Travel Theme: Through

Last week we walked to a hidden-away place that I had been meaning to visit for some time – it looked interesting on the Ordnance Survey Map (Landranger 87).  In the triangle between Allendale, Ninebanks and High Staward is the intriguingly named Old Town, sited just north of the now abandoned Hexham to Allendale Railway which closed in 1950. There is much evidence of the line’s high embankment whilst the road beneath Old Town descends in a deep cutting underneath a long since collapsed railway bridge.  It was here that the sign in the first picture was encountered – you can get through but definitely not in a van or lorry:


The railway is no more and but for a few farm buildings, so is Old Town – I suspect that is all there ever was.

As with all the best walks, it was largely unplanned and once we had descended the steep lane to the Allen River at Oakpool, we had the joy of an equally steep ascent on the other side.  Turning right after about half a mile we headed towards Hindley Hill, emerged on to the A696 and then cut back across the fields to Bishopside.

Hindley Hill

The weather was a strange mix of very bright sun and dark clouds, the light breaking through every so often to illuminate specially chosen patches of the landscape:

From BishopsideAbove Bishopside(click on images to enlarge)



  1. kirkistan · September 26, 2013

    Terrific post and stunning photos. I’m eager to see more of your walks.

    • northumbrianlight · September 27, 2013

      Many thanks, I will try to oblige but I am basically lazy and prefer to use 2 wheels or 4 🙂

  2. LaVagabonde · September 26, 2013

    Sounds like you stumbled upon a ghost town. Very intriguing.

  3. greenmackenzie · September 26, 2013

    An atmospheric and mysterious sounding walk. I love the kind of weather you’re describing 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · September 27, 2013

      It was a grand afternoon – BTW just back from the golf tour but we only got as far north as Dunbar. Played there on Tuesday with a mist rolling in from the sea – just like Pebble Beach 🙂

  4. Brian Hughes · September 26, 2013

    I like that sign. That’s a sign that means business.

    • northumbrianlight · September 27, 2013

      Aye, to the point and might have been qualified with “and don’t expect any bloody help or sympathy if you ignore”.

  5. RobynG · September 27, 2013

    Great images! Have a fabulous weekend! Robyn

    • northumbrianlight · September 27, 2013

      Many thanks Robyn – have a grand weekend too
      All the best

  6. mflahertyphoto · September 27, 2013


  7. ailsapm · October 19, 2013

    What a great discovery, I wonder how many lives were lived out here, leaving not even a trace behind. That sign is a hoot, I’d be tempted to put another sign a little further along saying ‘Told you so.’ 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · October 19, 2013

      Many thanks for the comments – I heard a story recently of someone taken ill in a house near the bottom of this track – the ambulance got stuck and the Great North Air Ambulance had to be called in – Perilous living in these parts 🙂

  8. Tish Farrell · October 19, 2013

    Great post. I think I need that sign outside my house where trucks daily get locked together.

    • northumbrianlight · October 19, 2013

      Thanks Tish – satnavs have a lot to answer for, although I am as guilty as anyone of believing their every word.

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