Wednesday 22 August 2018

Waterfall Walk in the Northumberland National Park - Hareshaw Linn

Whilst we've done a lot of walking along the Northumberland Coast this Summer we haven't really spent much time in the countryside so last weekend we decided to visit Hareshaw Linn for a beautiful waterfall walk in the Northumberland National Park.

We're the first to admit that we prefer our walks simple (who wants to ruin their hike with an argument over maps and directions?!) and the walk to the waterfall at Hareshaw Linn has to be one of the easiest in the Northumberland National Park. Zero navigation skills required it's a simple "follow the path route" that takes you directly to where you need to go.

Waterfall Walk in the Northumberland National Park - Hareshaw Linn

We parked at the designated car park in the little town of Bellingham (closest postcode for your satnav is NE48 2DA) in the heart of Northumberland. Be warned the car park is pretty small and we were very lucky to bag the last spot on a particularly hot and sunny Friday afternoon. The start of the walk is clearly signposted from the carpark and once we were on the path we didn't need to worry about where we were going.

The first part of our walk was pretty open, not ideal with the hot sun beating down on top of our heads. Being a little unprepared neither of us were wearing sunblock which meant an uncomfortable start to our treck with neither of us being able to take off our sleeves for fear of sunburn (a mistake we won't be making again in a hurry!) Luckily, just as we began to get a little too hot we started our climb into the ancient woodland of Hareshaw Linn and the delicious shade of the trees.

Waterfall Walk Northumberland National Park - Hareshaw Linn

I've heard many people say the woodlands at Hareshaw Linn are magical and in all honesty there's no better way to describe them. If fairies and elves do exist I truly believe that is where they are living because the woodland was absolutely stunning, very peaceful and just had a very calming feel about it. I immediately felt relaxed as soon as we started strolling underneath the trees and did catch myself keeping half an eye open for wandering pixies as well as the usual wildlife we love to spot in the Northumberland countryside.

There are over 300 different types of moss to be found at Hareshaw Linn, a fact that you might not find too interesting until you're in the woodland for yourself and can truly appreciate the beauty of the surrounding foliage. The damp edges of the water attracts the most wonderful spongy moss in different shades of green and they really add to the remarkable atmosphere of the ancient woodland.

Northumberland National Park - Hareshaw Linn

The hike through the woodland wasn't the easiest walk we've ever been on, not helped by the heat (and perhaps the amount of food we've been over indulging on recently!) we puffed and panted our way up and down steep steps, struggled our way up a few hills and carefully negotiated some sudden dips to make our way towards the waterfall.  Although only 3 miles long, this definitely isn't a walk for the unfit and sensible footwear is strongly advised.

When we finally reached the treasure at the end though it was worth the hard work. Our first glimpse of the waterfall arrived just as we were met by the most beautiful rocky cliff edge. I've honestly never seen anything so beautiful in my life - a whole wall of rock towering above us deep in the heart of the woodland. It truly was magical.

Northumberland - Hareshaw Linn

A short climb down some steps and we were finally looking over the beautiful waterfall of Hareshaw Linn. Significantly quieter and more picturesque than our trip to the famous falls at High Force, we wondered why less people seem to know about these waterfalls because they surely must be the most beautiful in Northumberland.

We were stood there with only a very small handful of others enjoying the peaceful rushing of the water and marvelling at the beautiful reflections on the rocks at the bottom of the fall.

Northumberland - Hareshaw Linn Waterfalls
Being very careful to navigate the rocks we managed to hoist ourselves down to the water below for a proper look and felt truly lucky to be one of the few people enjoying the scenery on that afternoon. It may not be as easy a walk as the short stroll to High Force but the views did make it feel that much better.

Unfortunately, the one negative about the walk to the waterfall at Hareshaw Linn is that you have to walk back the way you have just come! I don't know about you but I much prefer a circular route to get some different scenery!

Northumberland - Hareshaw Linn Waterfall

Of course, I can't just leave you there, every great walk has to come with a food recommendation - I mean if you're going to get involved in a hike you need the promise of tea and cake to pull you through, am I right?

Bellingham - Carriages Tea Room Cream Tea

A short stroll from the carpark you'll find the quirky and delicious Carriages at Bellingham, an old train carriage that's been turned into a tea room serving up fantastic homemade cakes. Sometimes places like this can be a little gimmicky with less than average food but we both agreed that our cream teas were spot on with fantastic scones and a generous helping of cream and jam to pile on top of them.

Bellingham - Carriages Tea Room

We loved discovering the waterfall walk at Hareshaw Linn and it's made us realise that we still have plenty more of the Northumberland National Park to discover.  Make sure you let us know your favourite spots so we know where to try next time!


  1. What a beautiful walk and such a quirky setting for a scone! I am sure you can walk here from the place we had our BBQ in Ingram Valley too x

    1. I'm thinking of maybe visiting Ingram Valley this weekend!

  2. Was there a few weeks ago. Magical place!

  3. I'll have to suggest this to Rob, and myself a pair of hiking boots I suppose!
    Laura x

    1. I love my hiking boots so much, I'm so glad I bought them! We don't walk that much but they are honestly such a game changer - even on our shorter walks it's great to have something really secure and robust on your feet!


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