Blanchland and Bolt’s Law – June 2021


Date: Sunday 13th June 2021
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate (some hills)

Event Expired


Blanchland and Bolt’s Law

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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.


Hills: General - AscentKey3-98x27 Significant hills
Distance: General - DistanceKey2-98x27 Medium distance
Grade: General - GradeKey2-98x27 Moderate (Distance and hills)
Map: General - Explorer307-Front-Map-thumb
This walk is on OS map Explorer 307 Consett & Derwent Reservoir.  Click on map image to buy this map.
Declaration: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Bolt’s Law

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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.

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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.

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Deborah Plantation

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.

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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.

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Hope to see you there.

Julie and Martin x

Gallery – Blanchland and Bolt’s Law

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This shows the start location for this walk.
Nearest postcode: DH8 9SP
OS Grid Reference: NY 96445 50484
Parking: Parking is available to the north of the village, just past The White Monk tearoom. It is signposted from the centre of the village.
Toilets: The nearest public toilets are near the bridge over the river.  This is at the opposite side of the village from the car park.