Blanchland and Bolt’s Law
Blanchland and Bolt’s Law is a classic North Pennines walk. It starts in the gorgeous little village of Blanchland and winds up Buckshott Fell and onto Allenshields and Buckshott Moor, where it joins the “A Pennine Journey” long distance path. This leads to the summit of Bolt’s Law. We head back down using the “A Pennine Journey” route all the way back to Blanchland.
|Moderate (Distance and hills)
|This walk is on OS map Explorer 307 Consett & Derwent Reservoir. Click on map image to buy this map.
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The start – Blanchland
We start in the car park in Blanchland village. Then we head towards the bridge and follow the road up towards Bridge End, where we take the road to Allenshields.
At the top of the road, we go through a gate and join a bridleway that climbs Buckshott Fell. This is a perfect place to practice Nordic Walking uphill, Further up we see the line of grouse butts crossing the fell.
When we reach the ridge of the fell, we turn southwest, walking towards the interestingly named Old Man’s Grave. No evidence of a grave that we could see though. You will see the hill that is Bolt’s Law, in the distance, as well as a pair of chimneys at Sikehead. These are remnants of lead mining that was prevalent here in the 18th and 19th centuries.
After crossing the road from Baybridge, we take a track, which eventually joins an old flue that leads to the first chimney. The chimney would have vented fumes from a lead smelter further down the hill.
Unusually, there is a man-made lake up here. It is labelled as Sikehead Dams on the OS map. It was used in the mining of lead ore at the Sikehead Lead Mine. Regardless, it’s a great place for a spot of lunch.
After skirting round the lake, we join a bridleway and head directly up to the summit of Bolt’s Law. It’s usually pretty windy up here, so we won’t hang around for long. We’ll take the path directly off the hill, past Sikehead Mine.
The path takes a quick route down to Bolt’s Burn, where the fluorspar mine was. There is still plenty of evidence of mining here. The route back is relatively flat from this point but there are still plenty of lovely places on the way.
Ramshaw and Manor House
The track, and then the road, lead through the small hamlets of Ramshaw and Manor House. Evidence of industry is everywhere and there are plenty of disused mine workings and shafts here. We continue along the road until we reach the disused Derwent Lead Mine, where we descend into the wooded valley.
The woodland in the Bolt’s Burn valley is managed. Parts of it were in the process of being felled when we visited. It’s very nice walking, all the same. The path emerges at Baybridge and we cross into another wood.
Back to Blanchland
After a nice stroll through the last piece of woodland on our walk, we emerge back at Blanchland, where we will likely take a look into the White Monk Tea Room.
Hope to see you there.
Julie and Martin x