|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||23.4 miles (37.7 km)|
|Meets:||A68, A6079, A696, B6343, B6341|
|Route outline (key)|
The B6342 is a cross-country B-road in central Northumberland.
The road starts on the A68 Dere Street to the south of Colwell. The road on the far side of the crossroads is the A6079 and indeed the B6342 follows the original line of that road for the first few miles. We head north across the fields to go through Colwell, crossing the undulating terrain of this part of Northumberland. Presently the road crosses a small valley to go through the hamlet of Little Bavington, where it crosses St Oswald's Way (a local long-distance footpath). The road then zigzags across open country, with several straight sections interspersed by sharp bends, to reach the A696, which is crossed at a staggered crossroads. This marks the original western end of the B6342 - it was extended west in the 1970s to give it its current length.
The B6342 then continues on with basically more of the same. It crosses a narrow bridge over the River Wansbeck before crossing the grounds of Wallington Hall, now owned by the National Trust. The parkland appears to continue most of the way to the next village, Cambo, where the B6343 heads off to the right. The road is then still in the attitude of long straights separated by sharp corners, so continues north before bending sharply right then has to give way at a crossroads. It TOTSOs left here to climb up onto the moors.
After some more sharp bends - and some not so sharp - the road crosses the River Font. We continue north to pass a pub (and little else) at Forestburn Gate and then follow the boundary of the Northumberland National Park for a couple of miles, with the obligatory sharp bend halfway. The road then descends steeply into Coquetdale. It reaches the outskirts of Rothbury and heads into town along Garleigh Road and bends to the right to cross the River Coquet. The road ends a short distance further on in the centre of town at a T-junction on the B6341.