One of Northumberland’s hidden secrets, Lambley Viaduct is a fine example of Victorian engineering. Oh, there’s also plenty of amazing photo opportunities too.
Not far from the Western edge of Northumberland and only a few miles away from Hadrian’s Wall, you’ll find Lambley Viaduct; a Victorian piece of engineering that saw the railway line from Alston to Haltwhistle cross the River South Tyne.
Back in 2020, after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, we set out on a road trip that saw us cross three different counties to check out Lambley Viaduct and a few other places too. I’d seen a photo of the viaduct on Instagram (which I mainly use for research these days, not much else) and quickly added it to my list of places to visit.
Lambley Viaduct is more than 260 metres long and around 33 metres high with nine beautiful stone arches that seem to appear out of nowhere in this quiet corner of Northumberland. The viaduct was built to take the single track railway across the River South Tyne (which eventually forms the River Tyne alongside the River North Tyne) and presumably was also built to look very impressive too. The railway shut in 1976 but luckily for us we are still able to walk across the viaduct and admire its beauty from below.
The curated Nland250 road trip travels 250 miles around Northumberland and features Lambley Viaduct so hopefully more people will be able to experience this hidden secret.
One thing that I’ll never forget from my trip to the viaduct is that I dropped my camera with my Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4 lens taking the full force of the impact. Whilst I was fuming initially, luckily, it later turned out that the damage was only cosmetic and I’m still able to use the lens today!
The parking at Lambley Viaduct is relatively easy to get to and there is more than one option too. We parked at Coanwood Car Park (NE49 0QT) where there is only space for about four cars but it’s a quick walk down to the viaduct. The official car park is named ‘Lambley Viaduct South Tyne Trail Car Park’ on Google Maps (NE49 0QU). Both are free.
The Lambley Viaduct Walk
From either car park, you’ll be straight onto the old railway line path to walk to the viaduct. We headed across the top of the viaduct first to complete a circuit; there’s a metal bridge that crosses the river back before you’ll have a bit of steep climb up to the path again. We probably spent an hour or two at most at the viaduct including the walk and taking in the views from the riverbank.
For those that fancy a bit of a longer walk, you should look to complete the Lambley Viaduct to Featherstone Castle circulate which is approximately 6.4 miles. For more information, check out the National Trust website.