Welcome to Walltown
Walltown Farm straddles Hadrian's Wall and is the setting for these four luxurious holiday homes. The four properties have been converted and renovated to a very high standard over a four year period ending in 2022.
Two of the properties have large cinema/games rooms (with ping pong tables), hot tubs and barbeques.
For large gatherings you can book Walltown Byre and Walltown Farm Cottage together to give 6/7 bedrooms for up to 12 or 14 guests. They are 200 yards apart and the Byre has sufficient entertaining space for 16. Lowtown Cottage (2 bedrooms for 4 guests) is a further 7 minutes walk away. Fell End is a short (8 minute) drive away, or a 25 minute walk across the fell.
Walltown and Fell End farms are on the Western border of the beautiful Northumbrian National Park and right at the heart of Hadrian's Wall and border rievers (raiders) country. At the start of the access road to Walltown is the Roman Army Museum part of the Vindolanda Trust. We were delighted to hear at the end of last year that the Trust had received lottery funding to carry out a five year program of excavation of the Magna Roman Fort, just to the West of the Museum and Walltown. The fort was home to two of the most exotic Roman regiments to have served in Britain, the Syrian Archers and the Dalmation mountain soldiers.
Twenty minutes down the hill from the museum takes you to a small bridge over the Tipalt, a tributary of the South Tyne. Just over the bridge is the imposing ruins of Thirlwell Castle, built by John Thirlwell in the 1330's to protect his family from avaricious neighbours (Rievers or raiders) and later on from Scottish raiders.
Walking back the other way back onto Walltown Farm, you can walk up to the top of Walltown Crags, one of the highest points of Hadrian's wall, with some sections of the wall in good enough repair to show how majestic the wall was. The views to the North look over Kielder Forest and to the North West you can see the hills in Scotland North of the Solway.
All of our four properties are fully equipped for self-catered holidays with new kitchens with modern cookers, microwaves and fridge freezers. All bedding and towels are provided. If you need anything else Chris, our local manager, is on hand to assist.
Our two larger properties each have a hot tub, a barbeque and a large cinema/games room with a three metre screen and a table tennis table. Fell End has croquet and Badminton in the Summer months.
We are dog lovers and dogs are welcome by prior arrangement and a small additional charge. Our guest guide contains important information about walking dogs through farms in the National Park.
Walltown is situated halfway between Hexham and Carlisle and is a 40 minute drive from Newcastle. It is a 10 minute drive North of Haltwhistle, which is the geographical centre of Britain and boasts a Sainsburies and a Co-op for daily needs.
For eating out, the Mile Castle pub sits 2.25 miles east along the Military Road and is within walking distance down the farm track from the property within 45 minutes or so. You will also find good pub food at the Greenhead Hotel 1.25 miles west. Alternatively, the Samson Inn, Gilsland or the Blenkinsopp Castle Inn and Bistro are 2.75 and 2.9 miles respectively and both come recommended.
The Twice Brewed pub sits 4.5 miles east along the Military Road is a popular choice with walkers and has its own micro-brewery, or for a stunning dining experience with a difference, head to Restaurant Hjem which has achieved the coveted stamp of approval as the first Michelin starred restaurant in Northumberland. Guests can experience a fantastic tasting menu combining the finest Northumbrian produce with the flair and precision of Scandinavia (21 miles).
A little further afield sits the pretty market town of Hexham (21 miles) characterised by cobbled streets and historic architecture which offers quirky coffee shops, award-winning restaurants and excellent independent shops. Hexham offers more extensive shopping and amenities. It also boasts its own racecourse, theatre, cinema, golf course and leisure centre, including a pool and a ten-pin bowling alley.
The popular tourist village of Corbridge is 25 miles and offers a variety of shops, a delicatessen, and one or two restaurants and cafes, while Matfen Hall (26 miles) offers excellent spa and leisure facilities. In the other direction, the pretty market town of Brampton, with Lanercost Priory close by, is 10 miles away and the historic city of Carlisle is 21 miles away.
