Places of Interest on Keelman's Way
between Wylam and Blaydon

Wylam Station

One of the oldest railway stations in the World and still retaining many original features:-

NER elevated over track signal box
NER lattice footbridge
Station Masters house with Ticket Room.

This line was one of the first to issue railway tickets in the form we know today.

The Keelman's Way starts from the Station Car Park,
just to left of the footbridge behind the white van as seen the in photograph above.

Clara Vale Nature Reserve

This was once the site of an old Clara Vale Colliery, and
was secured as a nature reserve by the local community.

The site is leased by Gateshead MBC to the
Clara Vale Conservation Group, which is made up of residents from the nearby village.

1/4 mile south of the Keelman's Way

Ryton Ferry

There was a ferry crossing here up until the 1950's linking Ryton Lane across the River to Ryton Island and the lanes leading up to Heddon on the Wall.

Originally the ferry house was on the north bank but in the early 20th century a new house was built on the south bank next to the Railway crossing.

The Keelman's Way passes around this house.

Ferry Man 1926

The Keelman's Way passes along the riverbank through this Nature Reserve

Ryton Willows

Ryton Willows covers approximately 43 hectares and consists of a variety of habitats including semi-natural woodland, unimproved acid grassland, a series of ponds with associated wetland communities, scrub and riverside. The wet woodland, ponds, swamp and marsh have been designated as a SSSI and support locally rare species such as bladderwort, marsh cinquefoil and bottle sedge.

The Willows itself is an area of common land with a long history of grazing. Scarce herbs such as small cudweed and corn salad rely upon the maintenance of a short sward. An extensive area of gorse and broom scrub is managed by a rotational cutting regime.

The tidal riverside contains areas of saltmarsh with associated xerophytic flora.

Newburn Ford

On the upstream side of Newburn Bridge on the Keelman's Way
there is an interpretation board about the Battle of Newburn Ford.

Click here for link with more information.

Newburn was the lowest fordable point on the River Tyne at that time - there were in fact four shallow fords in this area - one on the line of the present bridge - the Riding ford just downstream - another near the mouth of the New Burn. The forth and lowest down river was at Stella Haughs.

Click here to a photo of this information board

Path Head Mill

The Path Head Mill in Blaydon, which had been derelict
for many years, and has been brought back to life by volunteers as a demonstration mill, educational centre
and visitor attraction.

Click here for link to Path Head Mill web site

Approx 1/2 mile south of the Keelman's Way