Debdon Lake Circular, Cragside and Thrum
Tue 13th March 2012
Well Sundanceís new boots look to be doing the trick, after completing the old soft shoe shuffle the night before we woke up to a bright sunny morning.
Arriving at the Rothbury TIC a cold wind was blowing down through the village so itís on with the fleece and then the windproof.
Mike gave the usual prep talk about crossing roads i.e. do not get squished.
We set off through an alley way past the Co op and started to walk up hill. We then walked along Back Riggs before walking up through a modern housing estate before we reached the first carriage way (except itís now a tarmac road) we quickly left this to walk up Pennystane Lane and on to one of the carriage ways proper.
This climbed up slowly and gradually to Brae Head, a short walk took us to where Physics Lane, a track from Thropton, meets one of the carriage ways. From here we had spectacular views to the south of all the Simonsides. To the west, the hills of the Otterburn Army Range, with Windy Gyle in the far distance, then the eastern hills of Kidland Forest, swinging round to the North West we have the huge mass of The Cheviot and of course then Hedgehog (Hedgehope).
With the majority of the days climbing over except for a couple of small climbs the walk now has become a pleasant stroll through the sunshine. The Carriage way now started to head in a more easterly direction putting the wind behind us, making it feel more like a Summers Day!!! Rather than a (still officially) winters day.
At lunch time we were able to bask in the sunshine as well as eat our packed lunches.
After lunch we continued to follow the carriage way into the Debbdon Valley. Passing a four walkers one of them greeted one of our party members and THEN another one of the four recognised one of our backmarkers! At Primrose Cottage we crossed the Debbdon Burn for the first of many crossings.
Shortly after this we entered the National Trust Cragside Estate. Mike was going to follow a path along the shore of Tumbeton Lake but at the chance of a comfort break the group overrode his choice of route and we ended up going to the Stable Block although Mike would not allow any one to go to the café or shop.
From the stable block we rejoined the Debbdon Burn as it flowed through the Cragside Estate. Having walked under the Iron Bridge we found the footpath blocked so we had to go back round, up and over the bridge before once more descending in to the valley. Here we passed a fantastic wood carving of Mike although most of us thought it was too good looking.
Eventually we reached the confluence of the Debbdon Burn and the River Coquet which is just outside of the Cragside Estate. We now followed the River upstream past the Thrum Mill and the site of the Coal Gas Works (Built by or for Lord Armstrong). A little later we reached the Bailey bridge and made our way back to the Rothbury TIC and the end of our walk.