Fontburn Reservoir and Greenleighton – Jul 2021


Date: Saturday 10th July 2021
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

Event Expired


Fontburn Reservoir and Greenleighton

Fontburn Reservoir and Greenleighton - FontburnGreenleighton-3

Fontburn and Greenleighton is a walk that gives views of Fontburn Reservoir from both above and beside.  This Reservoir is one of the many pretty reservoirs in Northumberland and there is a path all the way around it.


Hills: General - AscentKey1-98x27 Easy to Moderate – Some short steep bits
Distance: General - DistanceKey1-98x27 Medium distance
Grade: General - GradeKey1-98x27 Moderate
Map: General - OL42-KielderWaterForest-Map-thumb
This walk is on OS map OL42 Kielder Water & Forest.  Click on map image to buy this map.
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The start

We start from Greenleighton Quarry car park.  The quarry is disused, so we can all use this convenient car park now.

Fontburn Reservoir and Greenleighton - FontburnGreenleighton-5

From the car park, we take the track to Greenleighton Hill.  From here, we will see Dyke Head and Greenleighton Farms.  Just past them is the eastern edge of Harwood Forest, which extends north up to Simonside.

Greenleighton Hill

Greenleighton Hill is the highest point for some distance here.  The views are amazing from this hill, especially north towards Simonside.

Fontburn - FontburnGreenleighton-2

Down to the reservoir

We follow a track along the Quarry fence and then down the side of the moor to the path around the reservoir.  We turn east and follow the path the short distance to the dam, where we will have lunch.

Fontburn Reservoir and Greenleighton - FontburnGreenleighton-7


It’s a lovely place to eat lunch.  There are picnic benches here, that overlook the water.

Fontburn Reservoir and Greenleighton - FontburnGreenleighton-3

Fontburn north side

After lunch, we cross the top of the dam.  We will see a viaduct in the distance.  This used to carry the Rothbury branch line.  The same line that connects to the Wannie Line at Scot’s Gap.  Unfortunately, the line can’t be walked on this stretch.

The other end of the dam is the start of the path around the reservoir.  We’ll probably see some anglers here, as angling is very popular on this reservoir.

The path follows the water closely, for most of the path along the north side.  We will probably see plenty of geese here.

At the western end of the reservoir, there is a headland.  The waterside path ends here, so we will take the diverted route towards Newbiggin Farm.  We gain some height here, so the views of the surrounding area return.

Before long we will join the waterside path again.

Fontburn south side

The south side is every bit as good as the north side.  On a sunny day it offers shade, as the path is in trees for most of the way.

Greenleighton Quarry

When we reach the gate that we used to join the path earlier, we will leave the path and take the path back towards the quarry.  However, we will instead take a path round the east side of the quarry and back to the car park.


Hope to see you there..

Julie and Martin x

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This shows the start location for this walk.

Nearest postcode: NE61 4JZ
OS Grid Reference: NZ 03428 91560
What3words: decks.sending.clapper
Parking: The car park is at Greenleighton Quarry.  This car park is free.
Toilets:  There are no toilets at the beginning of the walk, however there are at Fontburn Reservoir.