An easy walk around riverbanks and an old railway line

The Falstone Circular Walk is a lovely little ramble around dramatic riverbanks and an old railway line. The old railway line you follow on the walk was once part of the Border Counties Railway which was in use between 1862 and 1958. Imagine steam trains bound north for Riccarton over the Scottish border – an easier journey than by car today.

Download the Falstone Circular Walk.

Walk route

Grade: Easy
Length: 2 miles (3.2km)
Time: Allow 1hr 30mins
Map: O.S. Explorer OL42

Route description

A. Turn left out of the car park and walk to the road junction

Turn left out of the car park and walk to the road junction. Turn left again and head for the railway arch. Go under the arch and then left up a track leading to a gate which brings you on to the course of the old railway line. From here you can see the top of Kielder Dam. The track is level easy walking and brings you past a row of houses built for forestry workers. As the track emerges from a shallow cutting the view ahead opens out to reveal the old farm of Hawkhope (meaning ‘hawk valley’).

B. Turn left on to the track, cross over the Hawkhope

The railway track now joins a forestry track. Turn left on to the track, cross over the Hawkhope, almost hidden among the alder trees, and turn left again down the track to the Farm. Pass through the gate and continue along the road through open pasture and over a hump-back bridge crossing the Hawkhope Burn. The fenced areas on the sides of the burn enclose a conservation project managed by local volunteers. The next gate takes you into the show field, where the Falstone Border Shepherds’ Show is held every year in August. The route now runs alongside the River North Tyne, a favourite spot with fishermen hoping to catch trout and salmon. The route brings you back towards the village.

C. Take the path alongside the river as it bends back away from the village

At the bend in the road by the tennis courts take the path alongside the river as it bends back away from the village. In summer it is aglow with wild flowers. Continue through a wicket gate until the path opens out at a wide sweeping corner of the river. Situated here is the sculpture ‘Stell’. Follow the path to the stone bridge. At the bridge bear left and head through a wicket gate ahead and in between a group of conifers until the path emerges on to the road and leads back to the tearooms. Tea anyone?