Trail Map

The path is a public footpath on land owned by Allendale Estates, who have given permission for the installation of the works.

Select an artwork for more information.

Trail Map
Tree of Life Blackett Level Portal Dipper Seat Mosaic Troll Poetry Stones The Wolf Birds

Tree of Life

Carved in sandstone, this relief is set into the wall. Designed by Sarah Turnbull, from Allendale First School, in 2000. It is inlaid with lead referencing the mining past of the valleys. The roots of the tree merge with rapids, and were brushed with silver leaf referencing the Celtic name Allen, meaning shining water.

Blackett Level Portal

The underground stream drains water from disused lead mines in the valley. Originally intended to reach as far as Allenheads, the tunnel is 4.5 miles long.

Dipper Seat

The stone seat has an dipper carved in relief. Dippers are often seen on the river around here. They are small black, brown and white birds that plunge underwater to eat aquatic insects.

More about dippers


The stone mosaic was created by children at the First School, for the Millennium. It’s set into the ground.


The Troll hides under the bridge over the Philipburn, like all proper trolls.

The troll was made by a local artist and installed by Allen Telford, who also built the bridge for the troll to hide under, working for British Trust Conservation Volunteers and with the Fawside Foundation.

Poetry Stones

The lines are by Paul Telford from Allendale First School, written at the Millenium, and were cut into the rocks by a local artist.

If I was a river, I’d run forward left and right

Splashing down the riverbed

Making waterfalls white

The Wolf

This wolf is a reminder of the Allendale Wolf that terrorised sheep flocks in the Allen Valleys in 1904.

Wikipedia has a version of the story.

The wolf was carved by Bill Pierce as part of the Allendale Fair 2021, from a piece of larch. Over time, it will change colour to silver-gray.


Shapes of birds and squirrels are fastened in the trees and on the fence around the path.

The bird silhouettes were created by Blossom Hill as part of the Allendale Fair 2021.

The 2020 and 2021 Allendale May Fair celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic. We had planned a family challenge walk for these events, which we’ve reworked as a short self-guided route along a popular riverside walk for community and visitors alike.

New sculptural pieces have been added to those already along this beautiful route in the heart of Allendale.

The path is about 3/4 of a mile with opportunities for refreshment at both ends. It’s great for families with children and dogs, but accessibility in places is challenging for wheelchairs and prams. Please pick up after your dogs! There are bins at both ends of the path. Look out for roe deer, red squirrels and dippers as well as the sculptures along the trail. You use the path at your own risk, so please look out for exposed roots and steep banks.