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Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 5

From Source to Sea - day 5

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day 5 – Rothbury to Felton

Well Sundance had danced the night away and yes it was a bright and sunny morning at Felton as the group met and the early birds had a cup of coffee from the local coffee shop, before jumping on the mini bus and heading back to Rothbury.  The Rothbury facilities were put to good use before we set off.  We made a slight detour to follow the old Rothbury rail way line through a cutting before once more joining St. Oswald’s Footpath a pleasant stroll along the railway line which we eventually left to head down hill and have a short walk along the banks of the River Coquet.  At Pauperhaugh the path does a little detour leaving the river to cross the Forest Burn by a footbridge.  Once across the bridge we stopped for lunch and some of the group used the trees to good effect.

After lunch we continued along the river before climbing up a heugh leaving the haugh land to walk away and well above the river.  Then we walked past the farms of Thorneyhaugh, Middleheugh, and Brinkheugh and all though we passed Brinkburn Priory the trees were too dense to see the building or the river.  The path continues through several fields until we reached the Todd Burn were it enters the River Coquet just above the old weir for the mill at Weldon.  This section is one of the closest bits next to the river.

At Weldon we crossed the old road bridge before continuing on our way on the north bank of the river.  While some of the group went into the pub to use its facilities the rest of the group continued to walk slowly eastwards.  Once more we lost sight of the river catching only glimpses either through the trees or somewhat in the distance.

From Elyhaugh to Felton fence we more or less followed the river before climbing up out of the valley to walk high above the river but under the A1 trunk road as it crosses the River Coquet.  The path took us through the grounds of Felton Park. From hear a short road section brings you to the centre of Felton (and the end of the days walk) also the older A1 Bridge (now a footbridge) next to a slightly more modern bridge still in use for vehicles that cross the Coquet.

Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 4

From Source to Sea - day 4

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day 4 - Hepple to Rothbury

We all met up at Cow Haugh car park in Rothbury ready to be bussed to the start of the days walk.  After a short bus transfer and we arrived at the start of the track passing through Hepple Whiteside eventually heading for Chartners.  Just a short distance passed after Hepple Whiteside we stopped to put on our waterproofs, (what happened to the soft shoe shuffle?).  As we started to seriously gain height the rain became more persistent fortunately it was on our backs for the most part.

As the path levelled out just below Whitefield Hill we came across a couple of beaters huts hoping to get some sort of shelter in the lee of the huts for a late 11.00 o’clock.  You can imagine our surprise and delight that they were open.  Having got out of the wind and the rain Mike decided that it should be an early lunch stop and therefore made himself a cup of coffee (always a good sign that we were in for a longish stop).

It was still raining as we left the shelter of the hut and as we reached the plateau we turned in to the wind, rain and thick mist to head over Tosson Hill via Boddle Moss.  By the time we reached Tosson Hill the rain had eased and as we walked on  the path heading for Ravens Huagh the cloud started to break and we had glimpses of the views northwards over the Coquet.  Then suddenly the cloud lifted and we had fantastic views over the River Coquet to the Cheviots in the distance.  

Soon we were standing under the front of the Simonside Crags.  A strenuous climb quickly brought us to the summit of Simonside.  The new slab path now leads to Old Stella Crags wher in the lee of a rock outcrop we had an afternoon coffee.  Following the new path over Dove Crag we eventually arrived at Beacon Hill (on old maps), it now was relatively downhill all the way in to Rothbury.

After a steep decent we joined the long distance St. Oswald’s Footpath which in the coming days we would follow to Walkworth.  Crossing over Lordenshaw Hillfort we stopped to look at the famous rock with carved cup and ring markings.  We continued to descend to Whitton Dean Farm and then followed a well-made up farm track to Whitton and then it was all downhill back to the cars.

Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 3

From Source to Sea - day 3

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day Three Low Alwinton to Hepple

Sundance has done it again another fine dry day.  How does he do it?

The group met up at Hepple Bridge ,piled in the mini bus.  Arriving at Low Alwinton we set off and after at the most two minutes Mike started wittering about rocks, lime kilns and other bits and bobs oh and Harbottle Castle.  Eventually we got on with the walk.  After a while Mike claimed we were walking next to the river but we could not see it for the trees, eventually we came to a bridge that crossed the Coquet which Mike took us across so we could see the river.

After this we left the river and the track we had been following became a road that eventually brought us to Sharpeton and our lunch stop.  While we were having lunch a few of us walked over Sharpeton Bridge just to see the River Coquet and the Alpacas.  

After lunch we walked parallel to the course of the river just along the edge of the hill side and the river haugh.  A herd of cattle and a large area of bog broke up the pleasure of walking on the flat.  Eventually even that pleasure was brought to a halt as we climbed up hill to heading to West Hepple.  A coffee stop brought more unease to some as we became the objects of interest to yet another herd of cattle.  

After coffee Mike managed to chase them away by waving his map and flapping his arms (we think he was trying to fly over them).  On arriving at Hepple  Mike had a good idea while he went back to Low Alwinton to pick up the people carrier the rest of us would walk to Hepple Whitefield and then back to the cars an extra 1.5 mile put on to the days walk.