The Long Drop
Building Stonehaugh Northumberland

The Long Drop

Building In Stonehaugh, Northumberland

The highest perched toilet in England, situated in Northumberland National Park

I first learned about The Long Drop a few years ago, but it was fairly tricky to find the exact location online so a bit of digging was needed. Once I had located this hidden gem, I naively thought it would be an easy walk to The Long Drop from Stonehaugh picnic site. However, the route we took was very overgrown with ferns, it was slightly boggy, rocky and steep in parts and it was a relief to finally arrive there. Thankfully, if you turn left out of the car park, follow the road until there is a right turn heading for Roses Bower Farm, there is a public footpath not too far past the farm which is a much more direct route to The Long Drop.

The Long Drop is a stone outdoor toilet, believed to be the highest perched loo in England. It has a drop of 10 to 15 metres from the seat to the Warks Burn below, making it fairly hygenic back in the day.

It is thought to have been built in the 18th century, and was in use until the mid-1950s. It was originally the toilet for Low Roses Bower, a small farmstead nearby that is now in ruins. The farmstead is said to have been a romantic hideaway for Rosamund Dodd, a local woman who fell in love with a Charlton chieftain in the early 1500s. The spot was chosen well, as it is certainly well hidden and pretty tricky to get to.

In recent years, the Long Drop has been carefully restored. The seat has been replaced, and the walls have been cleaned and repaired. The Long Drop is now a Grade II listed building. Sadly the farmstead buildings close to the loo are completely ruined so take care when exploring.

There are four or five other buildings on this site, which would all have been part of the farmstead. There are no information boards nearby so we just had to guess on what their purpose might have been. Most likely they were storage for crops grown at the farm and somewhere for the animals to shelter. We could see it being converted into a lovely home if only we had several million in the bank.

If you have a few hours, there is plenty to explore at Stonehaugh aside from The Long Drop. There are the fantastic Totem Poles close to the car park, the Star Dome is a great place to visit and appreciate the dark skies and there are also some waymarked routes around Kielder Forest. On our wander through the forest close to the car park, we saw and heard some unusual birds including Spotted Flycatchers, Tree Pipits and Green Woodpeckers. A fab day out.

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How To Find The Long Drop

Where Is The Long Drop?

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Lat / Long

55.086338, -2.313749

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Where To Park For The Long Drop?

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Lat / Long

55.079547, 55.079547

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There is a free car park in Stonehaugh.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

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Sandra Clemens

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The Long Drop was listed in Building // Northumberland // Stonehaugh