Saturday, 9 September 2017

Pусские  Пришли * but that's OK because we are off to Warkworth (Northumberland) September 8th
There have been 2340 hits on the site this week, a quarter of them Russian, seeking insights of our little island home.
Another damp week in England. The forecast for the hills suggests a coastal walk might be more sensible so we six are off to have a walk from Warkworth, near Amble, near the coast. The best way to get there is to follow the Northumberland Coastal route, A189.
The six of us are; John x 3, Brian, Dave and me. The map to use is OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble.
We had a pre walk breakfast in Bertrams  on Warkworth high street, it's a small town, a village really, easy to find the café. and there is a car park in the village square and more parking beyond the church by the river. Both of the Yorkshire variety too. Great café, friendly staff and good coffee/tea/ bacon sandwich.
Warkworth is on a loop in the River Coquet. It has a fine castle, ruined now. Started in 1139 by Henry,( son of David I, king of Scotland) who had been made Earl of Northumberland. St. Laurence's church is an almost complete Norman church, well worth a visit too. And if you pay the ferryman it is possible to visit the cave-hermitage on the north bank of the river.
                     Parking by the riverside
                Warkworth Castle beyond the car park in the square. Two for the price of one this week, sarcastic one.
  Leaving the cafe we walked down the street to the two bridges across the River Coquet. One is a beautiful 14th century stone structure with a gatehouse. It is now for pedestrians only, but I dare say cyclists can use it. The other, more modern, is for traffic.

                  Gatehouse, information board and bridge.
Once over the bridge we crossed the road and walked along the minor road that leads to a caravan site and the beach. Before reaching the beach, spotting the Northumberland Coastal Path/ St,Oswald's Way marker we turned left and took the footpath alongside Warkworth Golf Course.

                                                            We have a sign.
The footpath stays close to the course, at one point going round a dune, under a footbridge and back on track, passing through National Trust land.
Approaching the estuary of the River Aln we called a rather early Herbie Spot, some of us had not had bacon sandwiches. A goodly feast, enough for five thousand probably as we shared Alpen biscuits, home made peanut cookies, home made cheese scones, carrot cake and PORK PIE.
After Herbie we left the official route, found a flag stoned path immediately after Sawmill Cottage, and crossed the boggy estuary, climbing, with some difficulty, barbed wire fences. It reminded me, and John, of the Lune Estuary. The only consolation was the view of Alnmouth, a pretty village on the north bank of the river, starting point for several walks.
Crossing the road and finding the footpath by the village school, we headed for Hipsburn and once there up the road towards the Alnmouth Station.
                 This is the entrance to a short cut on the way towards Hipsburn. Difficult to spot and difficult to get through.
                    Northumberland is very much an agricultural county.
Just before the station we turned onto a footpath that went under the main East Coast Railway and across fields waiting for the combine to Wooden Farm. From here we walked across more fields  to High Buston which has an orchard and a large house and several cottages.
  A new blog feature; gate fastenings. This is a fine example of a triple lock gate, quite rare.

 I resisted the temptation to go scrumping for apples
                    High Buston House
After walking a few yards up the road from High Buston we took the footpath on the left. It appears the farmer has ripped out many of the English hedgerows here to create large fields. We crossed a potato field and a field showing what seemed to be brassica plants, still very small. The path has been obscured but we walked carefully over the fields, turned right at the road we came to and then, almost immediately left into more open land. Following the "path" we came to a double barbed wire fence, crossing it very  carefully, not wishing to rip trousers or anything else. Once over we spotted the footpath over the railway, complete with a note from the Samaritans. On a sunny bank above a stream we called a second feeding halt of the day, immediately christened HS2*
Brian, revising his reputation as punmeister considered that any gadgie  who killed himself at a feeding station would be committing Herbiecide.
Break over we carried on across the field, pausing to chat to three horses before climbing a stile and heading down the road to Warkworth.
                 Dave has not lost his touch with the ladies.
Once changed we headed for the Sun Inn near the castle. The pub offered a choice of Consett English Pale Ale, Alnwick Gold and Bombardier. Having recently been told by a nurse that my consumption of beer was approaching government recommended limits I ignored her.

The Matrix MMXVII  Z to the n +1
(Dave has acquired a new wrist worn pedometer health check. It is made by Silva and in future will b e referred to as Sylvia's molther.
                                                                   steps                            miles

NAK                                                          15233                          6.25 (tech problem, fromHS1)
iPhone                                                        20620                          9.45
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                            9.2
Dave's 3D                                                  20533                           8.43
  ""        USB                                              19401                           8.57
  ""        NAK                                               19335                         8.54
Sylvia's mother                                         20239                            8.91

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

And a few more pictures

                         The bell, a gas cylinder and metal bar!

* The Russians are coming
** The government is proposing to build a high speed railway from London to Birmingham and on to Manchester and Leeds. But not the north east.