Airport to Dissington Bridge to Airport (10 miles)

Leave Airport Metro station and follow the signs into the Airport Terminal. Go out from the terminal building by the first exit, a few yards ahead on the left. Turn left and follow the pavement, and a series of pedestrian crossings, towards the airport exit. Just after the roundabout, cross to the other side of the road and go onto the path ahead of you. Follow the path until you reach a roundabout. Continue ahead and pass Stone Cottage and Stonehaven Lodge bed and breakfast on your right. Carry on past The Badger pub and the entrance to Dobbies Garden Centre and Restaurant. Continue ahead for just over 3/4 of a mile until you reach the Diamond Inn opposite Ponteland Methodist Church. Walk ahead a few yards and turn left to cross over at the pedestrian lights (A).

Turn right and walk ahead. Over to the right you pass the ancient church of St Mary the Virgin and the Vicar’s Pele Tower (c1400), a plaque behind the metal gate gives interesting historical information. You pass a sign to the Merton Way shopping centre, which has a variety of shops and cafes. Just before St Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church (1947 and later extensions) on your right, turn left into Ponteland Park. Follow the path for about 50 yards then turn right and proceed along the narrow path with the River Pont over to your left. Cross the bridge. Bear right, then take the right-hand fork and walk ahead to cross the Ponteland Park Millennium Bridge. At a T-junction of paths, turn right.  After about 30 yards, at a junction of paths, turn right to exit the park onto a narrow road (Fox Covert Lane). Turn right and walk to a junction with a main road. Turn left and walk along The Beeches for about 50 yards. Turn left onto the public footpath to Dissington Bridge. (The entrance to the path is down the driveway, tucked in near the garden of the house) (B).

Follow the grassy path to reach a stile, with a farm (West Houses) over to the right. Cross the stile. Walk straight ahead, with hedges on your left, along the field boundaries via a series of stiles. At the corner of a large field, turn right to continue round the perimeter, with the hedge still on your left, to a gateway and a waymarked stile on your left. Turn left and walk ahead, with the hedge on your right. At the end of the field, bear left and walk 50 yards to a ladder stile. Cross the stile and walk straight ahead towards a barn. Cross another ladder stile. Walk past the barn. Bear slightly right to walk diagonally across the field, aiming for the last house on the right of the line of houses seen through the trees and bushes ahead. You arrive at a waymarked ladder stile.  Go over the stile and proceed ahead with the hedgerow on your left. Ignore the ladder stile on your left and continue skirting the edge of Darras Hall Estate. After the last house, cross a ladder stile and walk along the field boundary into a wood. Proceed ahead between the trees to a field. Walk ahead, with the hedge on your left. At the end of the field go up steps at the right-hand side of the bridge to the dismantled railway. Turn left and walk for 15 yards, then turn right to descend to some steps into a field. Proceed ahead, cross a ladder stile and follow the path to a waymarked ladder stile (C).

Cross the stile. Bear right and walk ahead. Where the wire fence on your right makes a right-angle turn, bear right and proceed ahead, now with the River Pont on your left. Cross a little plank bridge and shortly go over a waymarked footbridge. Walk ahead, with the stream on your left, past a footbridge. Follow the path as it bears right, with trees over to your left, to a ladder stile. Go over the stile and bear left, to proceed around the field edge, with the hedgerow on your left, to arrive at a stile near a gate.  Cross the stile, bear slightly right and walk towards the bushes and the banks of a river ahead. Turn right and follow the path, which runs roughly parallel to the River Pont on your left, to the end of the field to cross a stile. Continue in the same direction. Follow the path up steps and emerge onto a minor road at Dissington Bridge (D).

Turn left and proceed along the road for about 350 yards.  Just before the Medburn sign take the public bridleway on the left for “Darras Hall 1, Ponteland 23/4”.Follow the perimeter of the field and then the broad track that climbs to the entrance to a farm (Donkins House). You are recommended to follow the alternative path round the farm area. Continue along the broad farm track which leads into a narrow road (The Crescent). Walk ahead to the road junction and turn right. Walk for a h u n d red yards or so then take the public bridleway “Ponteland 13/4” on the left. Keep to the main path, which follows the line of a dismantled railway, until it reaches a road. Cross the road (Broadway). Continue ahead, with the modern Ponteland United Reformed Church on your right, to pass some pleasant housing before rejoining the disused railway track. Continue to the next road. Turn right and walk along the road (Eastern Way) to a crossroads. Turn left and proceed to the roundabout ahead. Turn right, in the direction “Newcastle, Throckley”, and walk to the next roundabout. Turn left, in the direction “Newcastle, Airport”. Cross the road with care near the “Rotary Way” sign and proceed ahead on the wide grass verge to a fingerpost “Hold House 1/2” on your right (E).

Go over the stile and walk ahead on the broad farm track. After half a mile, at a crossing of paths, turn left onto the public footpath to the Airport. Keep on the path which passes a small pond on your right. Where the path turns left, go over the waymarked stile ahead and walk towards the Airport buildings. You walk on a narrow path between wire fences until you reach a vehicular track near the former opencast workings. Bear right and walk along the broad track. Where the track turns left you leave it to go right, through a gap in the fence. Bear left and follow the faint path for about 30 yards to come to a field. Bear left to walk along the field boundary, with the hedge on your left. Turn left when you reach a large metal gate on your left. Walk along the broad surfaced track. At a fingerpost (which gives directions for the way you have just come), turn left and follow the pavement to the busy dual carriageway. Cross both lanes with care and make your way back to the Airport Terminal, Airport Metro station and the end of the walk.

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