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Dunsdale to West Hill – Looking for World War II Wreckage in the Cheviot Hills.

This is a relatively short walk (4.7 Miles), but reasonably demanding.  We take in two sites where aircraft came down during World War II, and also peak on West Hill.  The conditions in December were not great, but it was still a very rewarding day out.

Remember, there is also a fly through video on YouTube

On this walk we visit two Second World War crash sites; the first is the air crash site on the ascent up Bellyside Hill, and marks the SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MkIIb P8587 which crashed there on the 25th March 1943, killing its pilot Flight Sergeant Eric Lindsay Brown RAAF, aged 24 years.

The second site is on the descent from West Hill.  This is the crash site of the Z1078 VICKERS WELLINGTON, which crashed here on the 15th January 1942 in the shingle area near rocks on the north face of the hill.  Few remains are evident, however debris is found around the site.

This route is all on open access land and does not follow well defined public rights of way.  Please be aware that the valley road beyond Hethpool is private. Vehicle access beyond Hethpool is by permit only. Permits cost £10 and are available from https://www.college-valley.co.uk/buy-vehicle-permits/

Other resources

Remember, there is also a flythrough video on YouTube and all the planning and mapping is available at www.planwatchwalk.guide

Turn by Turn Directions

This route is not on defined paths, and it is worth taking the OS GPS phone app and OL16 OS Map with you.

We leave Dunsdale Valley and walk up the track, heading up the fells on our left, after 100 meters.  Around a mile into the walk we need to head north east across the moor land, to get to the first site (Video 1:45).  At the crash location there is a small post and plaque marking the site.  We leave and head back to the main route, where we continue to head up the fells.

Coming to a ridge path (Video 3:20), where we have some great views across the Cheviot Hills.  It is always worth taking some time to take in the vista.  We continue to ascending until we reach the well-defined Bellyside Crag (video 4:40) at the head of Mid Hill.  The conditions underfoot can be testing with thick heather, moss and peat bogs to deal with, and on the day we had some storm force winds as well.  If required, it is worth taking a break at Bellyside Crag before continuing towards West Hill and Braydon Crag.  Underfoot we content with some deep peat bogs along the way.  The views, as we head across the fells and truly magnificent (Video 5:35).

As we descend towards Dunsdale Valley we come to the second site of remains (Video 6:00).  After taking some time to take in the area, we continue to descend to the conclusion of what has been a challenging, but very rewarding walk.

Equipment used:

Jacket – Montane Gravity Gore-Tex Jacket

Boots – Scarpa Rush Trek GTX

Trousers – Montane BMC Terra Pants

Waterproof Trousers – Mountain Hardwear Epic Pant

Socks – 1000 mile wool fusion double layer

Head Torch – Lifesystems Intensity 220 Head Torch

Backpack – Hi Gear Active22

Bladder – Camelbak 2.5L Hydration Reservoir

Camera Kit

GoPro 5

hohem iSteady Pro 4-Gimbal stabiliser

Lavalier Microphone

Insta360 ONE X2-360 Degree Camera

Insta360 3M (10ft) Invisible Selfie Stick

Greenleighton Moor & Fontburn Reservoir Circular.

This is a great walk to take you away from day to day life with plenty to experience on the way. The path takes us across moors and fells, forest paths, where we trek along St Oswald’s Way before a tranquil walk around Fontburn Reservoir. We take in a disused rail track and some great views from the trig point as we conclude the walk. This can all be experienced in a medium intensity walk of 8.55 miles. This is a easy grade walk (5 Km – 3 Miles), with some great scenery, varied walking along trails and breath taking coastal views. Remember, there is also a fly through video on YouTube


8.5 miles

OS Explorer OL42


Start Point