Saturday, 23 February 2019

Oh Canada. (Northumberland) February 22nd.
 Most sources state that Canada gets its name from the Huron-Iroquois word "Kanata", meaning village or settlement. Apparently this word was used to Jacques Cartier in 1535, actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of present day Quebec City.
This is nonsense. The word comes from a tiny place in Northumberland near Edlingham which is called Canada. In 1529 a group of Northumbrians, tired of being robbed and ruined by the marauding Scots, took themselves off to Newcastle, hired a boat, sailed round Scotland and off into the west. Up the river they named the St. Cuthbert and off to a new life. To feel at home they called their settlement Canada. And it grew, in spite of the French.
Today there are five of us out on a warm February day, temperatures a possible and unseasonable 18C, according to the young lady from BBC Look North. We are John C., John H., Dave, Brian and me.
The walk starts in the village of Edlingham (Eadwulf's people's settlement). 
Head north up the A1, A697 at Morpeth and turn right at the signpost for Edlingham. There is limited parking by the church. (St John the Baptist, 11th century onwards) and nearby is a ruined castle (late 13th century) and a railway viaduct, (19th century) not in use.
The map to use is OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble.
The place for breakfast is the Running Fox in Longframlington. Great place and always busy, Brian's bacon sandwich looked like a whole meal.

St John's, castle an viaduct

Free country parking

Booted up but without the winter clothing worn for the last few walks we set off up the only street in the tiny village. A steep road, lined with cottages, most of which seemed empty of people, possibly they are holiday rentals. At the Demesne (Land attached to the manor house, property of the local lord) we joined “ The Devils Causeway”, the line of a Roman road, and it is still obvious it was once a metalled highway.
Once tramped by Romans, now muddied by tractors

Crossing several fields we walked in a southerly direction, using the footbridge over the Edlingham Burn and climbed up to the B6341 Alnwick to Rothbury road. Straight across and through the gate with the Open Access sign. The footpath exists, but not too clearly  but we followed it uphill past rocky outcrops on Caller Crag to the gate into the plantation.
Footbridge over Edlingham Burn

A wide forest track through the rows of pines brought us to the house at Wellhope. Years ago the family that lived here spent much of the year living in a wigwam but they seem to have moved into the stone building. After a short chat with the residents we followed a narrow footpath round a boggy bit of the wood before heading uphill on drier ground and eventually emerging on to the moor.

Dave and Brian went off to search for Cup and Ring marks*, three of us followed a grassy track to Snook Bank farm. A short distance beyond the farm we settled down for a Herbie, sitting on a grassy bank with a fence at our backs. Wonderfully warm for February.
I think this was an accident. Anyway we shared mini apple pies, cookies, chocolate cakes and savoury, carrot flapjacks from Mrs A

Break over we crossed a couple of fields and came to Canada. The buildings looked like a group of low circus tents, corrugated walls and a domed roof, built around a central lobby. Nearby some workmen were levelling the ground, possibly for an additional tent. As we reached the front of the buildings and the old farm house a man emerged so we asked what the place was. He said they bred gyr falcons and peregrines, mainly for export to Middle East countries where falconry is a popular hobby. The round buildings were an indoor flying arena for the birds. Brian thought it more likely they were raising Canada Geese.
Internal flying zones for gyr falcons and peregrines

The original Canada farmhouse
Canada, and for you Eileen Pete I am wearing my Dakota Nation cap!

The track from Canada to the A697 is not the usual messy farm road but a well constructed tarmac strip, there’s money in falcons!

Once across the A697 we headed north west on what is the old drove road, used before its modern neighbour. A grassy track, easy walking and with a slight diversion to a cairn with views all-round the county.

Beyond the cairn and back on the track we came to a ruined farmhouse. On the left, through a narrow band of trees is a gibbet, including a plastic skull. A board on the gibbet once gave an explanation, saying who had been executed and displayed there, sadly the board has been damaged.

The hanging tree

A little further on we came to the cross roads at New Moor House, crossed the B6341 again and after a hundred yards or so crossed the A697 and took notice of the signpost directing us across fields to Edlingham by way of the farm at Wandystead and Sergeant Law.

A few fields later we were back at Demesne and on the rod through the still quiet village to the cars.

On the way home we stopped at the Shoulder of Mutton in Longhorsley to rehydrate. Four hand pumps but only one dispensing, a shame. The one beer was Yo.rkshire Blonde from the Ossett Brewery. It’s from Yorkshire so it must be good. Across the road from the pub is the house from which Emily Davidson set out. She jumped in front of the King's horse during the suffragette movement days and was tragically killed.
* Cup and Ring marks appear in many places in the north. They are rings and depressions cut into rocks, usually horizontal. Nobody is sure what they were for.

Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2019.

Matrix  MMXIX  2d

                                                                               StepsA                     miles

NAK                                                                    28205                     10.23

Iphone                                                               22784                      10

Dave’s NAK1                                                     21389                     10.12

“”””NAK 2                                                         21355                      10.11

“”””USB                                                            21600                       10.22

“”””SM                                                             21545                       10.03

Brian                                                                                                    9.67

Etrex           3h 45m walk 1 h talk                                                   10
A few more pictures


Saturday, 16 February 2019

Featherstone Rovers (Northumberland)            February 15th
Boots at the end. Gaiter Velcro is wearing out

Back to full strength the gadgie team is, at last, going on the Haltwhistle Ring (qv) walk round Featherstone,
There are eight of us, John x 3, Harry, Brian, Ray, Dave and me. The walk starts in Haltwhistle which is easily reached by driving west on the A69 until you get there, Free parking near Sainsbury's supermarket. We had breakfast at Brockbushes Farm shop just off the roundabout for Corbridge. 
The map for the walk is OS OL 43 Hadrian's Wall, and it could prove useful.
Haltwhistle claims to be the geographical centre of the island of Great Britain. It's name has nothing to do with railways, it means "where the two rivers meet by the hill". (Haefod =hill and twisel =fork in the river).  And Featherstone has nothing to do with a rugby league team in Yorkshire, it means a cromlech.(three upright stones and a headstone, but you probably guessed that.
The weatherman on local BBC TV promised a warm sunny day for February and he was right,  perfect day for a winter walk, 11C, bright skies, little wind.
It was a sunny day. And parking was free

Leaving the free car park on the roadside above Sainsbury’s  we walked through the supermarket car park downhill, crossed several streets and along a footpath until we reached Haltwhistle Station where we crossed both the railway line and the River South Tyne before reaching Bellister Road.  The road took us beneath the A69 Haltwhistle bypass and close to Bellister Castle before we left it and turned off to the right at the first “Daft as a Brush “ * marker we saw.
Daft as a Brush marker on Tyne trail

February fair maids, snowdrops 

South Tyne

The footpath climbed through woodland above the river past Broomhouse  to the bridge across the Park Burn near Park Village.  Still on the south bank of the river we walked on road to Bridge End and continued to a footbridge over the Tyne.
Beautiful bridge at Bridge End

Now on the north bank we walked on and just beyond Burnfoot we called a Herbie near Burnfoot and sat on a grassy bank to share the day’s goodies; ginger biscuits, flapjacks, mini chocolate cakes, vegan sausage rolls from Greggs the great bakers of the north and cheese scones from Mrs A.

Having eaten well we walked a little further down the road before, at a sign post on the right we climbed across a field until we joined the Pennine Way**.
Tyne at Bridge End

Lost souls at Bridge End

Crossing the river

This took us to the farm at Batey Shield but we left the long distance way there and headed for Kellah, net farm on the route. Beyond Kellah, near Peat Gate we crossed a road at the War Memorial, crossed undulating fields and reached the footbridge across the Tyne where we had crossed previously.

Someone left their bike

War Memorial (1914-18)

War Memorial

We did not cross the river but walked the footpath through Crow Wood. Steep in parts, narrow in others and with a few logs to negotiate, some of us have had problems with these in the past.

I'm getting better with logs.

Back at Bridge End we remained on the north bank following the sign for Wydon Eals. From here footpaths across fields took us to Wydon then on to the A69 bypass again, there is a path beneath it.

Back in Haltwhistle we made our way to the cars, remov3d very muddy boots and went to the Boathouse Tavern in Wylam to rehydrate. As has been mentioned before this pub has at least a dozen hand pulled beers, among them today Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, the second best thing to come from Keighley in Yorkshire. As driver I managed to abstain and had coffee. Curses.
Boathouse, Wylam

Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2019
* Daft as a Brush. A cancer charity which has sponsored trails on the Tyne. A guide to the walks is available, £12.99, well worth every penny
** Pennine Way. Longest walk in Britain from Derbyshire to the Scottish border.

Super Matrix MMXIX  3c

                                                                  Steps                         miles

NAK                                                        29547                          10.72

Iphone                                                    22551                         9.8

Dave’s NAK 1                                         21809                         10.32

“”””””NAK2                                            21750                         10.3

 “””””USB                                               21919                         10.3

“””””””SM                                            22214                          10.47

Etrex                       3hr 32 min walk  1hr 23min talk            10.02

OUTDOOR GPS                                                                           10    
The following are from Dave