Legend has it that waterfalls can make us HAPPY so what better reason than to take a stroll to the prettiest of waterfalls which can be found at Hareshaw Linn in the Northumberland National Park and only a short half hour drive from our holiday cottage here at St Oswald’s Farm.
Hareshaw Linn lies just a couple of miles from the village of Bellingham and is the perfect destination for a morning or afternoon walk. The Linn is signposted from Bellingham and there is a free car park. The overall walk is around 3 miles and it would be best to allow 2 hours, although you may want to stay longer in this tranquil and beautiful setting!
Although now very hard to imagine Hareshaw Linn was once the site of two blast furnaces in the 1800’s and at the peak of its operation it contained 70 coke ovens, 24 roasting kilns for calcining the iron ore, a range of coal stores, a blacksmiths shop, wagon shed, stables and stores. The iron works were in continuous production until 1848. However it would seem a distant memory and nature has proved it recovers quickly and it is hard to believe that this stunning ancient woodland once raged with noise, people and smoke!
As you begin your walk some reminders remain of the history and the past story of this beautiful part of the Northumberland National Park. You will walk over mounds which are left from the spoil from the ovens and further on and once you’ve climbed the steps you will see the entrance to an old mine shaft.
The kissing gate takes you into the Linn itself, Linn being the old English for Waterfall. This fantastic ancient woodland is made up of elm, ash, oak and hazel and there are rare plants and wildlife in abundance! You may be lucky enough to see spotted woodpecker, red squirrels and wood warblers going about their daily business.
This area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and has been given this designation because of the rare ferns and lichens which can be found. There are over 300 types of moss, liverworts and lichens which are at home and thrive in the perfect damp conditions that the Linn provides.
The walk criss crosses over the water and you’ll find yourself crossing no less than six little bridges on this magical walk through this dense gorge which is in stark contrast to the often sparse and open Northumberland countryside. The path eventually brings you to the waterfall itself, where you will be met with the spectacular site of this 9 metre waterfall.
Every good walk should end with cake and once you’ve meandered you’re way back to your car, a 2 minute drive will take you to Carriages Tearoom which is the perfect place to have morning coffee, a lunch or of course the ultimate afternoon tea.
This unusual and aptly named tearoom is housed within 1957 Mark I Carriages which were brought to the site in 2011 from Devon.
The restoration project took a year and saw the carriages restored back to their former glory to be enjoyed once again. The Carriages still contain the original seats and many of the original fixtures and fittings from when the train was last used for public service. Anyone for tea on Platform 1?
Book your stay with us at St Oswald’s Farm and discover the beauty of Northumberland, and if you can take a trip to Hareshaw Linn. We very much hope you find it as magical as we do and discover that waterfalls really do make you happy!