Go on then, hands up who had heard of Slaggyford??
Me neither until I found this walk in the excellent book Walks in Tynedale & Allendale and was intrigued. This walk started in the village of Slaggyford itself – a pretty, pretty rural village with a cluster of houses around a well kept village green.
After crossing the South Tyne over a spectacular babbling section, we headed into open countryside and were soon striking uphill across lush pasture. It was a fine, if brooding, day weather-wise and as we climbed above the village we were treated to spectacular views of the surrounding hills framed with slate grey clouds. Peering down over the South Tyne valley we could have been in Norway or Canada, such was the breadth of landscape on view. Carrying on, we passed an old lime kiln that sliced straight into the hillside and is surprisingly well kept. It nestles close to a rare stand of juniper scrub that is closely managed by local environmental groups to maintain its viability.
Lunch was taken beneath some obliging trees and by a comfy stone wall. Several cows took an interest in our sandwiches but responded well to gentle persuasion when asked to hop it.
After lunch we continued down the valley crossing the lovely Snope Burn by the handsome Eals Bridge before returning close to the banks of the South Tyne along the valley road. After passing Knarsdale Hall we entered Knarsdale village and stopped at the Kirkstyle Inn to replenish lost fluids. Cutting through the churchyard of St Jude’s we headed back to Slaggyford via a section of the South Tyne Trail.