The Location

Hartburn is a small village about 7 miles west of Morpeth.

What's there

2 walks, one along the Hartburn, past a curious folly by the river, another of approximately 2 miles through woods and fields. Steep, narrow paths mean neither walk is suitable for the disabled.
No facilities in the village, but the 'Dyke Neuk' pub is just a mile away.

How to get there

Postcode for Satnav - NE61 4JB
Starting from Morpeth town centre, head north out of town, then as the main road turns right to go up Pottery Bank, turn left down the B6343 signposted for Mitford. Drive along this road out of Morpeth for about 7 miles. About 1 mile after you pass the Dyke Neuk pub, the road goes down to a bridge, then up into Hartburn village. You have 2 parking options. If you opt for the river walk, then there is parking at the entrance to the walk, by the roadside, for 2 cars. Otherwise you will see a car park on your left just before the war memorial. This is for the church, but can be used the public, and they request a £1 charge in an honesty box.

The Walks

Walk 1

Click here to see a detailed routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
If you parked in the church car park, follow the road through the village past the war memorial, and as the road bends to the left, you will see the entrance to the woods on your right. If you parked by the road, you are right at this entrance. Follow the path down through the trees, noting the quaint arched bridge on the left. At the bottom, turn right up river. When I was there last, the path was partially blocked by felled trees, but was easily passable. You will see paths down to the river itself, useful if your dog likes to play in water. The area where the river runs over flat rocks is especially pretty. As you continue upriver, the walk runs under a sandstone cliff, and here you will see a tall slot in the rocks. If you investigate this slot, you will find that it opens up into a cave, with a gothic archway leading to an inner chamber cut into the rock. This cave was dug out in the 18th century as a space for bathers to change when swimming in the river. Look back towards the path, and you will see a cutting that goes underneath. This used to be deeper, and was an underground tunnel that let you access the river in privacy.

You can contine up river for some distance, crossing a bridge over a stream, then along a field until the path joins the roadway to Hartburn garden house. Now retrace your steps back to the village. When I was there, tree fellers were working clearing damage from Storm Arwen. This picture shows the white horse that they were using to drag the logs up the hillside, too steep for a tractor.

Walk 2

Click here to see a detailed routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
Turn right from the car park, and follow the road back past the church. The road has no pavement, so care is needed. You will see a gateway on the right, just past the last house in the village. Go through this gate and follow the pathway, keeping to the left, downhill to a bridge over a small stream. The path now turns left over the bridge, and climbs steeply up out of the woods. Follow the path over the first field, until you reach a gateway at the end. The footpath now runs along side a small wood, on the edge of a corn field (it might not be a cornfield next year of course). The path continues past the cornfield through a small gate, then to another gate at the end of the wood. Now follow the path as it runs diagonally over the last field, where it exits onto the Angerton road. (It is possible to park here, but this road is difficult to find).

Now turn round and follow the path right back until you reach the far end of the cornfield again. Here, instead of retracing the path down over the field, keep to the footpath that runs on top of the field, and so over to a gateway into the woods. Follow to path down the woods to a small bridge over the burn. Now you have a choice - you can turn right and enter the village beside the war memorial, or turn left along the field, and rejoin the path you started out from.

The Harthburn Grotto


Hartburn was settled in Neolithic times, as a 5,000 year old grave was found just west of the village, and another, of a woman, was found at Angerton, about a mile south of the end of this walk. The woman was buried with some grave goods, including beads, knives, and a hammer.
The Romans were also in the area, as the Roman road known as the Devil's Causeway ran through the western edge of the village. This road ran from Corbridge on Hadrain's wall to the mouth of the Tweed at Berwick. It crossed the river near the footbridge over the small burn.

Hartburn Grotto was made by the local vicar, a Dr John Sharp, around 1760. If you look at the picture of the entrance slot, you will see 2 niches above it. These niches used to contain statues of Adam and Eve. The cave was carved out as a changing place for lady bathers, and one of the chambers has a fireplace, doubtless to warm the bathers after a cold dip in the river. A deep cutting or tunnel ran from the cave mouth to the river, which allowed the ladies to reach the river unseen and protected their modesty.
It is possible that Dr John expanded on an existing cave, which may have been a Roman shrine, or maybe even an earlier Celtic shrine. The Devil's Causeway is only a few yards upriver from the grotto.

Facilities on this Walk

Walks Near Here

Tap or Click on the Icon to see a picture of each walk. Click below the picture to visit the walk page.


No comments for this page yet.
Be the first to add a comment - tap the button above