interesting multi-stem beeches. A symptom of previous coppicing

Park near the right hand wall beyond the cattle grid.

Across a cattle-grid and the lane leads left and then left again up and over a rise and down to the farm at East Shaftoe Hall. This is a working farm and care should be taken passing through.
The lane turns immediatly right from the farm and passes up in front of the Hall. Opposite the Hall is a disused walled garden. The path now rises up past some cottages. and through a gate onto the moor.
The main path leads up and to the right but only about 100 yards up and to the left is a small birch wood where the first of some crags can be found. with views down to the A696 a surprising distance below.
Back down to the path on the right and it continues over the hill past an old holly tree. Up to the right of this spot there is a trig point with the first views NW to Wallington Hall.
The building to the left of the path is Shaftoe Grange and interestingly has a PO Telephone box, this being an interesting artifact and is not for public use. The path continues to follow a wall on the left.
Click picture for wide view

Above and to the right are some some spectacular crags and stones almost like prehistoric monsters from some angles.

The path cotinues to follow the wall and makes its way towards a lone pine beyond which is a gully, part of the old "drovers road" in the distant past.

The map shows this hill top as the site of an ancient settlement.

Don't go through the gully but climb up the left and across the fell top to see an interesting solitary stone. placed there by a Colonel R. Atkinson in honour of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887.

There are good views here across to Wallington Hall and also to the north and west beyond.

North of the Jubilee stone there are more crags well worth a look.

Make your way back up the hill with the jubilee stone to your right, You will see a wall to your right. Stay parallel the wall and make your way down to the Lang Byres

From the Long Byres a path will take you gradually down and to the right where there is a gate through the wall.

Turn to the left to make your way back to the farm approach road.

Before continuing back to the start.

To the right of the road to the SW you can now see a small hill with a standing stone at the top.

Access is not straightforward and there were a number of sheep in the field at our visit, so perhaps avoid in the lambing season, but there is a gate at the NW corner of the field near to the road you are now on.

The standing stone is next to a tumulus and this is one of the most famous Archeological sites in Northumberland.

This is known as "The Poind and His Man". The story goes that there were originally two stones and the other can now be found in the Japanese garden at Wallington Hall.

Back on the road head back to the start.

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

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