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Friday, 19 October 2012

Belford St. Cuthbert's..........(October 19th)
sounds like a Cotswolds Village.
 There are five of us out today, pun, route, vogel, halfmarathon and blogmeister, and we are having a walk from Belford in the north of Northumberland. To get to the village drive north up the A1 past Alnwick and turn left at the sign that, sensibly, says Belford.
We stopped at the Well House Coffee Shop on the right hand side of the main street, next to the Salmon Inn and ordered bacon butties with brown buns all round, with tea. We were served with white buns and an almost immediate apology. The sandwiches were excellent and we were given a refill on the teas. Five flitches and highly recommended for friendly staff and good service.

The walk. Should you need a map, and it would be useful, OS Landranger 75 covers the walk. We left the car on the B6349 road (GR105337) almost directly opposite the village club, a white building, and walked up the lane beside it. After about half a mile we passed a farm, Westhall which has what appears to be a modified peel tower or bastle.
                             As Ben observed,after 300 years of peaceful coexistence we may need
                              places like this again if the Scots gain independence.

 The path, muddy after even more recent rain, continues in a north westerly direction beneath some impressive looking crags, through a wood and then turns left towards Swinhoe Farm. Just before the farm we turned north on a footpath which brought us to the small settlement of  Detchant, complete with Alpacas, or were they Llamas?

                                   You can call me Al, quipped Dave (You might have to think about that)


                                   Brian said there was no cause for a Llama............
                       We continued on our way after some terrible puns to Greymare Farm and following the signs crossed moorland in the direction of Shiellow Woods, which provided a pleasant Herbiespot, complete with tree stumps to sit on and robins to entertain us. And yes we had the usual, including Ben's quality home made ginger biscuits.
 Lunch over  we continued through the wood on a good forestry track until we emerged at Raven's Crag.
                                               It's a nut hatch!
Walking south from the woodland we found, on the left, the unmarked but fairly visible path  leading southeast above Holburn Moss to Greensheen  Hill. We expected the moss to be full of water but it was fairly dry. Also it had been divided into rectangular sections, possibly for peat digging.
We paused briefly at the trig point on Greensheen Hill to discuss some finer points of philosophy with a small group of "alternate curriculum" children and their teachers, before heading on our way to St. Cuthbert's Cave.
         Tradition has it that St. Cuthbert's body rested in the cave on its long and winding way
        to Durham. Harry Ben and Dave look as if they are about to hoist his coffin.
 We walked down the slope from the cave and turned left on the track, passing the interesting rock formation Cockenheugh.
                                       Cockenheugh Rocks.
The track turns slowly north east before it reaches the farm at Swinhoe. At the farm we followed the markers across fields in a south easterly direction all the way back to Belford..
It was only four in the afternoon, too early to go home so we diverted slightly to the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge. Sadly the Timothy Taylor's Landlord  was off but the pub offered Directors and Cumberland. The Directors went down very well, five barrels again for being such a lovely pub.

The Matrix XCIV
                                                 steps                                 miles

Higear                                     24156                                10.968
LBN                                        18101 (1)                            8.93
ASDAPED                             22459                                 10.1
LIDLUSB                               23218                                 10.3

OUTDOORGPS                                                                10.86
BRAGOMETER                                                               11.1

Designated Driver; Ben

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 Contains OS data. Copyright Crown copyright and database right 2012