Birkside Fell

 

Start and Finish

The picnic site car-park at Baybridge, just West of Blanchland, grid reference NY 957501

Description

A walk along moorland with short sections of woodland at the beginning and end. A walk of approximately 5 miles which can be a little boggy after periods of rain. Enjoy the company of endless rabbits and Red Grouse and maybe even a sighting of a Buzzard too.

The Walk

Leave the car-park and turn left along the road, pass the first private drive and enter the second, with a footpath sign for Hunstanworth and Riddlehamhope. Follow this minor road, passing some houses on the left and proceed to a gate next to the farm at Newbiggin, go through the kissing gate on the left of the main gate. Follow the track round to the right and then to the left and go through another gate into a field. Go straight ahead, keeping to the right of the wall until you get to another gate, go through this and immediately go right up the hillside to another gate at the top right of the field. Go through this and turn left, up another field and after a short while, go through another gate on the left and enter Whitehill plantation.

Follow the meandering track up through the conifers until eventually reaching another gate which signifies the end of the plantation and the beginning of the moorland - this is Newbiggin Fell.
Proceed along the obvious track, looking down to Reeding Burn to the right and Birkside Fell ahead to the NE. A line of grouse butts appears along the left side and and soon after, you will come to a shooting hut to the right of the track, at Blackburn Head (Grid Ref. 932509)

 

Shelter

Darwin and Huxley, 2001


This shelter has tables and benches inside and even if you do not use the interior, it makes a welcome windbreak or a suitable stopping place for somewhere to stop and eat. Fantastic views to the North and West especially are to be seen from here.

From here, pick up the path opposite the door of the shelter through the heather and join the Carrier's way as it crosses Birkside Fell. Continue along until you find some posts marking a diverted path going East over the moor and follow these posts for guidance, the path is a little vague but the peat and mud are certainly not! Go over the stile next to a gate and proceed right to where two gates are together.

Take the left gate, waymarked, and follow along the left side of the wall. In the left corner of this field, go through another gate and follow the wall round to the right to another gate, leaving the moor at this point. Go through the gate and down the steep road, passing Parker's Plantation on the right. Follow the road down in to the hamlet of Baybridge , turn right at the bottom where the main road is reached and re-enter the picnic site car-park.