Cloudy Crags

Forest Lodge was built in 1853, and in 1854 the Duke acquired 237 acres of moor south of the park  as part of the settlement of ownership of Alnwick Moor. This included quarries at Stoney Peth. The Duke next planned a new wall for Hulne Park from Forest Lodge, to the Flagstaff on Cloudy Crags, enclosing the new land that he had acquired. He offered to build the wall six feet within his own land, so that there was room for a public footpath to a high point on Cloudy Crags, which commanded fine views. This plan was welcomed by the Board of Health, but it does not seem to have been clear whether the Duke was proposing to provide the footpath, or just the land for one. By 1871 the wall was in place, but no path had been constructed. The Board felt that they had been deprived of access to an ancient footway. The route was not included in the Board of Health footway survey of 1869, or Skelly’s choice of walks, but it is now recognised as a public right of way.

Today the route couldn’t be easier to follow – just keep close to the park wall. There are a couple of stiles, but last time we tried both had gaps in the fence that a labrador could get through.

There’s no need to get the car out and it’s a good route for social distancing. Plenty space and not heavily used. It’s a couple of miles long, but the higher you climb the fewer people you are likely to see, and the better the views.

Archive photo from 2014

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