Dukesfield Arches to Blanchland

The 3rd section of the walk continues through Northumberland finishing on the border with County Durham. Start the walk by viewing the Dukesfield Arches, then continue to follow the Devil's Water to Slaley Forest. After visiting a quarry, continue to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty before finishing the walk in the pretty village of Blanchland.

Technical sheet

A Hexhamshire walk posted on 08/02/23 by sarahhcfe. Last update : 22/03/23
  • Walking
    Activity: Walking
  • ↔
    Distance: 11.75 km
  • ◔
    Calculated time: 4h05 
  • ▲
    Difficulty: Moderate

  • ∞
    Return to departure point: No
  • ↗
    Vertical gain: + 267 m
  • ↘
    Vertical drop: - 161 m

  • ▲
    Highest point: 391 m
  • ▼
    Lowest point: 136 m
  • ⚐
    District: Hexhamshire 
  • ⚑
    Start: N 54.917271° / W 2.090361°
  • ⚑
    End: N 54.847506° / W 2.054269°

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Start : Dukesfield Mill (NE46 1SG) Grid ref. NY 943 580

(S) From Dukesfield Mill, take the track opposite the mill (South) to Dukesfield Arches. When you are ready, continue to follow the path with Devil's Water on your right, ignore the footpath to the left which goes to Dukesfield House. The path takes a South-Westerly direction following the meander of the water then takes a sharp turn right and passes Redlead Mill.

(1) After passing Redlead Mill, ignore the paths and tracks to left and right and continue on the footpath South through the trees keeping Devil's Water on your right (around 1.4Km).

(2) The Devil's Water will veer away from the path which continues left (South-Eastwards) until it reaches a gate. Go through the gate and turn right onto the tarmac track. Slaley Forest will be on your left and open farmland on your right.

(3) Continue to follow this track as it swings East through the forest. The track will emerge onto a more well-defined one after 1.9 Km or so, turn right (South) onto this track.

(4) Continue past Ladycross Quarry, you can stop for a visit if you wish. Keep on the Southerly direction ignoring the main track to your right, beyond this you will emerge from the forest onto moorland. Pick up the track heading in a South-Westerly direction across the open moors ignoring the tracks to your right and left.

(5) When the track bends to the left at Penny Pie House, bear left and follow the track in a South-Easterly direction, Shildon Burn will be on your right for around 1.3 Km.

(6) On reaching a cluster of buildings pause to view Shildon Engine House. Then take the track which runs in front of the houses (East) which will once again enter the wooded area before turning South-Eastwards. Ignore the footpath to the left and continue heading South-East. This footpath will end at the car park in Blanchland.

(7) Turn left to walk into the village where you will see Blanchland Abbey (E).


  1. S : km 0 - alt. 137 m - Dukesfield Arches
  2. 1 : km 1.54 - alt. 156 m - Redlead Mill
  3. 2 : km 2.89 - alt. 218 m - Track Junction
  4. 3 : km 3.68 - alt. 281 m - Track Junction/Edge of Slaley Forest
  5. 4 : km 5.75 - alt. 342 m - Ladycross Quarry
  6. 5 : km 9.31 - alt. 347 m - Pennypie House
  7. 6 : km 10.62 - alt. 293 m - Shildon Engine House
  8. 7 : km 11.58 - alt. 250 m - Blanchland Car Park
  9. E : km 11.75 - alt. 240 m - Blanchland Abbey

Useful Information

Start : Dukesfield Mill (NE46 1SG) Grid ref. NY 943 580

Transport: This is a rural area and there are no bus routes to the start of the walk, try Ecocabs from Hexham, they specialise in tourism transport.

Facilities: There are very few facilities on this route so if open visit the Quarryman's Retreat Cafe at Ladycross Quarry. The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland provides accommodation and food or try the White Monk Refectory and Tearoom.

Terrain/Accessibility: This walk covers many different types of terrain including forestry tracks, fields and dirt paths which can be exposed and muddy after wet weather.

Accommodation: Try the Lord Crew Arms if you are staying in Blanchland overnight. Also nearby is Slaley Hall Hotel and Spa.

Always stay careful and alert while following a route. Visorando and the author of this walk cannot be held responsible in the event of an accident during this route.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Dukes Field Arches, the remains of the lead-smelting industry nestled in woodland at the start of the walk.
  • Ladycross Nature Reserve at Ladycross Quarry.
  • Blanchland Abbey which sits right in the centre of this pretty village.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.