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Friday, 3 November 2017

It seems we've walked this way  before but........
Rothbury Terraces(Northumberland) November 3
At my request we are having a walk fairly close to home because I am off to Spain at 4am on Saturday morning.
A walk we have done several times from Rothbury via Cragside and the Rothbury Terraces to Thropton and back along the river Coquet.
There are five of us out, Brian, Ben, Harry, John H. and me and as usual in Rothbury we are having a bit of breakfast in Tomlinsons Café and Bunkhouse.
To get to Rothbury take the A1 north, the A687 at Morpeth and turn left at Weldon Bridge for the small Northumberland town. Free parking is availoable, turn down Bridge Street, cross the bridge and park by the river.
Two maps cover the walk OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble covers most but the rest is on OS Explorer 42 Kielder Water and Forest.
                  Riverside car park, with useful benches
                Tomlinsons, café bunkhouse and bicycle museum
Breakfast over we took the footpath going east on the north side of the river Coquet. A couple told us to watch out for salmon leaping the weir but we didn't spot any although Brian spied a heron, in close up too.
We walked past Thrum Mill, now fully refurbished and crossed the road to the grounds of Cragside.
                                          Thrum mill, now a house.
There is a no entry sign on the entrance to the grounds but this refers to traffic. We walked past several of the machines that arms maker George Armstrong had had built for his estate, all carefully preserved.


                  Cragside was the first building to have hydro electricity. Armstrong devised the system.
We followed paths uphill until we reached the big house and continued along the road past the visitor centre at Home Farm, past Tumbleton Lake and through woodland until we reached the road from Rothbury to Alnwick.
             Cragside Hall, originally the home of Lord Armstrong, now a National Trust property

                             Tumbleton Lake
Crossing the road we followed the track to Primrose Cottage, turned right and stayed on the old carriage drive originally heading north but turning through 90 degrees towards the west.

We turned left and past this sign.
If you follow this route watch out after about a mile for the marker on the right which is the start of a footpath across the moor, eventually joining another carriage ride. We called a Herbie Spot and settled down on an old stone gatepost that had conveniently fallen over.
                Hi Dave, hope Durham is as fine as Northumberland. You missed out on pork pies, ginger biscuits from Ben, Brunch Bars and lemon cakes from Mrs A.
Lunch over we continued on our way before turning right and down hill on the track marked Physic Lane on the map. This wonderfully named track eventually becomes a metalled road that leads into Thropton.
                  The village of Thropton beyond the Berries.
Having crossed the footbridge that runs parallel to the road bridge we crossed the road and walked through what appears to be a building site until we came to the River Coquet. A few hundred yards upstream we made use of the footbridge and crossed to the south side of the water.
                          Bridge over hardly troubled water, the Coquet, salmonless.
Once over the river we followed the footpath alongside the Coquet, across fields, noting the way the bank of the river had been washed away on a curve, the beginnings of an Ox Bow lake!
At the next footbridge we crossed the river again, took the path over a field and joined the well made track back to the car park in Rothbury.
On our way home we stopped for a change at the Anglers Arms to rehydrate. Black Sheep, Sharps and a third ale on offer. 
Another good walk, woodlands, moorlands and river side, easy going with a short climb up to the house at Cragside.
Not having Dave with us I can't offer the usual matrix. My GPS decided to have one of its off days, but my iPhone claimed the walk as being 9.2 miles. Brian and Ben agreed.

                  Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2017
And done in a hurry as the gadgette and I are off to Spain tomorrow--at 4am