Our best loved walk from Steel Rigg (5 minutes from Layside) to Housesteads Roman Fort was voted in at no. 18 of “Britain’s Favourite Walks” by over 8000 enthusiasts. Facing some stiff competition from the Highlands of Scotland to the Lake District and Snowdonia National Park to name but a few, we are incredibly proud to have this gem on our doorstep. If you are thinking of walking just a part of the Roman Wall, this is the walk of choice, and one can enjoy one of the richest parts of the country for Roman archaeology whist appreciating the stunning surroundings and the impressive Whin Sill that the Wall was built on. It also takes the walker through Sycamore Gap, and past the tree made famous due to its appearance in “Robin hood Prince of Thieves”, and the 2016 winner of the Woodland Trust “Tree of the Year”. This walk is enjoyable in so many ways, but one of its greatest advantages is that despite the numbers of people visiting the area, there is always an opportunity to enjoy solitude and take in the incredible views whilst soaking up the history of rugged Northumberland.

We still believe this walk deserved the number one spot!

A short drive from Layside is the market town of Haltwhistle, claiming to be at the geographical centre of Britain. The South Tyne Trail can be accessed from behind the railway station at Haltwhistle, and follows the South Tyne River to Lambley Viaduct and beyond. There are some lovely views of the river as well as Hadrian’s Wall Country, and plenty of opportunities for your four-legged friends to cool off in the water. Salmon can also be seen jumping upstream in Autumn as they migrate to their breeding grounds. This part of the trail is roughly 4.5 miles one way to the viaduct, and requires some sturdy footwear in parts! Comprising of a series of elegant stone arches, Lambley Viaduct is approximately 850ft long and once carried the Haltwhistle to Alston railway which opened in 1852 to haul coal from the Alston mines, and was closed in 1976. It is a particularly elegant example of Victorian engineering: the river is crossed by nine 56 ft wide arches 105 ft above the river. This is a favourite walk of ours and loved by Archie – stopping at the viaduct for a cup of tea and a sausage roll before turning back.

           

There are a number of short, medium and long walks to be enjoyed from Layside. On a clear day, even a stroll around the block provides some exhilarating views of the Tyne Valley, Hadrian’s Wall and beyond.