Isaacs Tea Trail - Allendale to Nenthead
Sundance had danced and left home in bright sunshine but as he headed southwest the cloud was building up had the soft shoe shuffle enough power to work this far to the south?
The group met at Nenthead with Mike being the last to arrive for a change, we quickly boarded the bus and arrived in Allendale very close to the loo’s which fact was evident in the number of the group who disappeared for a while.
Eventually we set of and the route follows the East Allen in a southerly direction. The walking was pleasant if you ignore the huge number of styles and gates you have to pass through. Progress was slow and by lunch time we had covered about 6 Km.
After a lunch we began to climb up out of the East Allen valley leaving the small fields behind and on to open fell climbing over Hartley Moor we headed for towards the head of the West Allen valley at Coalcleugh from here a short climb brought us to The Northumberland Cumberland border.
It was now a short walk, all downhill to Nethead and the end of a dry but cool walking day.
Isaacs Tea Trail - Nenthead to Alston
Leaving sunny Rothbury the clouds gradually built up as Mike Headed South and by the time he parked up at Alston there was definitely dampness in the air. By the time we reached Nenthead it was a steady mizzle which soon passed but set the pattern for a while to come.
Once more lots of little fields meant lots of styles to cross. Other coming across a heard of Alpacc’s and the modal village that had been built in some ones garden it was a walk that passed in passing showers of mizzle until lunch time then heavy rain then back to the light drizzle.
On reaching Alston the facilities were put to good use. The next part was a circular walk north along a minor road were we joined Isaac’s Tea Trail at Randalholme then on to Underbank have crossed in to Northumberland somewhere along the way. We crossed the River South Tyne at Kirkhaugh Station and joined here Isaac’s Tea Trail follows the same route as the Pennine Way.
We now walk south on the firstonly stretch of open fell past Whitley Roman Fort and down to the Gilderdale Burn and back into Cumberland. After another 1 km or so we descend into low land pasture and were back into the small fields and styles again. Fortunately before to long we were on the outskirts of Alston and quickly arrived back at the cars.
Nordic Walk - Holy Island via pilgrim's route
The morning was lovely with blue sky, sunshine and a lovely warm temperature, so warm fleeces were left behind. After a discussion everyone decided to go barefoot across the sands.
We all got on the bus and travelled to the start and we all took off our socks and shoes, packed them in our bags and did a warm up.
Julie reminded everyone to go at their own pace, we couldn’t get lost and we should keep the guide poles on our left.
Everyone soon got into their stride and we had quite a stretched out group. Julie started at the back checking on techniques before moving on the middle group and then Nordic skipping to the people at the front.
At a quick stop at one of the refuges some of the group couldn’t resist climbing up, whilst the others decided it wasn’t for them.
We headed off again and came across a slippy muddy section, when we nearly lost Julie on her bottom a few times, this section really tested our Nordic walking technique. A lot of laughter was to be heard at this point when we all felt a bit like ice skaters. In fact some of the group found the choice between concentrating on their technique or just trying to stay on their feet too much and for a few minutes were using their poles as trekking poles instead.
Once over this section everyone’s legs were looking a little muddy, ankles for the taller of the group to above the knees for some of the shorter members. Not to worry there was a section of water which we headed for. Two members of the group decided to go for the shortest distance across and soon ended up in water past their knees. Julie joked that this was the swimming section of the walk before pointing out that if we walked up a short distance the water was shallower. Some people said they saw fish but by the time we had all laughed and plodged (paddled/waded) through the water they had decided it was too noisy for them and they had swam away.
We were now at the last little bit of the walk on the sands before we had to go up onto the road, dry off our feet, put our socks and shoes back on and finish the walk on the causeway road. Once back at the cars, cool down completed, Julie reminding everyone that the next Nordic walk was on the 1st November from Warkworth to Alnmouth and back. It was agreed that we would all jump back in our cars and meet again for lunch at the Barn at Beal.
Everyone said that this was a very enjoyable, funny walk and everyone was looking forward to the next walk that they could get to.