Any one visiting Doddington without a guide who's been there before, should bear in mind that the OS map is woefully out of date in regard to the footpaths.
The main panels are easy enough to find following the path from the Golf Club up the course (marked on map as a track). Other than this route, the rest marked on the map are all screwy.
The worst offenders are the 2 paths marked from the top of Dod Law and the one from the quarry, which allegedly cross each other, and head east across to Horton Moor. I dispute this vigorously. Insted, there is a path from the main panel, up to the trig point, which then forks.
The left path cuts through the east enclosure, and follows the line of the wire fence which forms the edge of the golf course, ending up at the quarry, passing the possible standing stones, and near the quarry site rock art on the way.
The right hand one leads to west plantation, and I think it's the most reliable route to the circle.
The enclosure next to the circle is very faint, I could hardly make it out, and the Quarry site eluded me again. But it's a damned excellent place is Dod Moor, so I'm glad, as it gives me the perfect excuse to go back.
I was a lovely clear day brought about by extremely strong winds, which came apparent when I walked up the golf course to the site! The clouds were racing so a dull spell soon turned into a spotlight for the rockart on the top of the hill.
Very clear views in all directions: from various parts of the Moor you can see: north to Broomridge and Goatscrag close to Routin Linn; the hillforts of Humbleton and Yeavering; the Cheviot itself; Weetwood Moor ; Kettley Crags and Chatton; and over to the sea. Fantastic.
This lovely spot is the first place I ever visited to seek out rock art. I was inspired to do so after attending a conference where Stan Beckinsall was the main speaker. As mention previously the site runs across and around a golf course and has views across the ancient landscape of the Till valley. On the far side of Dod Law is a cave that I only saw as I was leaving so I can't tell you whats there. Well worth a visit, good carvings in a beautiful landscape.
Roughting Linn is the most famous of the Northumberland rock carvings, but it would be a shame to pass by some of the less well known rock art in the area. Doddington is one of those sites that is well worth the effort and its a perfect place for a picnic as well if you've got kids in tow.
Doddington is a small village on the B6525 out of Wooler. Travelling north through the village you'll see a sign to the right for Wooler golf club. Park somewhere safe in the village and walk up the country lane to the golf course. Once at the clubhouse a path cuts straight through the course to the stones (beware of bad golfers though!).
The best and most richly carved stones are in the rough at the southern end of the course. In front of you is a small cottage (Called Shepherd's house on the map) and to the right is a big iron age earthwork called Dod Law. Once you're in this area search among the grass until you find the main carved rock and its smaller satellites. The main rock is a large flat outcrop, with not just cups-and-rings, but ovals, rectangles and heartshapes. Its quite unlike any other examples I've seen. Roughting Linn is claustrophobic, enclosed within its woodland glade. Doddington is the exact opposite, wide open skies, the Cheviots to the west providing a spectacular backdrop. This is a perfect chill-out zone (weather permitting).
The main carvings are the best and most impressive, but the area is full of other examples. I totally recommend anybody thinking of visiting the area to get hold of "Northumberlands Prehistoric Rock Carvings" by Stan Beckensall, a real labour of love and with good maps and directions for all the Doddington sites. Northumberland Rock art is one of Archaeologies big secrets (I live in the area and even I didn't realise how much there was!) perhaps Julian's next book could include some more sites. The area is so wild and unexplored, new sites are being found every year which is crazy.
(Incidentally a headline on local news recently, "Rock star joins campaign to preserve Rock art", which I tuned into thinking it might have been JC on one of his rambles turned out to be Bill Wyman of all people, puffing on a fag in the midst of some carvings! I suppose if you were in a band called the Rolling Stones its only natural!)
01/05/2016 - In the end I gave up looking for this one and decided to make my way back to the path through the heather. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking the rock appeared at my feet. Sometimes you can try too hard, better just to let fate decide :-)
This was my favourite rock on the hill (which is covered in cup and ring marked stones). The rings are nice and dobby. It's worth the effort and good fun trying to find.
01/05/2016 - I'd been looking forward to this one. A quick look at the map showed a hill jam packed with stuff - cup and ring marked rocks, hillforts, settlements and even a stone circle.
We started from Wooler. Walking over Weetwood Moor via the St Cuthbert Way (passing a few cairns on top) then crossing the Weetwood bridge to start the climb up Dod Law. Good paths all the way.
After reading the fieldnotes on here, I was a little worried that there wouldn't be any stones still standing. Seemed like another one had fallen each time someone visited. Pleased to say that the one remaining upright stone is still hanging in there. I would loved to have seen this one complete. It's a lovely little circle and a fine spot.
We left the circle behind to make our way uphill, looking for cup and ring and visiting the forts on top. Fantatsic hill.
Looped back to Wooler via the rock art stones on Weetwood Moor (great site). Good day out.