A walk of approximately 4 miles from Ponteland through Darras Hall on an old railway track, then back to Ponteland by the fields.
The first part of the walk is very much disabled friendly, the field part not so. The second half of the walk has a couple of narrow gates and stiles, which might be difficult for a very large dog. There are toilets, cafes and pubs beside the car park and several poo bins on route.
Postcode for Satnav - NE20 9PS - This is the post code for the post office in Ponteland, which is near to the car park.
Ponteland (pronounced Pon-TEE-land), is on the A696 just north of Newcastle airport. In the village centre, take the Morpeth turn off at a roundabout then immediately turn left for the shopping centre, then park in the car park on the left. This is a disk display car park. You need a Northumberland County Council parking disk, which costs £1, but is valid for parking in most Northumbrian towns. This disk will allow you to park for up to 3 hours in this car park
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From the car park, head into the small shopping centre, then follow the pathway past the Merton Hall to the main road. Cross this road at the Pelican Crossing, and into Ponteland Park opposite. Cross the bridge over the river Pont, and carry straight on, keeping right where the path splits around a small hillock. At the end of the path, you will see the entrance to the old railway walk. Take this walkway, and follow it right through Darras Hall. You need to cross over one roadway, then the path enters a small housing cul-de-sack. Follow the road past these houses, alongside a church and over a road to a row of shops. You will find that the railway walk continues behind the shops. Now follow the railway until you reach fields at the end of the railway walk.
Turn right, then after about 40 yards, turn left up a roadway, then right again after another 50 yards, and follow a broad trackway that runs up between a hedge and a field.
Follow this trackway until it crosses the river Pont (a small stream here) then just past the bridge, take the steps on the right down to the river and follow it down stream. After a while the pathway leaves the river by a hedge and continues along the bottom of a hill until you reach a small entrance way back into Darras Hall. (You could go into here and it should be possible to follow roads through the estate back to the railway line if you wish) However, we will turn left and follow the path uphill, turn right at the top of the hill, then left at the end of the field, on a pathway between 2 hedges. This takes you into a field, where there is a waymarked pathway that leads you over the field, turns left round the edge of the next field, then through 2 small gates (which might be difficult for a large dog) and so around 2 more fields, where you wil see the houses at Ponteland in the distance.
When you reach the village, you come out at the main road. Don't cross the road to the pavement, but turn right and go along the grass verge for a few yards until you come to the turning for Fox Covert Lane on the right. Take this road and you will see an entrance to Ponteland Park on the left, about 100 yards down. Go into the park, cross the Pont on the Millenium Bridge and follow the river down until you come back to the park entrance in the middle of town.
The 12th and 13th centuries were marked by turbulent relations between England and Scotland, with Scotland in the time of King David claiming a border line ran along southern County Durham and Cumbria. This was disputed for many years until the border was established more or less on its current line, first at the Treaty of York, then confirmed by the Treaty of Newcastle in 1244. This treaty was signed between King Henry III of England and King Alexander II of Scotland and was actually signed in Ponteland, not Newcastle upon Tyne.
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