Potted history

Haltwhistle comes from Old English words Hal-twysel, meaning “a meeting of the streams by the hill”. Twistle is a meeting of the waters and here the Haltwhistle Burn from the north meets the River South Tyne, thus making it a strategic settlement for the Romans. The Wall is just over half a mile to the north, and much of the stone was quarried nearby. On the Newcastle to Carlisle rail line, the town developed with the industrial revolution. In the 18th and 19th centuries coal mining was the main industry. Metal ores extracted from the mines on Alston Moor were also loaded here. In 1836 workmen found a copper vessel containing 63 gold and copper coins with the minted heads of four Emperors: Claudius Caesar; Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus; Nero and Vespasian. More recently, paint manufacture became a major commercial force in the town, but has now stopped major production. In the 21st century, the tourist industry dominates the economy, with Hadrian’s Wall and walking and cycling counting among the principal interests of tourists.

Places of interest

Tourist Information Centre, Railway Station, Station Rd. 01434 322002

Church of the Holy Cross, below the Market Place with views over the river and the valley. 13th century and impressive for a modest town. Medieval graves.

Cycle shops

Edens Lawn Cycle Hire By Pass Road, Haltwhistle, NE49 0HH tel: 01434 320443