Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Vindobala to Newburn.

We haven't been able to get out for a few weeks, due to other engagements and a sore paw, but finally on Sunday, we managed to get together, chuck a sandwich in a bag and prepare for a walk.

Driving to Newburn first, where we would leave a car to end at, we drove back to Vindobala where we finished last time.  It is taking about an hour or more now to drive to our starting points, we must be getting near the end  :)

Pulling on our rucksacks we set off in search of our Acorn  (You follow the little white acorn throughout the trail, sometimes painted on walls, pavements, or mounted on signposts.

Walking across a field, we were parallel with the busy A69, the main road between Carlisle and Newcastle.

It was a very pretty section of walk this time, through little woodland areas, lovely villages, and parkland, but first we had to cross the A69, and head towards Heddon On The Wall.

We past the Three Tuns pub on entering the Village, then crossed the road.

From here we snaked our way through the back of houses and came out at a small housing estate with some fabulous street names  :)

The view from this area was stunning, you could see for miles.

Looking to the right, you could see the high-rise buildings in the City of Newcastle, and even the River Tyne.

We walked away from Newcastle at this point, on a bit of a detour, past some amazing houses.  We were picking out which ones we wanted for a retirement home, they were something special with a stunning view.

At the end of this lane we found a little cupboard with an honesty tin for payment, it was full of home-grown veg. I really wanted a cabbage and a bag of gorgeous looking potatoes, but no one wanted to carry them for me  ;)

Walking down through a steep little woodland area, we came out at a Biology Field Station on the edge of a Golf Club.

Still on a detour, we spotted this sign.......grrrrrrrr  (Those 84 miles stated at the start was a little underestimated)

Walking through the Golf Club land we were looking for our Acorn, and here is where we found it.....

Uh oh!  Now which way do we go?  The wrong way obviously.  Luckily we didn't get too far before the paper maps came out and we backtracked a little.

Passing a football game, we walked back into a wooded area where we found this sign.

The Wylan Waggonway

 It is thought that the Wylam waggonway was opened in 1748 and was therefore one of the earliest waggonways in the north of England. The waggonway linked the colliery to the staiths at Lemington from where the coal was taken down The River Tyne on flat bottomed boats called keels to be loaded on the large coal ships further down the river.

This led to a cycle way, a lovely long straight path through a sheltered tree lined area.  Really pretty.  

We sat amongst some trees to have our lunch, then carried on to the next gap in the track.  This was at a farmyard where Ian realised we had missed a turning on our path.  None of us had looked for the acorn, we had just followed the cycle track on and on.

So, turn around (again) and wander back to find a path, we found this one hiding in the trees, not sure if it was the right track, but it got us to where we needed to be.

The correct side of the Farmyard.

We were then walking along the River Tyne, and underfoot was lumps of coal trodden into the pathway.  I took a little piece home as a souvenir :)

Then began a "berry fight"!  Here is Ian selecting his ammunition...

To hit the others with.

I found a couple of acorns, thinking they would be good to throw, unfortunately my aim wasn't good and I missed my target (ie Andrew's head) every single time!)

We soon entered "Tyne Riverside Country Park", what a lovely place this was with open spaces, lovely views and playing areas for kids.

It was also where the rain started!  And it LASHED down, the River Tyne was bouncing, and we got slightly damp - we were only minutes from the car too.... if we hadn't have missed the acorn earlier on we would have been home and dry  :)

We picked up the pace, galloped past The Boathouse pub and round the back to the car  :)

Total walked today- approx 6.25 miles.  Time spent - approx 3 hrs walking.

Grand Total - Miles 82.25 / Time 43.15 hours.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Caw Hill to Vindobala.

After a restful night in our B&B following a lovely Indian Meal at The Valley Restaurant in Corbridge, we got up early, had a wonderful cooked breakfast and set off for our walk.

Stopping at Tesco in Hexham for lunch stuff  (which was hard to pick when we were full up with breakfast!!)

Us two girls got dropped off at the point we got picked up at yesterday, and had a mile to walk until we met the boys, who had gone off to park the cars in the appropriate stopping point.

It was a beautiful crisp day, but with a good strong breeze.  Still t-shirt weather, but chilly if you stopped.

Lezley and I walked through a couple of fields, and up and around a hill, until we spotted the first car and the menfolk.

At this point we donned our rucksacks and set off again.

This part of the walk has levelled out a lot from the centre parts, so apart from a couple of peaks and troughs it is pretty much flat.

We walked through a lot of farmers fields and down a lot of roadsides.

Like yesterday we kept having to cross the main road and zig-zag, but it gave us a different view at least  :)

We came to the Robin Hood Inn, where we got our penultimate stamp in our passports, AND... we didn't get tempted to stop for a wee drinkie  ;)

Walking on from the pub and through another field, we spotted this little chap sitting in the grass!!  How random.

A little further on we arrived at a reservoir, the blue you see in this photo is actually water, from a distance it looks like a lavender field.

Is it a nature reserve called Whittle Dene, we walked to the end of the second lake and found a picnic bench, perfect timing as bellys were rumbling.

It was so windy though, our food kept blowing off the table, check out Dotty's ears flapping in the breeze.

Onwards we went, through more fields and more roadside paths.

At one point we had about a half a mile detour around someones garden, the actual wall path used to go across the roadside in front of their house, but it was closed off and we had to detour around the back, two fields down, one across and two back up!  We were cursing them every so slightly ;)

We carried on through Harlow Hill towards Ruchester, finally ending up at Vindobala.  This was just a few mounds of grass in a farmers field, from the road you wouldn't even know it was there, but you can so tell by the shape of the land that there is something interesting under that grass!

And that's the car you can spot in the background  :)

At this point we are only 8 miles from Newcastle and 13 miles from the end of the walk!!

Total walked today- approx 7 miles.  Time spent - approx 3.45 hrs walking.

Grand Total - Miles 76 / Time 40.15 hours.