Saturday, 18 May 2019

Bolam Lake etc

The May 11th walk had to be postponed so an alternative was put together for the 18th.

That was interesting. The idea was that we would have a six mile round trip of Bolam lake and Shaftoe Craggs in the usual fine Stella strollers weather. Five of us made it and with some photoshoppery I have got us all in.

In fact it rained and we got lost! Even looking at the maps on the computer afterward I am baffled as to where we ended up. With the rain persisting we just backtracked to Bolam Lake by which time the rain stopped and we took our lunch and did the short circuit of the lake . In all we did about 3 miles.

The view for lunch

We did not offer our lunch to this hopeful specimen

Afterward we went to the Capheaton tea room for tea & cakes - worth a visit if you have not been.
I think we enjoyed ourselves but my take home message is never to lead a group walk without a recce first,  no matter how clear the instructions seem to be. Apologies for the lack of photos- it just turned out that way.
The next scheduled walk is on Monday June 3rd and will be through woods and fields near Prudhoe. I will be leading it and will be doing a recce as I can get there by public transport.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Dipton Mill

A few weeks ago a number of us did a Thursday walk to see how the land lies for a walk in Hexhamshire starting outside the Dipton Mill pub near Hexham. Today sixteen of us did the 'official' Saturday walk and these photos are a record of both trips.

The Thursday trip had three canine walkers-two of them are here.

We started in the woods next to the pub and found some busy ants.

The woodland part of the walk was pretty but arduous in places as well as slippery...

We omitted the woodland section for the Saturday walk  which made it shorter in terms of time if not distance

That was quite an obstacle course with three dogs!

Can you see Hexham race course on the horizon?

A nice landscape IMHO. Nearby a mad March hare was running all over the place.

Look carefully to see a rival angel of the north. Can't see it? Look at the second sheep from the left and go vertically to the edge of the green.

Not sure what type of sheep these are. They look like Jacobs but do not have big horns.

On the Saturday the weather was sunny much of the time but with a withering wind.

Oh dear- the autofocus button accidently got switched to manual hence the blurriness of our Saturday lunch photos.

Some of us went to inspect the daffodils but not yours truly so no photos I am afraid.

The Dipton Mill pub is a fine establishment but it closed before we got back on the Thursday. With the walk being shorter on Saturday we had better luck and enjoyed drinks accompanied by a blazing fire.

Next Saturday walk is on MAY 11th and will start at Rothbury.

There will be a local walk available on Thursday April 18th (Maundy Thursday) starting at ~ 9:45 from the usual place. The next Monday walk is scheduled for 6th May but that is a Bank holiday so perhaps folks will have other plans.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Dipton Mill

In a change to the advertised feature we had a Thursday walk of approx 6 miles in lovely weather starting outside the pub at Dipton Mill- sadly it closed just as we returned. As this was a try out for the April walk I will not do a full report here but will show some of the pics taken today later. Suffice to say that we did see a mad March hare, Kites,big ants,  a small version of the angel of the North and some interesting sheep.
There is a walk scheduled for April fools day (Monday 1st April). I would be happy to lead this round the Wear starting at Houghall just outside Durham which could include a visit to the Orchard at Durham old gardens. A local walk starting at the board Inn is a plan B.
PS If you would like to make a comment please do. You have to give your e-mail address to prove you are not a robot but it does not appear on the blog.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Weekday walk

This is just to let you know that there will be a local Walk on Thursday 21 March.  We set off on foot from Board Inn car park at ~ 9:45. About 6 miles. Bring a packed lunch.
·    Everyone welcome – no need to sign up

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Langley Park

Thanks to Terry for leading this one. As often happens the various smartphone apps came up with different distances but I think 7-8 miles is a fair estimate- it certainly felt that way. 15 of us took part on a bright early spring day including Dennis on his first outing with the group.

The start was close to this famous tourist attraction.

Before long we were approaching the tradesman's entrance to Ushaw college

Terry told us of archaic games played here by the students at the college.

A quick visit to the cemetery ...

After leaving the college the ladies of a choral disposition burst into song.

Lunchtime overlooking the open Durham countryside

These unusual farm animules were very inquisitive but someone did not see the notice!. These are Rheas (from South America) and not Emus (from Australia).

Jackson has not got this cattle grid walking sorted. Uncle Ken to the rescue!

It was getting a bit windy toward the end but we made it to Langley Park and a well earned drink in the very welcoming Rams Head.

Next walk is April 13th and keep a look out for notices at Church about weekday strolls in the near future.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Near Slayley

Six of us + 3 dogs ventured out on a walk we did two and a half years ago. This time it was a weekday stroll which is set to be a regular feature.

This was known as the 'anthill walk' because they were large and plentiful- see the shot below taken in 2016. 

And this is what we found today...

Hopefully new trees will grow.

The ants were out catching the sun- it was more like April than February.

Jackson was exhausted after seeing off an attack by a mysterious dog. That's Millie begging for a sandwich. Zak the sheepdog (see the last pic below) got caught up in a bramble bush.

We encountered some dead (grey) squirrels hung on a fence. As this blog may be read by grey squirrel lovers I have declined to show the photo. Instead here is something more cheerful...

Near the start/end of the walk are the remains of a lead smelting works and a good spot for a group photo...

Jackson was just out of view. Once again we rounded off the walk with a visit to the Travellers Rest near Slayley. A very pleasant day out and a stark contrast in terms of weather to our last walk.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Blanchland Moor

We were going to do the Devils water/Slayley walk but the weather warning caused a change of plan. Instead we went out on the wiley, windy moors (to quote Kate Bush)..

Our third outing to those lonely moors between Slayley forest and Pennypie house (see Oct 2017). The strong wind and slippery mud made walking a lot more effort than usual. The next line of the song talks about falling and rolling in green which some of us nearly did.

Bleak or beautiful? Discuss.

What better way to spend a Saturday!

Lots of interesting animal smells to keep Jackson busy

Andrea ponders the road ahead....

Shelter from the wind- but too small for us all to fit in

We stopped for lunch at our usual spot

And then set off with a firm resolve....

The sun came out as we neared the end

It was not the best walk weather- wise but we all had rosy cheeks at the end and it hardly rained. Afterwards we went to the Travellers rest for a very well earned drink.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Stella Strollers will be starting additional  weekday walks on Thursdays meeting at 9:30 (i.e. after mass). These will be on the first and third Thursday of each month so there will be a walk on 21st Feb. No sign up sheets- just turn up and we will sort out lifts. Saturday walks will continue monthly as before.