Our midweek walk took us to a territory of Northumberland which was just north of Belsay, and for those who aren’t accustomed to Belsay, then Shaftoe is north of Ponteland off the A696. If you pass Belsay, then Shaftoe is literally the third major turn off but the only snag is, you can’t park there as it’s a private road, so we basically parked 100m from the private road on a lay-by.
It does feel a little awkward walking up the private road as you begin to encounter property and it feels like you shouldn’t be walking round there, but lo and behold, if you turn right and walk round, there is a road which leads you away from the house and onto Shaftoe Crags.
The cattle were alerted by our presence and probably wanted something from us, something we didn’t quite have, which was food.
The road basically ensures you reach the crags, but halfway up we decided to take another path through the bracken.
The views were still breathtaking despite it being more than overcast.
You get a real sense of achievement reaching the summit and being able to take in the landscapes is an added bonus.
It also appears when you go round from the top there’s more routes to indulge yourself in, but on a wet overcast day, remember to take your wellies and waterproof’s! There’s plenty to explore and it’s another beautiful part of Northumberland which on a clear day illustrates how expanse, natural and raw this land is. This walk was a good stretch and we probably spent an hour walking there and back. So for anyone who hasn’t been, get yourself there for a lovely walk.