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Riding into Northumberland's iconic past

Black Grouse Cycle Route

Black Grouse Cycle Route Show full screen Black Grouse Cycle Route

Map of Black Grouse Cycle Route

BELLINGHAM: Said to be sited on a Roman station. St Cuthbert’s Church was consecrated in 1180 and is unique in having an arched stone roof built in response to the repeated burnings of its former wooden roof by border raiders. ‘Cuddy’s Well’ is thought to have been used by St Cuthbert for baptisms, and to retain miraculous healing powers. HARESHAW LINN – A waterfall hidden in ancient woodland, is a short walk from Bellingham.

HESLEYSIDE HALL: The house is the home of the Charlton family, and was built in 1719 with later alterations and an earlier core. It stands on or near the site of a 14th century tower or bastle house. Nearby in the Chirdon Burn valley is the remains of DALLY CASTLE – built in the 13th century as a ‘hall-house’ (a defensible building) for
a Scottish nobleman.

GREENHAUGH: Situated in the Tarset Burn valley, the village is overlooked by Kielder Forest and the vast moorland expanses of Hareshaw and Troughend Common.The Holly Bush Inn dates back to the early 18th century.

BLACK MIDDENS BASTLE: A fortified farmhouse built in the 16th – 17th centuries to withstand the frequent cross border raids by the Border Reivers. The stout walls protected the family and their livestock. REIVERS – were lawless feuding families who lived in the Border region, who frequently raided each other’s property, fighting, killing, (to be ‘bereaved’) and stealing livestock.


Black Middens Bastle is on this cycle route. Photo by Brian Rogers.

Black Middens Bastle is on this cycle route. Photo by Brian Rogers.

Description: The Black Grouse Cycle Route follows the existing National Cycle Network, R.68 and R.10, to Greenhaugh in a circular route along quiet country lanes.

Download the Black Grouse Cycling Route

Local Facilities: Bellingham – toilets, cafes, pubs, shops, accommodation and Heritage Centre with Tourist Information.

Bellingham & North Tyne Circular Cycle Routes: Largely follow the existing National Cycle Network – Pennine Cycleway Route 68, Reivers Route 10 to Greenhaugh. There are hills to negotiate on all the routes, nothing too steep, but some long climbs.

Cycle Hire:
The Bike Place, Kielder T: 01434 250457
The Bike Place, Bellingham T: 01434 220210

Cycle Repair:
Bykology, Hexham T: 07415 774937
Giant Newcastle, Prudhoe T: 01434 830618

Other Cycle Routes:
Pennine Cycleway Route R68
Hadrian’s Cycleway Route R72
Reivers Route R10

Waterproofs, puncture repair kit and/or spare inner tube.

Getting There

Car: From the A1, take the A69 and then the A68 to reach Bellingham.

Nearest Railway Station: Hexham (Newcastle/Carlisle service). Trains carry a limited number of cycles free of charge on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Pick up a timetable, or phone 08457 484950. Traveline: 08712 002233.


  • A distinctive looking bird, the Black Grouse is found on moorland.
  • Habitat loss and overgrazing have resulted in their decline.
  • Black grouse are also known as blackcocks (male) and greyhens (female), because of their colour.
Point of Interest

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Planning in the National Park

Northumberland National Park Authority is the statutory Planning Authority for the area of the Northumberland National Park. View our planning pages here.

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