Northumberland has a plethora of walks, hikes and trails to explore. This one is a new one for me, it’s a fairly short but moderate walk. We did 6 miles taking in the wonderful views of the moors and the picturesque ruins of Blawearie. Parking along the grassy verge we headed onto the footpath and took the first left, you’ll see a stone marked with CH. This is the sign that you are almost at the dark cave entrance. If you like a little exploring then it’s worth checking this out.
A little something about Cateran Hole, information taken from trusty Wikipedia.
Cateran Hole is a circa 35m length cave set in the Gritstone of Cateran Hill in Northumberland. It lies about 4 miles due north of Eglingham, and can be reached by lining up the tall mast behind the farm with the left-hand end of the wood to the side of the Quarry House farm (to the north of the cave), then walking on this bearing.
A shallow crater with cut steps lead down into an easy rift passage which ultimately chokes. After the initial steepness of the steps, the passage is roomy with a slight downward tilt, running between two large planes of Gritstone which close in above. After about 30m a block, protruding downwards from the ceiling, reduces the route to a crawl into a small chamber which is choked by large blocks ahead. This crawl is sandy and often completely dry, although in very wet weather it occasionally sumps. The main fault, however, continues, and it is likely that this cave could be extended by concerted digging (a dangerous activity), although it is difficult to see why this would be done in Gritstone, where there is unlikely to be found any significant lateral development.
Cateran Hole is reputed to have been a smugglers’ hiding place, although locals claim that it once linked nearby Chillingham Castle with Hepburn. The latter seems an unlikely conclusion as it tends in the direction of neither, while the carved stone steps favour the former.
I’m not very good myself with dark and dingy spaces but I persevered to take some photos, thankfully it was a little wet towards the end of the crawl space so I didn’t have to face that fear!
After a couple of miles of walking, we decided to stop for a short lunch break at the ruins, incredible views and at this time of the year the rhododendron’s looked fabulous. I also loved the swings hanging from the old and imposing tree. Photographers will love the window view of the landscape from within the ruins.
Before you get to this walking trail, there is also a mini Thrunton Woods you could explore. It’s called Hepburn Woods. I’ll certainly be going back to explore as there are so many walks in the area to do for all fitness levels.
I’m slowly updating my walks that I have done prior to Lockdown and during, if you like walking/hiking like myself then make sure you are following our FB posts – I’ll also set up a newsletter for regular walks from those that wish to subscribe.
For more information on my route, visit the following link: View Ranger
Access: From Alnwick take the B6346 to Edlingham, then continue straight on until reaching Old Bewick. Park considerately on the grassy triangle or the road verge beside the farm.
SatNav: NE66 4DZ
From Felmoor Holiday Park we are approximately a 30 minute drive to Bewick.
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