Bizzle Crags And 3 Aircraft Crash Sites
19km The Cheviots Northumberland

Bizzle Crags And 3 Aircraft Crash Sites Walk

The Cheviots, Northumberland

A trek up Bizzle Crags on the north side of the Cheviot and finding three crash sites of WWII aeroplanes.

Distance - 19km (12 miles)

Ascent - 1,140m

Duration - Approx 5 hours

Terrain - Grassy tracks, boggy ground, heather and a scramble up the Bizzle.

Parking - I parked at the Mounthooly Bunkhouse, but you will need a permit. View Parking Map

View Route On OS Map

I love a walk up the Cheviot and after my trek up the Hen Hole I wondered if there were any other fun ways to ascend the tallest hill in Northumberland. Of course there is another huge gash in the Cheviot called Bizzle Crags and here is a mint photo I snapped when I took a flight over the cheviots.

So for today's adventure I thought I would ascend the Cheviot through Bizzle Crags. It would also give me a chance to bag a couple of cairns that I hadn't visited before and also see if I could find the three crashed WWII aircraft.

So the plan was to park at Mounthooly Bunkhouse (you need a day permit if you want to park here), head towards Dunsdale, up Bizzle Crags, find Bellyside Crag and Braydon Crag and the three aircraft.

So I had an early start and left the car around 8am and as this was in the spring, the sun hadn't broken the tops of the hills yet. Nice and fresh with a bit of ice on the ground.

Now according to the map there was a permissive path just north of the bunkhouse that would take me straight up to Fawcett Shank, however there was no way there to cross the College Burn without plodging across.

So instead I followed the road south and then ducked off the road towards a little footbridge mark on the map. Fortunately there was a bridge here.

The sun starting to come out over The Schill and I can just see my car from up here.

My route now heads north east and I take a little detour towards a place called Fawcett Shank which is an old hillfort. In the background is Newton Tors.

Back on the track and I make my way to the bottom of the Cheviot and get a smashing look at Dunsdale Crag on the face of Coldburn Hill.

Following the permissive tracks around Dunsdale House I now stand at the bottom of Bizzle Crags.

The plan is to pick up the Bizzle Burn and just follow that as much as I can to the top of the Cheviot.

The burn was a little difficult to follow and sometimes must have headed underground or hidden in the heather.

It's a bit rocky up here so I have to watch my footing and sometimes do a little scrambling.

I always remember to turn around now and again to appreciate any scenery going on behind me and there is another glorious view of Newton Tors and Hare Law where you can just make out the little cairn on top.

Then some amazing rocky outcrops either side of the gorge with the sun rising enough to make an appearance.

I find this mahoosive rock milling about at the bottom of Bizzle Crags.

I pick up the burn again and admire the amazing rocky outcrops that overlook me on the walk.

Now it was just a matter of following the burn up to the top, picking the best path depending on how treacherous it got, sometimes having to take a little detour.

Although not as picturesque as the Hen Hole, the scenery was still fabulous.

I must admit it got a little hairy here as the banks were quite steep either side, so go canny if you head up here.

But you will be treated to lots of mini waterfalls.

Another look behind to Newton Tors and I am getting quite high up now.

I am now pretty much at the top so I take one final look back at the crags.

As I am exiting Bizzle Crags I see a little rock formation that looks like an elephant. Surely that is intentional and not a natural occurrence.

And with a final push I emerge out of the crags and on top of the Cheviot, with a lovely reward of seeing Braydon Crag in the distance. I'll be heading over there later on.

But for now I climb out of Bizzle Crags and head over to the wonderfully named Bellyside Crags which is the highest crag in the national park.

I find a little seat on the crags and have my usual snack of Fruity Malt, admiring the views of Preston Hill and Broadhope Hill before working out the next part of the route which is to find the first aircraft.

Checking the map it's at the bottom of that ridge.

This little ridge lies between the Bellyside Burn and also another burn although today was a bit dry and didn't see any water from my vantage point. I did see a little rock formation that looked like a goat's head with horns.

A little look back up towards Bellyside Crag and the little gorge carved out by the Bellyside Burn. Fortunately there is a clear path to follow all the way down.

Smashing views looking forward and backward.

After a bit more descending I have found the first aircraft site and there is a little memorial here and some parts of a Submarine Spitfire.

Now it's a slog back up to Cheviot summit. Checking the map I realise I have descended nearly 300m in elevation over 3km, so I turn around and follow the same path back up. Once back near Bellyside Crag it's then a trapse over to pick up the pavement path at the Cheviot trig point. It's heavy going here as the ground is springy, uneven and you have to dodge a lot of pooled water.

From the trig point I jump back off the pavement and head towards West Hill and Braydon Crag.

The path to Braydon Crag takes me via the second aircraft crash site and I find some of the wreckage of a Flying Fortress.

As I wander around I keep finding more and more of the aircraft. This must have been a pretty big impact as the wreckage is scattered over a large area.

I could imagine a decent chunk of the aircraft has been snaffled by trophy hunters, but there is an incredible amount of the aircraft still up here. From here I head over to Braydon Crag.

Braydon Crag sits like a lone sentinel guarding the north west area of the Cheviot.

It does have a pretty spectacular view from its vantage point.

A little farewell wave to Braydon Crag and I head down the north side of the hill to find the third and final site of aircraft wreckage.

Lots more lovely little unnamed crags to discover on the way down.

After a bit of searching I finally find the wreckage of a Vickers Wellington. Only a few little bits left to see.

Then from here I head back over the tallest style in the world and make my way back to the car for the end of another mega walk in the Cheviots.

Driving out of the College Valley, I stopped to see a lovely little memorial to those who lost their life on the Cheviot during the second world war.

Thanks for joining me on another epic wander in the national park. If you want to find the aircraft yourself, I'll soon be creating a specific walk just for that.

Where to Park For Bizzle Crags And 3 Aircraft Crash Sites

Lat / Long

55.496833, 55.496833

Show Parking On Google Maps

Where To Park For Bizzle Crags And 3 Aircraft Crash Sites?

What three words

I parked at the Mounthooly Bunkhouse, but you will need a permit.

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Bellyside Crag
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The highest crag in Northumberland sitting on Mid Hill on the Cheviot Summit.

Contributed by Simon Hawkins

Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue pele tower up a remote hill, a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.

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Simon Hawkins

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