Blanchland to Hexham
This is a relatively short stage which should afford time to explore one, or both, of the historic communities at each end. The dependence of the area on the lead mining industry is exemplified by the ruins of Shildon mill close to Blanchland. It is not long before the wide open spaces of Blanchland Moor are encountered on the approach to Slaley Forest. There is distant view of the huge Derwent Reservoir – the second largest in North Eastern England.
After going through part of the forest the path follows for over 2 miles Devil’s Water passing the Gothic arches of the ruins of Dukesfield Smelt Mill. After a short stretch of road walking which takes the path around the Woodland Trust’s Letah Wood Reserve which is thought to be Northumberland’s last wild daffodil wood. Should you wish to explore the wood then take the short footpath into the wood where after a few hundred meters, there is a set of steps to the right (North) which leads back onto the road route before the footpath heads north towards Dipton Pont Burn – download a map of the route through the wood
The route then heads north after crossing West Dipton Burn. Soon after passing a bench seat in memory of Jim Hobbs, a stalwart member of Hexham Ramblers, there is an elevated view of Hexham in its setting in the Tyne valley.