Monday, 24 September 2018

Wolsingham & Tunstall reservoir

Today was a new departure for our group in that it was a Monday outing. Whilst the monthly Saturday walks will continue as normal (next one is last Sat in October)  there are likely to be  weekday walks in future as well.
Some of us (myself included) had not been to Wolsingham before. It is a very pleasant town in the North Pennines but not to be confused with Walsingham in Norfolk which is also pronounced differently. Walsingham has the national shrine of our Lady whilst Wolsingham has a holy Well (which we saw but your photographer did not think to record).
As is so often the case the weather was outstanding- autumnal but bright.
Sadly Andrea and Jackson could not join us but we welcomed a few new strollers as well as folk who have not been able to come for a while.

No we were not waiting for the bus- just working out where the walk starts!

After finding our way out of Wolsingham and a bit of road walking we made it to Tunstall reservoir.

This seemed an excellent spot for lunch but seconds after this photo was taken we had to move quite fast due to a swarm of flies of some description.

Buildings connected with reservoirs always look so solid- this looks like a church but it is not!

Fine views beyond the reservoir

Unfortunately my camera lens does not pick out the blip on the horizon but locals call these the 'elephant trees' because they look like a herd of elephants. You have to be there!

Awaiting instructions...

After negotiating some cows we arrived back in Wolsingham but the pub was closed so we went to a Cafe instead. Apologies for there being fewer snaps than usual - either the camera or photographer was having an off-day. Feel free to send me any pics that you would like adding.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Wylam and the Spetchells

Starting from the car park in Wylam we walked to the old railway bridge known by various names (Points, Half-moon, Hagg Bank, Bird Cage or Tin bridge according to Wikipedia).
This was a photo I took from the bridge which looks like something from a distant galaxy (can you make out a certain cartoon character?).

Jackson was back after missing a few walks- as handsome as ever if you ask me.

Not your usual garden furniture

Walking toward Prudhoe we passed the 'Spetchells'. Folks got to read an information board and learnt a thing or two.They are chalk mounds which were created  as waste from a nearby ICI fertilizer factory. This was to create fertilizer for the 'dig for victory' campaign during WW2. Here is an interesting blog that tells us about the flowers and plants that grow there as well as other local sites. It is the only chalk habitat in Northumberland.

Up some steps to the top of the Spetchells- the origin of the name is unclear from my quick Google search.

The tissue factory - now called Essity!

The view from our picnic spot with the water pumping mill across the Tyne. Worth coming back in the autumn (although technically we are now in Autumn!).

It looks cloudy but it was warm and the sun was starting to appear.

We found this impressive pond on the way back to Hagg Bank. We also passed some fine allotments with huge pumpkins. I should have taken a photo- that is why I am not a professional photographer!

We repaired to the Boathouse Pub - I managed to miss Andrea out of my photo and she took this one.
In the car park we met Peter & Olwyn who were heading to the same pub to try some of the 14 real ales on offer!

The next 'official' walk will be on October 27th and will be a re-run of the July Ovingham walk- the autumn colours should be nice. Because that is a while off there will also be an 'unofficial' walk on Monday 24th September (usual time/place at the start). Apologies to those still in gainful employment- we could not fix on a Saturday in late September when most of us would be here.