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Wed 16th July 2014

From Source to Sea - day 6

From Source to Sea - day 6

The River Coquet from Source to Sea

Day 6 Felton to Amble

Yet another glorious day dawned yes Sundance was back in the groove and the old soft shoe shuffle had done the trick.  After a bit of too and froing in amble Mike found the car park with the mini bus in, and after the compulsory comfort break we set off back to Felton.
We were dropped off on the north bank of the old bridge and use it to cross to the south bank of the river.  For the first part of the route the path follows the river.  

Although you would not have known as the high bankside vegetation completely hid the river from view.  As we left the river side we climbed up the only steep hill on the days walk,  Mike had said that this was the only climb but by now the group had suss out the mike interpretation of what was flat was not always the rest of the groups view.

After a little while we started to walk on a well-defined track that we followed for the next two miles and other walking under the East Coast Main Line and it being rather muddy in places had not a not a lot to recommend it.  Although track does take you very near Morwick Farm the home of delicious ice cream.  Mike decided that this was too good an opportunity to miss and so dragged the group for an ice cream.  Whilst there we also had lunch used the facilities and two shall remain nameless J & M had one large tub of ice cream each THEN went back for another!

After lunch we continued to follow the track and were able to look down towards Warkwoth, Amble and the North Sea Coast.  The track brings you in to Warkworth and soon we were walking around under the castle before once more reaching the river (and able to see it).

At some picnic tables we stopped for a short break before once more following the river round to Warkworth Bridge.  We continued to follow the river round Warkworth until new river defence works necessitated slight detour (Oh and a slight climb up a hill. Eventually we were back alongside the river and walk downstream to Amble Marina.  We had to walk round one boat yard and round another corner and there were the cars.  Mike allowed us to drop of our rucksack before we continued along the now key side until we were standing on the pier and therefore over the sea and the end of six days of good walking.  A still the sun shone.

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.