6. Harthope Valley
start: Haugh Head, Wooler
This ride brings you into one of Cheviot's most delightful valleys. There are some optional extras and the distance quoted is just into the valley and back. Start from the Haugh Head Garage, a mile or so S of Wooler.
Turn L onto the A697 for 200 yds to take a rough track on the R down to the ford through the Wooler Water, then climb up to the crossroads. If you have a car, you could leave it just by the ford. Go straight across onto the metalled road, passing the National Park picnic site and WCs, to Middleton Hall village. Turn L for Langleeford up the 1 in 5 hill to the shepherd's cottage at the quaintly named 'Skirl Naked' to descend another 1 in 5 hill to the Carey Burn Bridge at the entrance to the Harthope Valley proper.
The valley road can be followed for the next 2.5 miles, as far as the farm at Langleeford. Access land along the riverside has been negotiated by the National Park Authority for picnics and recreation. There are two right-of-way bridleways out of the valley which can be explored by experienced mountain bikers.
The first leaves the valley one mile upstream from Carey Burn Bridge, crossing by the first bridge, then turning away from the cottage of Langlee, and climbs steeply up to the saddle between the prominent Langlee and Housey Crags on the skyline. It continues into the Treestoneburn Forest where there is a prehistoric stone circle.
The second leaves the valley just before the Hawsen Burn on the R (Hawsen Burn is the end of the public road for motor vehicles). This bridleway leads alongside the Hawsen Burn, climbs up to the saddle between Broadhope Hill and Cold Law, then descends to the ruined farmhouse of Broadstruther in the heart of the Cheviot hills.
Please note that public footpaths are not open to cyclists or horse riders. Mountain bikers are allowed to use any public bridleway or byway.
haugh head garage, wooler