Saturday, 31 January 2015

We have often walked Carey Burn before and an AGM.........................January 30/31st.
 Much of the north has snow but the part of Northumberland we have chosen for today's walk has only a light dusting. The young lady who read the forecast on local TV  said Friday would be bright and breezy. She was right.
Eight gadgies out today, an octogadge; Ben, Brian, Ray John H, John C, Dave, Harry and me and we have decided to walk the Carey Burn. This is my favourite riverside walk in the Cheviots and it also liked by the rest of the gang.
It starts at the Carey Burn Bridge in the Harthope Valley, reached as you should know by now, by going north on the A1, turn onto the A697 at Morpeth, turn into Wooler, turn left onto Cheviot Street, past the YHA, take the right fork, turn right at the signpost saying Langleeford, drive carefully down the hill just past Skirl Naked and pull in on the grassy verge by the bridge. Be warned, there are often cows loose on this stretch of road, John H had his car beautifully decorated  but undamaged on one occasion. The map to use is OS OL42 The Cheviot Hills and the starting point is at NT 976249.
Stop in Wooler for tea, coffee  and bacon at the friendly Terrace Cafe.
                                                 This week's car park, free.
We went through the gate on the right just before the bridge  over the Carey  Burn and followed the footpath on the north side of the stream. The path is not on the OS map but is sign posted. It is close to the water for much of the way and there are a couple of places with a bit of a scramble but it is more like a valley in the Lakes than the Cheviots. With luck you will spot a heron or a dipper and possibly, near the craggy bits a peregrine. But not today.
                             Don't go near the waterfall
                                    A light dusting of snow in the burn valley.
 Some way up the stream the footpath is between the water and a plantation, eventually reaching a footbridge.(on my old map it says ford but it is a bridge.) Once across the bridge we stuck to the footpath across open fields until we reached another footbridge crossing the Broadstruther burn.(Also marked as a ford)
                                               The Carey Burn from the first footbridge
The footpath now joins a quite well made track which curves round to the old farm at Broadstruther. This farm, once derelict is now a hunting lodge used by grouse shooters. We sat outside in the sun and declared a Herbie Spot. Today's exchange of goodies meant we had Ben's ginger biscuits, Cadbury Brunch bar, Czech chocolate, flapjacks and some iced buns from Mrs A. (184 pounds today). I had left my flask on the kitchen bench (Counter in US, apparently) but was offered soup and tea which made up for it, what caring gadgies we are. Lunch over
                                        Ready to move out from Broadstruther
we headed roughly south from the lodge and after a few hundred yards spotted the footpath going across the moorland which eventually joins a good farm track and comes to the fence at the foot of Cold Law.

                                      The path to Cold Law, regardless of which side of the fence you are on.
                                            An old boundary marker at the foot of Cold Law.
                                        Broadstruther is right in the centre
On the Cold Law summit is a trig point. From it we headed south towards a cairn, took the footpath to the right of the cairn and followed it downhill. At the first grassy junction we took the right fork and followed the grassy path down Cockshaw Sike to the valley road. Turning left  we walked along the road for about half a mile before crossing the Private Bridge to Langlee. The footpath goes round the farm and then climbs steeply up a diagonal ramp. The tracks at the top of the ramp are not marked on the map, presumably they are fairly new, but if you do this walk on Brands Hill take the track east of north  and follow it downhill. At a fence go through the stile on the left and follow the muddy footpath  through woodland and above the river until it comes to a footbridge. Cross the bridge turn right and there is the car park. This walk is worthy of a Times "Good Walk", it has magnificent scenery, a bit of a climb and a terrific pub at the end.
Changed we headed for our favourite watering hole, the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge.

Brian heads for the bar.
On offer today, the last of Timothy Taylors Landlord, Speckled Hen and Directors.
The  Matrix MMXV E
                                                           steps                       miles

HiGear                                              19033                        8.64
Dave's LIDL3D                                 19723                       7.2
Dave's USB                                       19164                        7.25
OUTDOORGPS                                                                 8.2
Brian's GPS                                                                         8.3

Contains OS Data, copyright. Crown Copyright and database right 2015

After a couple of pints, or coffee for the driver, four of the team headed home. Brian, Ray,John H and I remained to hold the Annual General Meeting.
It must be said that our ramblings have reached foreign parts. The Northern Echo described us as a collection of bus pass walkers with amusing tales to tell and a penchant for humour. "They have an interest in music," the columnist wrote. "On one walk somebody asked what do you call a person who eats a fried egg sandwich at 6.12 pm? Answer; An 1812 ova chewer" One of Brian's better puns!
As I recounted this in the Anglers Arms, which has a number of stuffed fish decorating the walls, we were reminded of another joke.
"What sort of a fish is that," asked Dave.
"Don't tell him Pike," quipped the punster. (Think Dad's Army)

The four of us decided to have a shower, a brief rest and meet in the restaurant for the AGM at 7pm.
The agenda was pretty similar to last year's, ignoring the reading of minutes we got down to the business in hand.
                               1. Drink
                               2. Another drink
                               3  Eat, with drink
                               4 Drink
The Anglers Arms deserve more than just a mention as a meeting place.It is a cosy pub/resataurant/hotel. The staff are, without exception, friendly, the food is excellent, the vegetarian option was a "sizzler" my steak and ale pie was full of meat and the other two fairly drooled over the liver. And the starter: I had black pudding with potato and egg, almost a meal in itself. The wine went down well and the pub has a selection of whiskies fit for connoisseurs. Look it up at On one wall there is a photograph of Albert Tatlock of Coronation Street fame. There should be a photograph of the gadgies.
We retired about 11pm and rose for breakfast at 8.45. Full English was enjoyed by all, in spite of the evenings alcohol.
Breakfast over we headed for Rothbury, parked near Tomlinson's Cafe and bunkhouse and set off to clear our heads on a walk round the terraces.
To follow this walk, which is on OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble, find the Queens Head pub on the high street of the pretty market town and turn left. Walk uphill past the first school and watch for the signpost that leads across fields  to Hillside Road. Across more fields to the woods near Addycombe and turn left on the track This track wanders vaguely west, past a radio tower before following a curve  south west the northwest, then north before going north east and finally it enters Primrose Wood. After a short stretch down hill turn right  and  after about a half mile take the footpath on the left leading across some very muddy fields before reaching a narrow lane that heads downhill between houses and back into the town. Walk round the church and you are back at Tomlinson's cafe.

                                                         A lonely cairn above Rothbury
                                               Keeps you on the right track
                                              Heading downhill in Primrose Wood
                                                  Distant view of a snow covered Cheviot

Once we had changed from boots to shoes we went to the cafe for early afternoon tea and scones.
Tomlinson's is well worth a visit too. An interesting menu, some beers and a bunkhouse. It also has bikes for hire and can arrange other outdoor activities. Look them up
                                               Tomlinson's cafe, Rothbury

The Matrix MMXV F
                                                                    steps                         miles
HiGear                                                          13047                       5.9
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                           5.8
Brian's GPS                                                                                    5.7
Contains OS data Copyright.Crown Copyright and database right 2015