The Wannie Line Recce – 23rd May 2019

It was a nice day and nothing much to do. So, after considering some the list of new walks that we have, Martin decided to take a look at the Wannie Line. Some of you might have already done a walk round here. It’s very popular with walking groups and is on National Trust land, the Wallington Estate to be specific.

Scot’s Gap – The start

The start point is in Scot’s Gap, in the small car park behind the old National Trust Regional Office. Not easy to find if you haven’t figured it out beforehand.

What is the Wannie Line?

Wannie line is the local name for the Wansbeck Railway. Opened in the mid 1800s, this railway was used to carry goods, minerals and also people between Morpeth and Redesmouth. It was closed in 1952, although a small section leading to Redesmouth station continued to stay open until 1963.

The Rothbury Branch

The track from the car park leads down to the old track bed of the railway. A little way along the line splits into what used to be the Wannie Line to the left and the Rothbury branch line to the right. The walk follows the Rothbury Line on the outward leg. This is the same line that we walk on the Rothbury Railway walk. The walk continues on this line for about 1.5 miles. The embankment provides great views of the surrounding farm land. There is also a great view of Rothley Crags.

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The Rothbury Branch

Joining the railways

To join up the two railway lines, the walk comes away from the Rothbury branch and crosses via the Delf Plantation. This is a lovely little area of woodland alongside the Delf Burn.

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Delf plantation

Leaving the plantation, the path crosses fields and continues up to the pump house at Gallows Hill Farm before descending to Low Fairnley. From here there is a straight path, across fields, that joins onto the track bed of the Wannie Line.

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To Gallows Hill Farm

The Wannie Line

The path follows the Wannie Line back to Scot’s Gap. This part of the railway has fewer embankments, so has a very different feel to the Rothbury line, as it runs through open fields. On returning to Scot’s Gap the path joins the section that it started on and heads back to the car park.

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This is a lovely walk, and very convenient, as it is not far out from central Newcastle. This will definitely be on the Summer/Autumn programme. Keep an eye out for it.

Julie and Martin x


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