A 'there and back again' walk along what was once an old colliery railway line. The walkway goes right to the coast so it could be 6 miles or more, or less if you decide to walk part of the way.
A pretty walkway that is mostly shielded by trees, down a steep valley to the Tyeburn then onward down to the main railway line. Safe for a dog off a leash.
Plenty of wildlife like deer and foxes, and butterflies seem to find part of the walk very attractive. While I'm no butterfly expert, I've seen brown and blue butterfiles on this walk that I've not see elsewhere.
How to get there
Postcode for Satnav - NE66 2HQ - This is the post code for Dene House, the walk is a short way further down the road
Turn off the A1 for Shilbottle and head down through the village following the road to Warkworth. Once out of the village and past Dene House, the main road turns sharp right, while a side road turns off to High Buston. Follow the main road to the right and after about 100 yards you will see a turnoff to the right which leads into a small car park. Park up here, and the walkway starts through a gate on the other side of the road.
Click here to see a detailed OS routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
Head through the gate and keep walking down the track. At one point the track crosses a roadway so you need to keep your dog safe there.
The walkway is shielded by trees and hedges until the very last section, which runs along side a field and down to the main east coast railway line.
It is possible to turn left here and follow the path that runs alongside the railway until you reach a roadway. If you turn left again and follow the road inland, it takes you through High Buston farm then eventually back to your car (but it is safer and a prettier walk just to retrace your steps).
This walk follows the old colliery line from Shilbottle pit to the main rail line. When working at full production, Shilbottle Grange employed 807 men and produced 272,000 tons of coal in one year. Shilbottle coal was high quality and some say it was used at Buckingham palace.
Coal was mined in the area, or collected on the beaches from very early times. The first recorded mention of coal mining in Shilbottle was about 1585, when it was said that at Shilbottle there was 'a good and riche myne of coles verye profitable to the countrey thereabouts, the same was occupied by William Gray of Alnewicke for the rent of £4 14s. and after laid downe, and lately demysed during the lord's pleasure to William Bednell and other the burgesses of Alnewicke for the rent of £4 by yere.'
Shilbottle was joined underground to nearby Whittle colliery in 1978 and then Shilbottle production halted in 1982 with a loss of 700 jobs. There is very little trace of the colliery now. The old spoil heap is on the right over the Tyelaw burn. You can walk round it, but now it is planted with trees and has an ornamental rock formation at the top.