Saturday, 25 October 2014

For reasons I am not going to go into today's walk was to be a pleasant, flat stroll round Holy Island or Lindisfarne.  It is only possible to get to the island by road when the tide is out and I had consulted the crossing tables which claimed the road was clear between 12.15 and 21.15. So seven gadgies agreed to meet at The Barn at Beal cafe at 11pm, have a bacon sandwich and cross to the island. The cafe is near the crossing.
We arrived at two minutes past eleven and Brian ordered his usual bacon sandwich, only to be told that the cafe stopped serving breakfast at 11am! A new  grade of flitches was immediately introduced -5.
As we drank our tea (not breakfast tea) I noticed a blackboard with safe crossing times, 7.20 to 13.20.
We could go, but for two hours. The embarrassment of it, what had I done? It later transpired I had looked at times for October, 2013. Oh the shame, leader last week, non reader this week.
However gadgies are not put off by minor mishaps and we soon came up with another walk, part of St. Cuthbert's Way.
The walk starts at the small car park near the causeway. To get there drive north on the A1 for about 40 miles until you spot the sign saying Beal  Holy Island. Turn right from the A1 and go through Beal, avoiding the Beal Barn if it's after 11am and continue to the car park on the left.
The map needed for this walk is OS OL 340 Holy Island and Berwick (and it would be useful) and the car park is at NU079427.
                                   The team prepares for the walk, in the carpark of course.
 We crossed the road and followed the St. Cuthbert's Way sign through the old concrete tank blocks, they have worked well. After a short distance, following the signs we crossed fields until we reached the railway. This is the main line from London to Edinburgh and although not TGVs the trains come fast. There is a phone which you are asked to ring for permission to cross the tracks and on the other side, having safely crossed, there is another to let the signalman know you made it.
                                  A slightly slanting Lindisfarne, or Holy Island birthplace of English Christianity, founded by St. Aidan and the home of St. Cuthbert.
He was going round the curve, making 90 miles an hour
After crossing a couple more fields and walking past Fenwick Granary we came to the A1, major road route from London to Edinburgh  but still not a dual carriageway. It is because it is in the north.
It is a busy road and needs crossing with care. Once over it is not far to the village of Fenwick.
                                       Check you are in the right place.............

                                              ....and follow the St. Cuthbert's signs.
At this point the, on a minor road, the footpath trebles as St. Cuthbert's Way, St. Oswald's Way and the Northumberland Coastal Path. About a mile out of Fenwick we came to a house marked as Blawearie on the map. (Another Blawearie!). Here the St. Cuthbert's trail  goes roughly south on the edge of a wood but being gadgies we opted to go through the plantation known as Kylie Wood. If you follow us take care, and a map, as the wood, which is a coniferous plantation, teems with wood nymphs, elves, sprites and the occasional orc. Furthermore there are many forest trails and it is quite easy to walk in circles. take a compass. We followed a trail for about a mile south west before it shrank to no more than a footpath going west. This plantation is unlike many; the trees have been thinned out and there is thick ground cover instead of the usual fairly dead footpaths. In a sunlit dell we stopped for Herbie, being hungry as there were no bacon sandwiches at the Barn at Beal, it being after 11am when we arrived, but only just.

Kyloe Woods

More Kyloe Woods

                                             It has been a good year for fruit, elderberries.
Apart from sandwiches and coffee today's feast included mini pork pies! Biscuits, chocolate, Ben biscuits and a moist lemon flavoured cake from Mrs A.
                                    Members of the Wherethehellarewe tribe
Lunch consumed we headed briefly west of north then west before emerging on a minor road. We turned left and walked along the road for about 100 yards before spotting the footpath which took us across more fields  in a generally west direction to the farm at Moorhouse. The path goes through the yard, look out for the huge bales of straw and mighty John Deere tractor.

    I am a midwest farmer, and I drive my old John Deere.
Once through the farm we crossed more fields to the village of Lowick. The fields had been recently ploughed, harrowed and seeded, walk carefully on the bare track down the middle. The path comes to Lowick by the Lowick United FC, the noble groundsman was marching out the pitch for Saturday's game.
Lowick was preparing for Halloween and had a couple of scarecrows on display.
                                                    Make sure you get the right village
Satan Santa. Halloween seems to be another import from America, like school proms and movies.
I blame ET and his flying bicycles for Halloween. What's wrong with celebrating a proper British festival like Guy Fawkes, even in these days of Civic bonfires, Health and Safety, having the good old school disco and saying films.

It is not necessary to go into the village, across the road from the footbll ground there is an electricity sub station. We climbed the wall and followed the footpath down the side of the field, through a gate and down another field, across a simple concrete bridge, more field and then we arrived at Lickar Lea.  From here, as time was getting on we followed the road past Lowick Mill, turned right at the next junction, then left past Kenstone farm and cottages, over Glebe Hill and down to the A1 at the Lindisfarne Inn. We crossed the road,which was busy, and walked down the road through Beal, ignoring the Barn at Beal, and followed a foot/cycle path back to the car park. The road crosses the main railway line but it has a level crossing with gates and no phone. On the seaward side is an old engine.
                          A blast from the past, 
Changed we headed back to the Lindisfarne Inn which had Black Sheep and a couple of other beers on offer, but I was driving and had coffee.

The Matrix  MMXIV    U

                                                                              steps                                 miles
LIDL3D                                                                  30743                              13.93
Hi Gear                                                                   28644                               13.0
Dave's USB                                                            26674                                14.44
Dave's 3D                                                               27247                                 13.89
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                               12.75

Total Gadgie distance  375 miles

Probably better than Holy Island too, but must learn to read.