Eglingham is about 6 miles north-west of Alnwick, on the B6346
A steep walk up a hill on a very quiet roadway, then a detour round a moor. Should be suitable for most dogs but there are no facilites on route and the walk is not for the disabled. There is a village pub just below the suggested parking area.
Postcode for Satnav - NE66 2TX.
In Alnwick, take the road that heads west directly in front of Alnwwick Castle. This road quickly bends to the north-west and becomes the B6346. Follow this road for about 6 miles until you reach Eglingham village. Drive up through the village, past the Tankerville Arms pub until you see the turn off on the left for Beanley and Powburn. You should be able to park here on the right, by the roadside, without causing an obstruction.
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Take the narrow, and very pot holed road that runs to the north, opposite the Beanley road. This road is very quiet. Go down a short hill, past an old WW2 bunker to the bridge over Eglingham burn. Now you climb up a steep hill through a wood. At the end of the wood the view opens out, but continue climbing on the road, uphill, past Tarry farm on the right, and up until you come to a gate over the road. Go through the gate and you are into 'open access' moorland. Now here, the open street map shows a footpath on the left running just above the wall. We could not find this path, and the moorland was covered in bracken and tussocky grass which was difficult to walk over, so we headed uphill until we reached a tractor track. The advice, then, is to ignore the footpath and carry on up the road until you see the tractor track on your left, about 4 telegraph poles up the hill.
Follow this track, which is basically two parallel paths in the grass, as it winds up and over the hill. It then heads downhill and you will see a small wood ahead. This wood is your target, and the tractor track runs right downhill to it. As you pass the wood, you will another track on your right, heading towards a large fence post. Take this track and it brings you to a gate in the fence that leads onto a bridleway. Follow the bridleway over the field to a large iron farmgate. Beware, when you pull the bolt on this gate it drops about 3 inches, which could be fatal to an impatient dog trying to get underneath. Now follow the bridleway back to the farm road you walked on earlier, turn right at this road, and downhill back to the village.
However the bridleway crosses over the road and continues on towards a farm. You could extend your walk to that farm, and then drop down to the village, but the route has a few problems.
The bridleway gets very muddy as it nears the farm. You turn right at the farm and after about 100 yards, there is a public footpath shown on the map, which cuts over behind a wood and come out halfway up the village. The gateway to this footpath was padlocked, but the fence was easy to climb. The pathway over the first field was easy to follow, but it disappeared without a trace at the second field. We ventured into the field a bit to see if we could see an exit at the bottom, then noticed a large herd of cows galloping towards us. We quickly made for the fence again, and the cows bypassed us and went over into the first field. So, walking round the field boundary, we found the exit gate half way along the bottom fence, passed through and entered an overgrown grassy area behind the village houses. Meche refused to walk through here as it was full of thistles, so I carried her along, wet and muddy, through another grassy area and spotted a gate by the houses. Walking down to the gate, and feeling very much like a trespasser, I saw that gate led into someone's garden, then out by the side of the house. In no mood to retrace our steps, we carried on, ready to offer apologies if we met with a brush wielding Nora Batty type. When we got past the house and to the road, sure enough, this was marked as the official end of the bridleway!
So, unless you enjoy this type of activity, if you want to extend your walk, I suggest that when you reach the farm at the end of the bridleway, you turn right onto the farm road and follow that road down to the bottom of the village.
You might not believe it when you look around this area, but it has a long history of coal mining. As you walk round the moorland area at the top of the walk, you will see lots of circular pits in the ground, about 20 yards across. These are the remains of old bell mines. Bell mines are the oldest known coal mines in the UK. A bell mine was constructed by digging a shaft or well down to the coal seam, which was usually 20 to 100 yards from the surface. The coal seam was then dug out around the bottom of the shaft, so the mine looked like an upside down bell. The coal was either winched to the surface, or brought up ladders, usually on the backs of women or children. Once the workings extended too far out from the well, the roof became unsafe and the mine was abandoned, then another mine was opened nearby.
More traditional mines were opened in the 18th century, one was the Tarry coal mine, close to Tarry Farm. The parish records tell the tragic tale of David Dixon, an 11 year old boy who died in a mining accident in 1800, in the Eglingham pit.
No facilites on the walk itself, but as mentioned the Tankerville Arms is in the middle of the village.
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