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Ray Fell Walk.

Introduction

This walk follows a route across open moors and forest tracks with superb views. The route passes through an underpass on the old Wansbeck Valley Railway (Wanney Line) from Morpeth to Redesmouth.

This is not a circular walk (although circular variations are possible), however the views in each direction make both the out and return legs enjoyable.  ** Note - we did this walk before work on any wind turbines started in this area.

Walk Distance - 3.6 miles approx.

Parking - roadside layby.

Toilets - nearest at Kirkwhelpington.

View east from near start of the walk.
View from near the start of the walk.

View west along disused railway.
View along the disused railway.

Walk

1) We started this walk at a layby on the road from Knowesgate on the A696 to Ridsdale on the A68. The layby is half a mile north of the turn off to Sweethope Loughs and is exactly where the Ray Burn crosses this road, so is easily located on a map. (GR953841).

We crossed the road and walked to a stile in the fence just north of the Ray Burn. This is the start of a footpath marked on the Ordnance Survey Map.

After crossing the stile we followed the path through rough moorland.

2) The view east along the valley of the Ray Burn was superb, especially as it was winter and the sun was low making the colours of the fells vivid. We did the walk between Christmas and the New Year under rapidly changing skies and the views were quite dramatic.

View towards the disused Wansbeck Valley Railway.
View to the disused Wansbeck Valley Railway.
View east from near start of the walk.
View east from near the start of the walk.

 

3) We followed the path down a dip, crossing a burn and up towards the underpass under the disused railway. The railway is now used as a farm track but it is easy to imagine a steam train puffing along the track. (A video of the last train to Woodburn is available in the shops and shows the real thing.)

View east along disused railway.
View east along the disused railway.

View west along disused railway.
View west along the disused railway.

 

4) From here the path rises in a roughly north westerly direction towards the forest. The path was vague and the ground was rough and wet so care was needed here and a compass may even be beneficial in mist.

Wansbeck Valley (disused) Railway underpass.
Railway underpass.

View north from railway.
View north from the railway.

 

5) Eventually we reached a gate where the path enters the forest. We passed through the gate and followed the path until we reached a forest track.

6) We continued along this track as it rose to the top of a hill.

7) When we reached this point very dramatic, almost jet black clouds appeared with clear blue sky beneath that presented a very unusual view and the silhouetted tree tops look almost like advancing aliens! That's how the camera captured it anyway.

Alien Xmas trees below very dark clouds!
Alien Xmas trees below very dark clouds!

 

8) From here the track drops downhill and in less than half a mile a path to the right turns through the forest towards the summit of Ray Fell.

Forest track towards Ray Fell.
Forest track towards Ray Fell.
Forest track towards Ray Fell.

 

9) Continuing from here meant a very long walk so as time was short we made this is the start of the return journey, along the same paths that we had just followed.

Notes

Good waterproof walking boots are essential for this walk.

Waterproof clothing should also be taken as the weather can turn very quickly in this area.

A compass may be needed.

Maps - Ordnance Survey Landranger sheet 80 and 81 (Border line between both sheets).

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To see larger photos please visit our Northumberland Photo Website

 


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