About the Area
Bellingham, Bavington, Byrness, Corsenside, Falstone, Kielder, Kirkwelpington, Otterburn, Rochester and Tarset & Greystead.
The town of Bellingham, pronounced, bellingjum, is known as 'the capital of the North Tyne'. It is a gateway town to Northumberland National Park. It sits on the banks of the North Tyne River, on the Hareshaw Burn. It boasts local shops, services, pubs and garages as well as a popular monthly market in the Town Hall on the 3rd Saturday of the month. Bellingham is also a good base if you want to explore some of Northumberland's best-known attractions. It lies nine miles from Kielder Water & Forest Park and is only a dozen miles from Northumberland's own World Heritage Site, Hadrian's Wall. Famous as a stopping point on the Pennine Way trail it is popular with walkers and cyclists. Bellingham's proximity to the North Tyne river makes it popular for fishing but for those who prefer more active pursuits there is also an excellent 18-hole golf course. You can also walk along the riverbanks to where the Rede and Tyne river meet, and in season you can watch the wild salmon leaping. But there is plenty to see if you want to stay local to the town. Hareshaw Linn Walk is a stunning 2.5 mile walk through countryside passing the remains of an old ironworks - the area was once home to a number of iron and coal mines - that ends at a magnificent 30 feet waterfall. The town is also home to the Bellingham Heritage Centre which celebrates Bellingham's rich industrial and cultural past.
Details on local services, shops, pubs and restaurants can be found on the Bellingham Parish Council website.
Is a village with a population of 99. The village is 16 miles (26 km) north of Hexham.
Byrness lies in west-central Northumberland inside the Northumberland National Park and the Border Forest Park. The village is situated in the upper reaches of Rededale only 8 km from the border with Scotland at Carter Bar. Today Byrness comprises two main settlements:
• Firstly a hamlet clustered beside the late 18th-century church and much older graveyard.
• Secondly the Forestry Comission village, established in the 1950s and '60s, less than half a mile further up the valley.
Kielder Village is a small settlement in North Tynedale; Located at the head of Kielder Water and in the north west of Kielder Forest, the village is 3 miles (5 km) from the Scottish border. The economy of Kielder was based on forestry and is now also based on tourism. With the creation of Kielder Water in 1982 great steps have been taken to develop the area at a tourist destination with the establishment of facilities such as Leaplish Waterside Park by Northumbrian Water which offers both accommodation and recreational facilities. There is a pub, Post Office, School and Shop within Kielder Village.
Tarset and Greystead
Tarset and Greystead is a large parish in Upper North Tyne, which includes the hamlets of Lanehead, Greenhaugh and Greystead. Tarset's principal activity is upland hill farming and is famous for its high quality traditionally-reared Tarset hill lamb. The vibrant, friendly, community make the most of Tarset's beautiful surroundings and participate in a very full schedule of events. Most of the community activities centre around Tarset Village Hall at Lanehead, the Holly Bush Inn and the First School at Greenhaugh. However, Tarset residents are also active participants, organisers and helpers with groups and activities in the adjacent communities of Bellingham, Falstone, Kielder and Redesdale. This leads to a rich and varied programme of community events.
The Village stands 1 mile North of Knowesgate, and 10 miles from Bellingham. Kirkwhelpington parish has a Memorial Hall, which was built in 1924 as a memorial to the men of the village and district who gave their lives in the First World War, A Post Office and First School.
Comprises of the Villages West Woodburn, East Woodburn and Ridsdale. There are three churches, A shop, A Post Office, two pubs and one coffee shop. The tiny church of St. Cuthbert at Corsenside, between the road and the river, contains a Norman chancel arch. The age and dedication of the church makes it probable that this was one of the spots where the body of St. Cuthbert rested during the flight of the monks from Holy Island, 875-882. They probably came here from Elsdon; and continued by way of Bellingham, Haydon Bridge, Beltingham, etc. The neighbouring house with small mullioned windows is a 17th century building.
The parish of Otterburn is at the heart of Redesdale, a remote Northumbrian upland valley steeped in history and blessed with natural beauty.
The Percy Cross stands in the midst of a small plantation, a mile north of the village. Near this peaceful spot, on an August evening in 1388, an English army of 8,000 men followed Sir Henry Percy into battle against the Scots, led by the Earl of Douglas.
The battle of Otterburn ended in an English rout. Douglas was killed, Percy captured and over a thousand of the English were taken, left dead on the field or slain as they fled. The dead were carried to Elsdon church, three miles from Otterburn, where they were buried.
Today, the village is noted for its proximity to one of the UK’s largest army training ranges; 60,000 acres where the artillery only stops for lambing and Christmas.
But amongst the surrounding wild moors and hills the sound most likely to fall to the ear is the haunting call of the curlew. Red squirrels and even the otters which gave the village its name can be spotted if you are lucky.
It is thirty years since the looms stopped at Otterburn Mill but the history of weaving and wool milling can be followed in its museum. The famous expression ‘to be on tenter hooks’ came from the textile trade. The woven cloth, once washed, was dried and stretched on tenter frames and the mill boasts the last set of these in Europe.
Otterburns were heavy rugs which kept people warm when travelling on stage coaches and trains and were once given as accessories with Rolls Royce cars. Otterburn tweeds were worn by members of the Royal family for their hunting, shooting and fishing clothing. On the birth of the Princess Elizabeth in 1926, Buckingham Palace asked the mill to manufacture a small rug for the Royal pram. This was the start of the famous Otterburn pram rug which is still made today.
Visitor attractions include a café, a busy sales outlet and information centre at Otterburn Mill. Otterburn Festival, a country fair with a multitude of rural attractions, is held at the Mill in mid-July. The village has three hotels, a greengrocer and two shops selling groceries, newspapers, local produce, take-away food and licenced goods. Bed & breakfast accommodation is offered at a number of locations in and around the village.
Rochester is five miles north-east of Otterburn on the A68 road between Corbridge and Jedburgh. The village is the site of the Roman fort of Brigantium, built there to protect the important Roman road of Dere Street, which passes through the village. Brigantium now has a cafe, coffee shop and visitor centre.