About 2 miles from the A697 beside Powburn, 9 miles south of Wooler
An hour's walk around a forest, then back by a road. No facilites and not for the disabled
Postcode for Satnav - NE66 4AF. This is for Shawdonwood House farm, which you pass on your right as you drive up the steep hill from the A697.
The turnoff for this walk is a bit difficult to find. Coming from the south up the A697, you pass the Whittingham turn off, you climb up a hill then over the other side, where you will find a crossroad with the right hand turn posted Edlingham, where you turn right onto a narrow road by a stone cottage.
Coming from the north, drive through Powburn village, then take the next left at a crossroads, about a mile past the village and just over the top of a hill.
Once you are on this narrow road (called Playfair road), the road goes downhill, then up a steep hill to a cross roads. Drive straight over the crossroads and about a mile further on you will see Beanley wood on your left. There is no car park as such, but about 200 yards into the wood you will see a trackway heading into the trees, and there is room for 3-4 cars to park on the verge here. If there is no room to park here, then there is room on the verge for another 2 cars at the other end of the wood, in which case you just do the walk in reverse.
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Take the trackway into the wood, going through the small side gate, and follow the track up unto the trees. The track can be very muddy higher up, so wellies or good walking boots are advisable (and a cloth to rub down a dirty dog after the walk). Keep following the trackway, ignoring a turn off to the left, until you come to a crossroads at the end of the wood. The way straight on ends at a gateway, with excellent views over the moor. However, turn left at the crossroads and take a much drier pathway along through the trees, up a hill, then down the other side where the trees have been logged out.
As you near the bottom of the hill, you will find the track continues through a gateway into a field. When I was there the field was occupied by Fresian cows, and it's not a good idea to go near cows with a dog. Take the pathway into the trees on the left about 2 yards before the gate, and follow this path down the side of the woods to the road. Once at the road, turn left and follow it back to your car. This road is very quiet.
Near the north-western edge of Beanley Plantation, on top of the hill you will see the ramparts of an iron age hill fort. There is also a burial cist just off the track through the middle of the Plantation. A cist is a stone lined grave covered by a heavy capstone, and this one lies within remains of a burial cairn which must once have covered it. However this area has been logged out and is strewn with old branches, so I was unable to find the cist.
No facilites on the main walk, but as mentioned there is a cafe and garage selling takeaway coffees on the alternate route.
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