Saturday, 1 December 2018

Breakfast at Tomlinsons. (Northumberland) November 30th.
Tomlinsons café and bunkhouse on Bridge Street in Rothbury is always a good starting point for a walk and today we are off on another old favourite from the Northumbrian town.
Eight of us: John x 3., Brian, Ben, Harry, Dave and me, considerably more than last week.
The maps for the walks  are OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble and OS OL 42 Kielder Water and Forest because Rothbury is right on the edge of both. There is a large, free car park just across the river in Rothbury just a few hundred yards from Tomlinsons. We booted up in the car park and crossed the river to the café, bacon sandwiches, tea and coffee, and they were good too.

                      Rothbury car park on a wet November Friday. The footbridge leads to town.
Two damp gadgies heading for breakfast in Tomlinsons.
   Leaving the café we crossed the road and took the short path down to the river and turned left, walking east along the bank to Thrum Mill. 18th century with an undershot wheel. It is now a private residence.
Thrum Mill
Not far beyond the mill we crossed the road and entered the Cragside Estate. A sign on the gate says no entry but this refers to vehicles, not harmless gadgies.
Cragside, built for Lord Armstrong. He made his fortune producing guns and warships on the Tyne. Allegedly, in the 1905 Russo-Japanese war he provided battleships for both sides. That's business for you. Bob Dylan sang a song about him. Armstrong also designed the Swing Bridge in Newcastle and Cragside was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electric power.
Hydraulic pump in Cragside.
On previous occasions we have walked to the big house but today, just for a change, we followed the "Pumphouse Garden" signs and meandered through the late autumn woodland to the Home Farm.
An Archimedian screw, not original

. Used for drawing water uphill, or downhill if the direction is reversed and gravity had disappeared. Supposedly invented by 3rd century BC Greek Archimedes, discoverer of the word "Eureka"
We walked along the road beyond Home farm, crossed the Alnwick road and followed the forestry track to Primrose Cottage.
The slightly leaning cottage of Primrose.
We turned right at the cottage and walked along the gravelled but dry coaching  track north then west until we reached a gateway into a plantation.
Turn left into Blue Mill and follow the track.
About a mile up the track in Blue Mill we spotted the footpath marker on the right, climbed over a stile and crossed moorland until, after a short time we met another good track. At some point along this track we made use of a fallen gatepost and declared a Herbie. It was 5 miles into the walk.
As we settled down it started to rain.

A drop or two of rain does not put a gadgie off his food. Soup for some, mine was hot homemade leek and potato with added spinach to give it colour. We shared Mr. Kipling Christmas cake, cookies, flapjacks, ginger biscuits, Titan bars and cheese scones sent by Mrs.A
Lunch over we carried on for a short distance to a gate on the right which had several markers on it. Through the gate and on down a fieldside track until it becomes the nicely named Physic Lane. Near the bottom of the lane there is a short cut through a small estate of new houses. On the road we passed the Cross Keys and walked down to the hill to the road and footbridge across the burn.
Yes we walked past it.
Over the bridge we crossed the road and followed the footpath alongside the burn(Wreighburn ? ) which joins the River Coquet. After a short walk upstream on a muddy footpath we crossed the river by means of the footbridge.
Most of the team, safely across a rather swollen Coquet.
From this point we followed the river bank across fields and over stiles to another footbridge which takes walkers to the north side of the river again and onto a well made gravel footpath which leads back into Rothbury.
The last bridge before Rothbury but there is another at the car park.
Changed we headed for the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge which had the usual choice of three hand pulled ales; Tyneside Blonde, Blacksheep and Adnams Ghost Ship. The drivers went for tea or coffee.

Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2018

Matrix MMXVIII   12a
                                                                     steps                                       miles
NAK                                                               23778                                 8.63
iPhone                                                           20928                                   9.14
Dave'sNAK2                                                 19699                                   9.32
""USB                                                            19939                                  9.44
"" NAK1                                                        19735                                  9.34
SM                                                                 20214                                  9.25
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                       9.31
Brian                                                                                                           9.14

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