The Location

Powburn is on the A697, about 9 miles south of Wooler

What's there

A short, 45 minute walk along an old railway line and back.

How to get there

Postcode for Satnav - NE66 4HN. This is for Powburn Village.
Powburn village is on the A697, about 9 miles south of Wooler and about 23 miles north of Morpeth. Coming from the south, as you drive into the village the road turns right, and then left to cross a bridge over the Pow Burn. Turn right just before the bridge, between the last house and the children's playpark. Follow this road round and you will see a large car park on your right. Please note that as per the comments below, it is OK to park here for short periods. Coming from the north, cross over the bridge then turn left, immediately after the green road sign for the Glanton turn off.
Beware! Northumbria Police often park their mobile speed check van in this village and it is painted up so it does not look like a police van from a distance.

The Walk

Click here to see a detailed routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
From the car park, follow the road away from the village and under the old railway bridge. Just past the bridge you will see a pathway on the left, heading up to the railway track. Take this path up, turn left, then follow the old railway track. At first, you are walking parallel to the noisy road, but the road eventually turns away uphill and all is peaceful. Follow the railway past a gate, through a stone cutting and along until you eventually reach the point where a bridge has been removed, about a mile from the village.
It is possible to get down to the road here, and it might be possible to continue the walk on the railway on the other side, but I did not try it.

The path up to the railway

The old Roman road called the 'Devil's Causeway' ran through Powburn village. A few years later in 1887, the North Eastern Railway company opened a railway that ran from Alnwick through the middle of north Northumberland to Cornhill on Tweed, where it joined with the Berwick to Kelso line. The line was never a commercial success, and when the bridge over the Breamish, on the northern edge of the village and mentioned on the Hedgeley walk was washed away in the great floods of 1948, along with another bridge further north, it was uneconomical to repair them. The trains continued to run from north and south along part of the route for goods traffic, but were ceased completely in the 1953 from Alnwick and 1965 from Cornhill.

It seems to me that Northumberland County Council missed an opportunity here, as this route could have been converted into a walking / cycling track that would cut through some of the best scenery in the county. Imaging taking a train to Alnmouth, cycling up to Alnwick, then on past Wooler to Corn Hill, turn right and continue along the old track to Berwick, where you could catch the train home!
However much of the track has passed into private ownership, many bridges are down, and the old tunnel near Lemminton that I remember walking through as a boy in the '60s has collapsed. I suspect it would be too expensive an undertaking now.

Facilities on this Walk

No facilites on the main walk, but there is a cafe and garage selling takeaway coffees on the northern edge of Powburn.

Walks Near Here

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Lynn -       14/8/2023 18.11
Unless it’s changed that used to be a private car park I would check the signs carefully before parking there.

Admin -       17/8/2023 16.50
There is indeed a small sign in the car park that says written permission is needed to park here, but there is also a large, prominent sign around the corner by the children’s paly park, suggesting that you should park here. I’ve asked Hedgeley Estates to clarify the position.

Admin -       18/8/2023 13.26
Hi Lynn, I recieved a prompt response and it is ok to park in that carpark for short times. "It is fine for you to park in the car park as you are a short term visitor. Those who wish to park on a long term basis need a permit from the Hedgeley Estate office"