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47. The Lambley Viaduct Railway Walk

Scenes in the North Pennines

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The pictures illustrate Walk 11 LAMBLEY VIADUCT in Walking Country Alston & Allendale in the North Pennines by Paul Hannon. The route is an anti-clockwise circular walk from Coanwood via Lambley, Lambley Viaduct and Ashholme.

The walk starts from the Coanwood car park on the South Tyne Trail.

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A rather fine wooden bird sculpture 'guards' the car park.


On leaving the car park at Coanwood you cross the road and head south down the South Tyne Trail along the old railway track.


The track through the woods at Coanwood which was once part of the old Haltwhistle to Alston branch railway.


The last remains of Coanwood station platform and the last part of the station house? is just visible through the trees and then onto ...

The Lambley (ex railway) Viaduct is a stone bridge across the River South Tyne at Lambley in Northumberland but remains open to pedestrians and is part of the South Tyne footpath trail. Lambley viaduct crosses the River South Tyne as a series of elegant stone arches that once carried the Haltwhistle to Alston railway which was opened in 1852 to haul coal and lead from the Alston mines, sadly closed in 1976. The viaduct may have been designed by George Barclay Bruce, an eminent Victorian engineer who was involved in the Alston line before leaving for India to pioneer railway construction there. It is a particularly elegant example of Victorian engineering: the river is crossed by nine 17-metre (56 ft) wide arches which support a deck 32 metres (105 ft) above the river but, as it carried a single rail track, only 3.5 metres (11 ft) wide. The piers to the arches are built of massive rough-faced stones each weighing up to 500 kilograms (1,100 lb), with similar-sized stones in ashlar to the main arch voussoirs. The spandrels and piers to the 6-metre (20 ft) wide approach arches are built of coursed rubble masonry.

Lambley Viaduct over the River South Tyne. You can climb up and cross the river by the viaduct itself or take the lower footbridge - somewhat less exciting!


The great arches of Lambley Viaduct


Looking south from Lambley Viaduct itself down onto the shingle banks of the River South Tyne.


Looking down and north from Lambley Viaduct onto the footbridge connecting Coanwood and Lambley.


A most magnificent structure and another masterpiece of Victorian railway engineering to leave us a great piece of architecture.




The old Lambley station, now a private house, but still retains one of the station signs.


Looking back to Lambley Viaduct from south of Lambley on the South Tyne Trail.


The old track bed of the disused railway

The house at Whitwham.


Re-crossing the River South Tyne from west to east.




Walking north along the east bank of the River South Tyne.



You leave the river bank and climb north up through Oakeyside Wood, Low Ashholme (Oakeside Wood, Low Ash Holme) and onto Hagg Wood.



Looking down from Ashholme to Hagg Wood and Lambley Viaduct. At the start of Hagg Wood you turn east and head up the track in the picture, up to Ashholme, then north along the road for a short distance before leaving the road and heading north-west across the fields back to Coanwood.

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