Allen Banks – Dec 2023


Date: Saturday 2 December 2023
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate (hill)

Event Expired


Allen Banks

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The Allen Banks walk is a lovely walk along the banks of the River Allen and in the woodland and farmland surrounding it.  The area that we walk in is mostly managed by The National Trust.

More importantly the walk takes place on Martin’s birthday.


Hills: General - AscentKey2-98x27 Medium hills
Distance: General - DistanceKey1-98x27 Short distance
Grade: General - GradeKey1-98x27 Moderate with hills
Map: General - OL43-HadriansWall-Map-thumb
This walk is on OS maps Explorer OL43 Hadrian’s Wall.  Click on map image to buy this map.
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The start

We will start at the car park just off the A69.  If you are a member of The National Trust, don’t forget your membership card, the car park is free for you.  Otherwise, there is a small fee for parking here that goes to the upkeep of Allen Banks.

We cross the road bridge over the River Allen and then take the track upstream towards Moralee Wood.

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Storm Desmond severely damaged the Allen Banks area back in 2015.  Since then, the National Trust have rebuilt the paths around the river and woodland, that were washed away.  The job that they have done is wonderful and really compliments the area.

Along the River Allen

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Throughout the walk we will follow the River Allen.  The River Allen is a confluence of the West and East Allen rivers, that have their source is the North Pennines.  The source of the East Allen is at Allenheads, where we had a walk in June 2018.  The source of the West Allen is near Ninebanks.

Morralee Wood

A little way up the river we reach Morralee Wood.  This is an extensive woodland to the east of the river.  Many paths weave their way through the woods and we will take one up to a small lake known as The Tarn.  National Trust describe this as a Victorian boating lake.

AllenBanks - AllenBanks17042021-32 Allen Banks Walk

From The Tarn, we head back towards the river and along the bank towards Plankey Mill.

Plankey Mill

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After walking up river for a while, we reach Plankey Mill.  There used to be a watermill here, hence the name.  There is also a bridge here and this is where we cross the river.

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From Plankey Mill we head down river on the west side.  The route takes us high above the river for a while, giving amazing views of the tree tops.  We also visit some lovely locations up in the woods, like the summerhouse, where we can sit a while and enjoy the experience.

There is also a lower route if you prefer.

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We can walk the rest of the way, on the west side of the river, back to the car park.

Refreshments – Haydon Bridge

For those who want to join us, we  will head to Oddfellows Coffee in Haydon Bridge (a short drive).  The toasties and dim sum are delicious.

Hope to see you there,

Julie and Martin x

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This shows the start location for this walk.

Nearest postcode: NE47 7BP
OS Grid Reference: NY 79809 64043
What3Words: ///hotdog.cowboys.vessel
Toilets: There are toilets at the car park.
Parking: The car park is owned by National Trust and there is a charge.