Cawfield Quarry Walk, Stargazing & Picnic Spot

This post is based on a visit in January 2024. Please check with venues direct for the most up to date info as this can change. 

Cawfield Quarry Walk, Stargazing & Picnic Spot

Cawfields is a free entry section of Hadrian's Wall which is open 24/7. There's a car park and it's accessible by bus. It's the easiest way to reach a Milecastle by car (Milecastle 42 is a very short walk from the car park) and a fantastic place to start a walk along Hadrian's Wall with excellent views. 

There are free public toilets in the car park including a Changing Places toilet. Both are open 24.7 (rader key required for the accessible toilet). 

This former quarry is also a designated dark sky park and one of the best places in the North East to enjoy super dark skies. 

Swimming is not permitted in the water - do take care. 

  • Paid large car park. Use postcode: NE49 9PJ
  • Accessible by bus. Catch the AD122 bus from Hexham/Haltwhistle and alight at Milecastle Inn. It is a 14 minute / 0.7mile walk from here to the quarry 
You can watch a video of this walk here: Cawfield Quarry Walk Video 

The car park is large and there are several picnic tables by the lake as well as covered picnic tables next to the toilets. 

On the day of our visit, parking was £2 for an hour and £1 for each hour after this (up to £6 per day). You can use card or cash to pay and need to enter your car reg.

The toilets were clean and had plenty of loo roll when I visited. 

I believe there is sometimes a coffee van in the car park but there wasn't on the day of our visit. 

Cawfields (including loos) is open 24/7 and a designated International Dark Sky Park. It's accessible to all who fancy a drive out to enjoy the dark skies. There's a little information board with top tips for stargazing. 

If you did want to do this and are visiting in winter, I'd recommend booking a meal at nearby Greenhead Hotel or Twice Brewed Pub for afterwards so you can warm up. There's a Planetarium at Twice Brewed now so you could check out if they have any shows running. 

You don't need to leave the car park to experience the dark skies. There is seating here and you're well away from light pollution. You could bring your own reclining garden chairs and blankets plus flask with a hot drink if you wanted to be a little more comfortable. 

I really want to try this and will visit in the evening at some point. When I do, I'll update this post with more info. 

If you visit during the day, there are plenty of nearby attractions to visit including The Sill, Roman Army Museum, Chesters Roman Fort, Vindolands or Housesteads or you could combine with a walk along Hadrian's Wall as we did. 

It's a nice spot for a picnic in it's own right too. Very pretty. 

There are several walking routes that start from here. We just headed along the wall in a linear route for around 1.5miles then headed back but if you fancy a circular route, this 3.5mile circular walk is a good option. 

We visited in the pouring rain which wasn't ideal. It was pretty muddy and slippy. To be honest, Hadrian's Wall is always muddy and slippy (well it seems to be whenever we visit). I'd definitely recommend proper waterproof walking boots and waterproof walking trousers if you have them. 

The car park/picnic area/walk directly around the pond is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs (see below) but anything beyond this is not and you can expect more uneven terrain. 

The photo below is taken afrom the top of the Crag and really gives you an impressive view of Hadrian's Wall. You can see Milecastle 42 from here and once you climb down you can get a closer look and read more about it from the information board. 

You can also see below that there are two main ways to walk along the wall, one is the grass path at the bottom which is a lot flatter but pretty boggy. The second (which we did) is if you climb up to the wall and walk along with it directly beside you. Personally, I think this is the best way. 

Dogs should be kept on leads as there is livestock in the area and snakes aren't unheard of (although I've never seen one here myself). The walk is pretty hilly but not too taxing. The views are just spectacular. Even in the rain. 

At some points Hadrian's Wall does get pretty tall and I could barely see over it. 

There are gates to navigate and we didn't see any stiles along the section we walked. 

We did spot a couple of other walkers but on the whole, you will usually have the place to yourself. It was a little misty when we visited and felt atmospheric and almost like we had actually stepped back in time. 

Find out more about Cawfields Quarry here: Cawfields Quarry Website 

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If you're looking for somewhere to stay nearby, I can highly recommend Sycamore Glamping (AD - use code NEFF10 for a 10% discount) or Herding Hill Farm. 

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Cawfield Quarry Walk, Stargazing & Picnic Spot


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