Riddlehamhope  is a former Victoria hunting lodge located about three miles west of Blanchland, near the Northumberland / Durham border. Thought to have been abandoned since the 1970’s, it’s a peaceful spot in good weather but must have been tough in the winter.

See a map of this location

Close to the hall is an older building which may be a bastle (fortified farmhouse) dating from the 16th or 17th Century.

A couple of decades ago I seem to remember cycling on the track to Riddlehamhope, but now it is “footpath only” with “no bikes” signs. The closest parking is at Baybridge, giving a there-and-back trip of around five miles.

My visit was in March on a misty day which served to emphasise the isolation. I took my Yashicamat 124G twin-lens reflex, which gives the advantages of medium-format film coupled with light weight. The camera was loaded with Kodak Ektar film. This is ISO100, so in view of the dull lighting I took a tripod.

I set myself a goal of limiting myself to 4-6 photos per outing, and this was a rare occasion when I met that goal, taking just four photos. The philosophy applied here is “edit before you shoot, not after”. I believe that by carefully selecting the subject matter and getting the composition right in camera, a photographer learns more rapidly than would be the case if they take dozens of photos and spend hours editing them afterwards.

I’m not claiming they are stunning photos, but with the lighting available I think they are a good representation of what I saw, and worthy of inclusion on this blog. To me, it is more satisfying to have 4 out of 4 useable photos, than to have 4 out of 50 or 100. Click on any photo for a larger image.



  1. Somewhere I’ve actually been, at last!

    Do you, by any chance, have an RSS feed link on your blog somewhere (apologies if it’s obvious, but I’ve not come across one yet….)?


  2. I came across Riddlehamhope in January 1972 in the peak of my health and youth, i shot 4 deer in a wood near there due to my job as a Forestry Commission ranger.
    It seemed a long way back to baybridge in blizzard conditions wearing snow shoes and draging 2 deer in the snow as well as carrying the other 2 on a pole across my shoulders!
    Thanks for the memories Kevin.


  3. The land was owned by an old client of mine, we did try to sell it once, without success. There was once a claim by bikers the route was open to all but after a lot of research I proved it had been a private route, hence it is accessible to public as a footpath.


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