Happy Valley Circular Walk

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2-3h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
188 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Happy Valley Circular Walk is a great excursion in Northumberland that will lead you around a charming valley to visit an historical site. While out walking the trail, you will explore the beautiful landscape along Happy Valley and visit the abandoned Medieval village of Middleton Old Town, before looping around to follow along the banks of Coldgate Water. This is a fantastic walking route for those with an interest in history and experiencing scenic countryside views.

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Route Description for Happy Valley Circular Walk

While walking the Happy Valley Circular Trail isn’t an overly challenging activity, there are some overgrown and poorly marked sections of the route that will make travel difficult. Be sure to wear proper walking boots and bring a GPS/trail map in order to successfully traverse these areas. Additionally, you will almost certainly encounter livestock while out on this walk, so make sure that you keep your dog on a lead if you are walking with one.

Even though it can be a bit challenging at times, the Happy Valley Circular Walk is an excellent adventure in Northumberland that will provide you with some lovely views of the surrounding landscape. In addition to the wonderful views, history enthusiasts will enjoy the fact that you can explore an abandoned settlement that dates back to the Medieval period, making this walk a fun adventure that is suitable for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.

Setting out from the roadside layby, you will head to the southwest along the road and cross over the bridge, picking up the footpath on your left in order to cross over Harthope Burn. From here, you will head to the east and keep left along the trail, passing through the lightly wooded terrain along the lower slopes of Brands Hill as you roughly follow the banks of Coldgate Water.

Eventually, you will make your way past the abandoned village of Middleton Old Town, where you will find the stone cottages and outbuildings of a settlement that dated back to the Medieval period. From here, you will continue along the undulating terrain to the southeast until you arrive in South Middleton. At the road, you will head left and follow it towards the end of the hamlet, where you will branch off to the left in order to traverse the open fields to the northeast, eventually meeting up with another country road.

Heading left here, you will make your way to the north along the road and follow it through North Middleton to eventually arrive at Coldgate Mill. Just before the bridge, you will pick up a footpath on the left and follow it across Coldgate Water to arrive at a junction. Turning left here, you will make your way along the winding banks of Coldgate Water, taking some time to appreciate the peaceful setting as you make your way back into the trailhead where you began your day on the Happy Valley Circular Walk.

Trail Highlights

Middleton Old Town

First documented in 1242, Middleton Old Town (originally named Midilest Middleton) is an abandoned Medieval village in Northumberland. A few documents shed some light on the deserted village situated near Happy Valley and Coldgate Water, which note that by 1580 there were eleven tenants at the site. It is likely that the settlement was relocated towards the end of the 18th Century.

Insider Hints for Happy Valley Circular Walk

  • Wear proper footwear for this adventure, as sections of the trail are a bit overgrown.
  • Be sure to bring a trail map or GPS, as some parts of the trail are poorly marked.
  • Keep your dog on a lead, as you will likely encounter livestock in the area.

Getting to the Happy Valley Circular Walk Trailhead

The trailhead for the Happy Valley Circular Walk can be found at a roadside layby just 0.9 mi southwest of Middleton Hall.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Happy Valley Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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