There is a wealth of things to see and do in Carlisle including the award-winning Tullie House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle Castle. Walby Park Farm is a family favourite where you can meet farmyard favourites and rare breeds with plenty of opportunity for the younger ones to burn off some steam. Carlisle offers extensive shopping, a cinema, a railway station and various bars and restaurants. If you or your guests are coming by plane or train, the new Carlisle Airport, with flights from Southend, Belfast and Dublin, is 16 miles away.
Newcastle and Carlisle have mainline train services with direct trains to London and Edinburgh/Glasgow, and there is a local train between Newcastle and Carlisle that stops at Haltwhistle which is 2.5 miles away. There is a bus (the AD122) linking the major Roman sites, together with Hexham and Haltwhistle which has a stop at the Roman Army Museum which is ¾ mile from the Byre or a 15-minute walk. This runs between Easter and the 1st October. Car hire is available in Newcastle (Airport and near the train station) and Carlisle.
Walking, Roman history, eating out, shopping and even wild swimming are well catered for in the vicinity of Walltown. You can also try stargazing at Twice Brewed Inn or spotting wildfowl at Campfield Marsh on the Solway. For Roman history fans, we are 5 miles from Vindolanda, one of Europes outstanding Roman sites. We are in walking distance of the Roman Army museum and the site of the recently announced Magma excavation project. A little further afield are Vindolanda, Houseteads and Chesters Roman sites. If you amble out of your house at Walltown in the spring or early summer, you may well see Curlews, Oyster Catchers, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Snipe, and Redshank. On the ground we see a small number of Roe deer each year.
Our four properties are perfectly situated for walkers and Roman history enthusiasts. Hadrians Wall runs through the farms to the North and is easily accessible. There are numerous circular walks you can make from our properties and two particular favourites where you may want to be dropped off or collected.
The first is to our local, the Milecastle Inn, about 1.5 hours and the second to or from the Roman Fort at Birdoswald, about two hours. There are many walks, of course, following Hadrian's Wall. Our favourite is from the car park at Steel Rigg, head North/North East to the edge of Kielder Forest eventually head South between Greenlee and Broomlee Loughs meeting up with the Pennine Way and walking into Houseteads. From there walk back west along one of the most spectacular parts of the Hadrian's Wall path, a section of which is close to a sheer drop into Crag Lough. After 4 hours or so you are back at Steel Rigg and may be tempted to drop into the Twice Brewed Inn for a pint and a pizza. Further afield there are many other walks around Hexham, Alston, the Pennine Way and finally you may want to walk all or part of Isaac's Tea Trail, a 58km walk linking Allendale and Alston. More information on walks is provided in our guest guides, but do have a google before you come!
Dip into the river Irthing a couple of miles North of Gilsland below Crammel Linn a lovely double waterfall. Alternatively, drive south past Featherstone Castle and swim in the South Tyne. Both of these spots are some 20 minutes drive from Walltown.
The pretty market town of Hexham (21 miles) characterised by cobbled streets and historic architecture which offers quirky coffee shops, award winning restaurants and excellent independent shops. Hexham offers more extensive shopping and amenities. It also boasts its own racecourse, theatre, cinema, golf course and leisure centre, including a pool and a tenpin bowling alley. A visit to the Abbey is a must.
The popular tourist village of Corbridge is 25 miles and offers a variety of shops, a delicatessen, and one or two restaurants and cafes, while Matfen Hall (26 miles) offers excellent spa and leisure facilities.
In the other direction, the town of Brampton, with Lanercost Priory close by, is 10 miles away and the historic city of Carlisle is 21 miles away. There is a wealth of things to see and do in Carlisle including the award winning Tullie House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle Castle. Walby Park Farm is a family favourite where you can meet farmyard favourites and rare breeds with plenty of opportunity for the younger ones to burn off some steam. Carlisle offers extensive shopping, a cinema, railway station and various bars and restaurants.
If you like trains, the narrow gauge South Tynedale Railway runs between Alston and Slaggyford on various days between April and October.
