Saturday, 18 March 2017

To sea or not to sea........(Northumberland )    March 17th
The tail end of the storm that caused chaos on the eastern seaboard of the USA (but not Canada, it kindly stopped at the border they always do if you watch BBC news.) threatened northern Britain today. The jovial jock on local TV on Thursday suggested Friday  could be wet. We had two walks planned, one in the country and one by the sea. Six of us out, two cars, we met at the entrance to Hulne Park, Alnwick to make a decision. (For Hulne Park see February 14th blog with Cyrillic heading)
The six of us; John x 3, Dave, Harry and me soon came to a decision.
The forecast had changed, the day would be overcast but mainly dry until early evening. So we chose the country and left for Eglingham,  a pretty village north of Alnwick.
Directions: north on the A1, turn off and go through the arch in Alnwick, turn right on the main street, turn left at the castle entrance, drive about five mikes, mostly alongside the wall keeping the riff raff out of Hulne Park. There is some off road parking on the lane going down to the village church.
The map to use is OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble and it is advisable to take one, or a laminated photocopied sheet to amuse your daughters. A compass might also be handy! The parking spot is at GR NU106195, and here it is.
Car parking for a few vehicles near the church.

St. Maurice's church, Eglingham. It dates back to the 12 and 13th centuries but was sacked by referendum seeking Scots in 1596 and rebuilt in the 17th century.

Leaving the church we walked down the village street, past the Tankerville Arms, searching for the sign post that would send us on our way. It was hidden by foliage;

Spot the sign post. It says Public Bridleway and Titlington.
Having found the post we followed a poorly marked footpath across fields in a south east direction before coming to Kimmer Lough, a smallish lake with a number of feathered inhabitants.

Friendly  locals and a distant Kimmer Lough.
Beyond the lough we turned south along a muddy track before finding the dilapidated gate below.
Dilapidated gate and distant Jenny's Lantern
Beyond the gate we stumbled over a field of Lauder Grass (qv in Glossary) and heather, slowly ascending to Jenny's Lantern. Not sure whether this ruin is a peel tower or old farm house but on a cold and windy day it made an excellent Herbie Spot.

Jenny's Lantern outside and in. There are two versions of the origin of its name.

Jenny was the farmer's wife and waved a lantern at night to help guide her husband home from the tavern in Eglingham. The sort of wife a man should have.
"Jenny's lantern" is the local term for "will o' the wisp". Of course I prefer the former. For our feast today we shared pork pies, Mars Bars, home made biscuits and the last of my supervised batch of flapjacks. Some of us had soup too, with croutons.
(For anybody following this route Jenny's Lantern here is the one marked on the OS map with a height of 144m, not the Jenny's Lantern Hill to the south west)
Lunch over we headed west, round the end of a plantation, past a small pool with Canada Geese, Grey Lag Geese and teal before reaching this unmarked cairn.
                                     Out of focus pond
                      and unmarked cairn.
 On a previous walk we headed downhill and across fields towards Titlington Mount where we were met by an angry farmer who verbally abused us for trespass and offered an ASBO. This time we took the path downhill across a field with horse jumps made from old tyres until we hit a track, turned left and went to Titlington, which is an equestrian centre and bus station.
From here there is a marked footpath across fields and gently uphill to the road towards Titlington Mount. At the road we turned left and after a few hundred yards found the footpath on the right that went uphill, gently, through Titlington Wood. Emerging from the wood we followed a track across moorland to Titlington Pike, which has a trig point, one of the few we have spotted with a dedication.
                                John and the trig point on Titlington Pike.
From the pike you can see a lot of Northumberland, even on an overcast day. Also visible is Shepherds Law, a monastery. It is, I think, an outpost of the Anglican monastery at Alnmouth.

                               Shepherds Law. It has a fine apse.
From the monastery we headed roughly north past the remains of ancient field systems and boundary walls to Beanley Plantation. The wood has been thinned considerably since the last time we were here but the paths are just as muddy. Emerging from the trees we split in two, amicably. Harry, John Ha. and I crossed a field to a minor road, turned right at bthe end and walked back to Eglingham, passing Eglingham Hall on the way.
John C., John H. and Dave took the footpathto Rigses Fort, a Roman British settlement which is impressive but I don't suppose it has changed much in the five years since I saw it.

Eglingham Hall, built in 1728 and incorporating older houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Changed we visited the village pub, the Tankerville Arms. Very friendly and with two real ales on offer, Alnwick Amber and Tyneside Blonde.

The Matrix MMXVII KK
                                                                        steps                          miles
NAK                                                              27717                            10.93
Dave's 3D                                                      22833                            10.05
"" USB                                                          21741                             10.26
"" NAK                                                         21645                             10.24
IPhone                                                          23089                              10.3
etrex                                                                                                      10
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                  10
John C                                                                                                   10.2

Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2017