Sunday, 7 July 2019

A weekend in Eden

Our annual weekend away was spent in the Eden district starting at Allenheads.  As we assembled and took refreshments ....

This sort of thing was going on.....

I think we generally like that sort of thing. We had to drag ourselves away to start the first walk led by John & Marie. Most of it was in the upland reaches with a lot of deserted barns and hovels.

The long and winding road

A wonky cairn was a good lunch spot

We descended to the valley...

At the end we had drinks at the pub in Allenhead but were plagued by the Eden midges( which nobody told us about!). We then checked in at the Nent hall country house which did us proud providing our evening meal and were helpful and friendly.

Before our dinner we went to mass in Alston where we were made most welcome especially as we had probably doubled the mass attendance! The church (more a chapel really) was shared with the Methodists who attend on Sunday morning.

Back at the hotel Pre-meal drinks...

Caption competition time anyone?

After an enjoyable meal (sorry the photos were bad) and more drinks we retired to bed.

On Sunday we checked out and headed to Alston steam railway where Ken finally found someone on the same wavelength...

The first part of the Sunday walk was along the South Tyne trail. Cue passing train

We briefly left the historic (i.e. defunct) county of Cumberland - but not for long.

We left the South Tyne trail to join the Pennine way back to Alston and things got hilly, rocky and Sheepy. Some of the sheep were quite friendly and approached some of us in order to eat our clothing.

Beyond yonder wall is the site of the Epiacum Roman Fort also known as Whitley castle. This was used to protect the lead mines from marauding barbarians.

Lunch time. Although cloudy for a bit it was sunny most of the time.

I think the path was supposed to go through this thing

The view from a bridge before starting another climb- you certainly knew you had been for a walk by the time we arrived back in Alston. After refreshments at the station some of the party went for a drink at a nearby country pub before returning home.
It was a great weekend with splendid weather (again). It was nice to see Andrea join us for the evening at the hotel. Roll on next year.
Next walk is 3rd August probably in  happy Valley (sounds promising).

Saturday, 22 June 2019


June is splendid when it is not raining and today we had fine weather for a great walk starting in Rothbury and led by Marie.

Here are some cows. They had horns.

Below is Sharp's folly. No more needs to be said because there was a sign.

Sheep and the Cheviots

Lunch by the Simonside hills. There were a lot of  people (all Women) briskly striding past us around here, doing something organised by the Sheperds  walks organisation.

Cup and Ring markings (plus natural deposits). Seen much better ones at Ford.

There are high stiles around here - a problem for some of us!

One to add to the spooky trees collection!

This geezer is not often seen in this blog (Photo credit to John).

On return to Rothbury we had refreshment at the Queen's head whose barperson kindly took the group snap

Another fine walk - thanks to Marie & John. The countryside around Rothbury certainly knows how to charm at this time of year. Next blog entry will be the weekend away- cannot wait!

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.