For some post Roman history visit Hermitage Castle (60 minutes), a Norman castle built in 1240AD and famous for a visit there by Mary Queen of Scotts to the wounded 4th Earl of Bothwell. She later married Bothwell, despite the fact that he was implicated in her husband’s murder.
Lanercost Priory, founded in 1169AD is only 18 minutes’ drive away. It is partly built from stones from Hadrian’s Wall and was visited a number of times by Edward I. In August 1311, Robert Bruce King of Scotland, came with his army and made it his headquarters for three days. Very good cafe/restaurant for a light lunch. Combine a trip here with a visit to the Roman fort at Birdoswald. Drop walkers off here to walk back to Walltown. About two hours and one of our favourite walks along the Wall.
You can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures in over 13,000 acres at nearby Wallington Hall (45 minutes) with gentle woodland strolls to more extensive hikes, or take your bike and explore the Dragon Cycling Trail, a safe family-friendly route where you may be lucky enough to spot one of the resident red squirrels in the woods. For less active pursuits, head to the Clocktower Cafe for a coffee and cake stop, or take a tour of the main house for a fascinating insight into the rich history and artefacts of this 300 year old home.
Cragside House and Gardens offer a captivating day out for the family where you can discover the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Crammed full of gadgets developed by Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius, Lord Armstrong, Cragside is truly a wonder of its age. The adventure playground with its network of paths and tunnels will be a huge hit with children, and the gardens here are an absolute delight.
A 45 minute drive will take you to the Kielder Water and Forest Park, with something for everyone including water sports enthusiasts, cyclists, walkers, naturalists, artists, families and photographers. A highlight is the star gazing treat at the Kielder Observatory where you can view the outstanding dark skies of the Northumberland National Park. Kielder Cycle Centre Kielder Village Northumberland NE48 1ER 01434 250457; email@example.com
To the West, the coast of the Solway is 50 minutes away and the North of the Lake District is well within reach, with Ullswater, for example, being a 60 minute drive.
Catch a trout at Brampton or at Naworth. Both about 20 mins drive westwards. To the East is Langley Dam, just before Hexham. For the experts try www.fishpal.com for days on the Tyne or the Derwent or Eden in Cumbria.
Finally a trip to the city of Newcastle with its amazing Millennium revolving eye bridge and the fantastic glass Sage building for music. Admire the wonderful architecture of the north-east’s most eminent architect John Dobson or perhaps enjoy an evening of arts at the wonderful Theatre Royal.
Haltwhistle Golf Club is just past Greenhead on the way to Gilsland. It is an 18 hole course with superb views. It costs £10 per round on an honesty box system. The Open will not be held here, but it provides an enjoyable round of golf.
Brampton Golf Club is, we think, a really superb course. Fabulous views, quite long with big gradients and very well kept. Members are very welcoming to guests. Fairly expensive (£45 per round) and you need to book a tee-off time. CA8 1HN, 016977 2255.
To the East is Bellingham Golf Club. It is very pretty and good value. NE48 2DT, tel tel:01434220530">01434 220530.
Heading further East, there is Matfen Hall golf course and Spa hotel NE20 0RH, tel 01661 886 500
and Slaley Hall, which boasts two 18 hole championship level courses. NE47 0BX, tel 01434 673 350.
A new course, Close House, has recently opened with two Lee Westwood designed courses about 7 miles this side of Newcastle. It looks super, but it is expensive. NE41 8BL, tel 01661 852255.
The local town is Haltwhistle, five minutes drive away. This boasts a Sainsbury’s and a Co-Op but no other national chains. Instead you have Billy Bells, a fantastically old fashioned purveyor of meat, fish, pies and vegetables. The town has, more than once, been described as dreary but the lack of national outlets, the quirky shops and the historic buildings around the central square belie this.
Heading West is Brampton, which also sports a Co-Op and is a very attractive market town. This is where to go if you want to browse antique shops. Combine your trip here with a visit to Lannercost Priory (and lunch at the Prior).
Hexham (refer above). This large market town with its historic abbey has a wide range of larger shops, together with smaller outlets and antique shops.