Wylam to Ovingham is the fourth walk in my Walking the River Tyne Westwards Project. According to Google Maps the path I followed is just under three miles in total and is suitable for wheelchairs, prams etc apart from a couple of parts in the first half mile but alternative routes are available. Check the map below.
Starting out at Wylam Train Station cross the river and follow the road around to the left.
After around 100 yards you will see The Fox and Hounds pub.
Cross the road and enter gate into Jubilee Field.
Follow the path along the top of the field and leave by the gate in front of you. Head down the hill slightly to your right and join the cyclepath which, after a few hundred yards, runs over Hagg Bank Bridge.
A couple of minutes after crossing the bridge the path stops at Front Street. Turn right passing the cottages on your right.
Front Street soon turns into The Tyne Riverside Country Park with a path running along the river for the rest of this walk.
Shortly after passing the house above you have the option of coming off the main path and to follow a rougher, more wild track(see photo below) right alongside the river which will bring you back onto the main path near the end of the walk.
Sticking to main path you will pass a series of chalk hills on your left called The Spetchels, more on that later.
Ignoring the temptation to climb them just now and keeping to the path it's only another mile or so on the same path until we reach the bridges at Ovingham.
Carry on under the bridges for a few yards then loop round to the left and cross the footbridge into the beautiful village of Ovingham.
I took the time to have a wander around Ovingham while I was there and photos will follow on a seperate page shortly.
The Spetchels came about during the Second World War, when business was booming at the former ICI factory which occupied the site used today by SCA Hygiene. The factory produced agricultural fertiliser, and the hills are simply made up of industrial waste in the form of chalk deposits. More info here Unique chalk grassland that grew from the hills of waste.
When I started this walk a guy I was chatting to told me I could climb the hills and walk along them so I left that until the end of the walk. Here are a few photos from the top and a few panoramic photos.
Full route of the walk. Use the controls to move around and zoom in and out.
View River Tyne walk 4: Wylam to Ovingham in a larger map
Part 1 - Newcastle Quayside to Lemington
Part 2 - Lemington to Newburn
Part 3 - Newburn to Wylam
Part 4 - Wylam to Ovingham
Part 5 - Ovingham to Bywell
Part 6 - Bywell to Riding Mill
Part 7 - Riding Mill to Corbridge
Part 8 - Corbridge to Hexham
Or back to the Walking the River Tyne Westwards Project page.
Wylam - Abandoned Farm
Ovingham - St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church