As I’m sure you’ve all gathered now, there’s nothing more I love than being in the great outdoors. Living in Northumberland, we are spoilt for choice for countryside. One place that has been on my list for some time now has been Hareshaw Linn, another waterfall to add to the list.
Hareshaw Linn is an enchanting waterfall situated in the beautiful village of Bellingham. Bellingham is nestled on the banks of the North Tyne and is known as the gateway town to Kielder Water & Forest Park. The woodland walk is a 3-mile walk from a Northumberland National Park car park; which is free but this does fill up quite quickly so I’d recommend getting there early or after the lunchtime rush.
Hareshaw Linn was the site of two blast furnaces established in 1833 by Messrs Bigge and Partners. At the peak of its operation it also contained 70 coke ovens, 24 large roasting kilns for calcining the iron ore, a range of coal stores, a blacksmiths shop, wagon shed, stables and stores. The iron works were in continuous production until 1848. Seeing the site now, you wouldn’t believe there was so much activity in this area as Mother Nature has most certainly claimed back her land. You can still see the remains of some of the old ironworks at the beginning of the walk which is amazing to see in itself and really does set the scene for your walk and what lies ahead.
If you want to experience a real peace of the Northumberland countryside nestled away in a magical location then the Hareshaw Linn is a perfect destination for your day out. The walk itself is not too long and allows you to take in the woodland surroundings of the Hareshaw Dene before arriving at the waterfall.
Keep an eye out for the wishing trees… also known as the money trees. Be sure to make a wish and place a coin into the tree stump but beware, it is said that if you try to take a coin from the wishing trees, that person will become ill. The act is reminiscent of tossing money into ponds for good luck, or the trend for couples to attach 'love padlocks' to bridges and fences to symbolise lasting romance.
The walk follows a solid stone and rocky path for the entire length; which can just have a little surface mud. The route includes several climbs and descents and there are several flights of steps and a couple of gates. The path can be slippery in parts and the gorge sides slope steeply away down to the stream so take particular care with children and dogs. Journey across 6 bridges and past awesome carpets of green vegetation, trees and an array of smaller waterfalls until you reach the point of the beautiful 30 foot tall waterfall which is Hareshaw Linn. When you arrive at the waterfall the views take your breath away, there is much to see in this woodland area including a selection of wildlife ranging from birds, squirrels and even bats. The waterfall location is also known for its numerous mosses that grow around the area.
You are able to walk more towards the bottom of the waterfall but do be careful as it isn’t a path as such, more of a scramble across rocks. I will probably advice against taking small children down there, even though my child climbed down but he is just like his Mammy and loves a closer look of waterfalls.
So, pack your wellies, packed lunch and get out there to enjoy the unspoilt woodland area, wildlife and of course the prize at the end of your trek The Hareshaw Linn waterfall. A spectacular waterfall set in beautiful woodland in the Northumberland National Park, a magical sight whatever your age. All in all, the walk took us around 2.5 hours and after our hike, we headed into the picturesque village of Bellingham and stopped off for a cuppa at The Carriages Tea Room.
Perfectly situated at Bellingham Station, Carriages Tea Rooms offers a unique dining experience on board the 1957 Mark 1 train carriages… I suppose the hint was in the name! My little boy was in awe and couldn’t contain his excitement of having cake on board a train, rather than in your stereotypical tearooms. The Carriages were brought to Northumberland from Okehampton in Devon on the back of lowloaders in 2011.
The project was funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Leader Foundation. With the help and hard work of several local volunteers it took a year for The Carriages to be restored back to their former glory to be enjoyed once again. The Carriage's still contain the original seats and many of the original fixtures and fittings from when the train was last used for public service. You can even sit in the drivers cab in the rear carriage! I’d highly recommend a visit here, especially if you have little ones yourself.
All in all, we had a fantastic day out and we are truly blessed to have such beauty in Northumberland.