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.

Falstone folk are very proud of the Stell, their very own sculpture inspired by the area’s rich natural and cultural history and a record of place names now submerged beneath Kielder Water. Artist Colin Wilbourn worked with local people to produce this artwork in 2006.

Falstone Old School Tearooms are housed in the village’s old Victorian schoolhouse. Pupils once rode into school from the outlying farms and left their horses at the stables – now the kitchen! Northumberland National Park Authority worked with the local community to renovate the building in 2004.

The dam which dominates the skyline for much of the walk holds back the Kielder Water reservoir which opened in 1982. It is surrounded by Kielder Forest – forestry has been and still is a significant industry and employer in the area.

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Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Walk distance
2 miles / 3.2km
Walk duration
1 hours
North Tyne & Redesdale
Recommended OS Map
O.S. Explorer OL42
Dog friendly

Step by step route

Turn left out of the car park

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, turn left up the road 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 after another gate brings you past a row of houses built for forestry workers

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 Burn, 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 again.

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.

Take the path alongside the river

At the left-hand 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 wildflowers.

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 conifer trees until the path emerges on to the road and leads back to the tearooms. Tea anyone?

Walk route

Getting there

The starting point for the walk is Falstone Old School Tearooms.

Near Hexham leave the A69 and take the A6079 north. Turn left onto B6318 to Chollerford and at the roundabout take B6320 signposted for Bellingham. From Bellingham turn left and follow the tourism signs for Kielder Water and Forest. Just before Kielder reservoir turn right into Falstone. Park in the Old School Tearooms car park.

Grid Ref: NY 723 874

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