Saturday, 31 December 2016

Last blog for 2016, another old favourite walk. Dec 30th.  (Northumberland)
  One final walk before the year ends. John and I have opted to blow the Christmas cobwebs away with a short walk from Alwinton, a tiny village in Northumberland, always a good starting point.
To get there, A1 north, A697 at Morpeth, turn off at Weldon Bridge for Rothbury, go through that town and Thropton and turn right at the sign post for Harbottle and Alwinton..There is a Yorkshire car park on the grass by the stream as you reach the village, plastic mesh on the grass prevents damage so don't feel too bad, or go down the street past the Rose and Thistle pub and, for a mere £2 leave your vehicle in the National Park park. The money goes to the Park and not the council, plus there is a toilet.
The map to use is OS Explorer 16 The Cheviot Hills and the National Park park is at NT919603.

               A double dose of the car park.
The walk:
 We walked back past the pub, crossed the stream by the footbridge (The Hosedon Burn), turned left and walked up the farm track known as Clennel Street, an ancient drove road. On the left is an Iron Age settlement, hardly visible from the track, beyond it we took the second path off to the right, crossing a Cross Dyke which I am told could have been part of a holding area for cattle or part of the defences of the settlement.
Looking back from the hills above Alwinton.
The footpath contours for a while before gently descending to meet the edge of the plantation at Kidlandlee Dean and the River Alwin. Since we were last here much of the plantation has been cut to make kitchen work tops probably.

                              Valley of the River Alwin
We followed the road alongside the river in a south east direction, crossing the stream once, before heading east up Rooklands Syke. (there is a sign post to make sure you get the right valley) The footpath climbs slowly and crosses several new fences before arriving at the ruins of Old Rookland where we called a Herbie Spot.
                     Looking back down Rooklands Syke
                                 Old Rooklands, once a farm, now a Herbie Spot. Christmas cake and sandwiches.

                   The shed on the right has provided shelter from the rain in the past.
 Lunch over we followed the grassy but muddy track east before it turned south east and became a reasonable farm track which eventually joined a road. Turning right we followed the road south west past Rooklands farm, across fields and passing Clennel Hall, a rather fine looking building now a hotel.
                             Clennel Hall, dating back to 1541.
Beyond the hall we crossed the River Alwin by the footbridge, walked over several fields and emerged on the farm track where we had started our walk.
Usually we make this walk longer by heading across fields to Newton but today we just wanted a stroll out and I wanted to be home to watch Newcastle United play Nottingham Forest (NUFC won 3-1). It is a good walk anytime of year, not too difficult, a climb at the start and a climb up to Old Rooklands and the Rose and Thistle in the village at the end.
Not having Dave with us there is not a matrix but I recorded 16748 steps and 6.87 miles on faithful NAKOSITE and iPhone claimed 16894 steps and 7.2 miles.

Contains OS data copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2016

                                                 ANNI BEATUM