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Sat 4th November 2017

Plessey Wood Nordic Walk

Plessey Wood Nordic Walk

The weather was beautiful for the time of year, everyone met up at Plessey Wood Country Park.  A lot of regulars and a couple of returning walkers (Russell, Alison, Georgia and Jill), including Sharon one of our fabulous volunteers who has just returned after injury (not walk related) and 2 newbies, David and Jill.  It was good to see Bob back (after his foot operation) too.

Poles handed out, warm up done and off we set with Martin at the front and Ruth at the back.  First up we skirted the outskirts of the country park, passing the totem poles, fairy doors in the trees and what looks like the remnants of an old building.

We headed along the river through the woods under the viaduct and to the A1, where we turned back and retraced our steps back to the Country Park.  We past a wooden set of drums and Martin was the first to try them out closely followed by Chris who was joined by Ruth (on guitar), Claire (on flute), Russell (on saxophone) and Mal (on trumpet) watch out for the Nordic Nuts on Tour.

We thought the cafe was going to be closed so Martin had made brownies and cheesecake (especially for Russell's birthday).  Ruth made lemon drizzle cake and Marilyn made dairy free cookies.  All of the cakes went down a storm with Chris taking some home for her hubby and Bob taking a goody bag home.

I hope everyone enjoyed the day.

Thank you to Martin, Ruth and Sharon for their fab work (and cakes).  Thanks to Russell for the 108 photographs.

Next walk is 9th December to the Christmas Tree on Simonside, which is sold out.

I hope to see everyone in 2018,

Mon 16th October 2017

Causey Arch Nordic Walk Blog

Causey Arch Nordic Walk Blog

We are varying the areas of our Nordic Walks and this was a walk South of the river at Causey Arch/Tanfield Railway near Stanley.

A lot of the group arrived very early and headed to the Causey House Tearoom for a quick cuppa before meeting up with the rest.

The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny and most people were in t-shirts (amazing for October).

We had our little detour right at the beginning as we headed downhill away from the road to turn back and walk along the road to Tanfield Railway's Andrews House station.  As always the group was well spread out with Martin at the front, me in the middle and Ruth at the back. 

We walked through some lovely woodland along the river and came to the footbridge which gave us a magnificent view of Causey Arch itself (the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world), group photograph taken we then walked up the stairs (sorry Mary) to the top of Causey Arch.  Lots of photographs were taken, some people went up to see the train line before we turned around and headed to Tommy Armstrong's (Pitmen Poet) Tearoom.

Lots of tea, cakes and cheese scones were consumed before we headed off up an overgrown path, at which point we couldn't see some of the smaller members of the group.  At the end of this path the group had become very stretched and we mislaid a small group with Ruth in charge of them.   They caught us up.  We walked along the road towards Beamish Hall and towards Causey Arch Inn and through a field back towards our first tearoom, the Causey House Tearoom.

It had been such a beautiful day that unfortunately the Tearoom had run out of a lot of stuff, but everyone found something to eat.

Thank you to Martin and Ruth for helping on the day. 

It was great to see so many Nordic Nuts again (some who we haven't seen for a while) and I hope to see you soon.

Next walk if 4th November 2017 and is a short, flat walk at Plessey Woods Country Park.

Love Julie x

Mon 9th October 2017

Dipton Mill Circular

Dipton Mill Circular

Dipton Mill Circular summary – October 8th

It was a beautiful  Autumn morning as we met at Whitley Chapel for the dayís walk – there was no wind, the sun was shining and visibility was excellent. As we set off down the lane to Whitley Mill, Mark outlined the route and the historical events he would talk about and the terrain we would be walking over.

Once across the Rowley Burn our path headed through woodland and then farmers fields. Fortunately there were very few cattle in these fields but we were delighted to see hares and a small number of deer running in front of us. Our first coffee break was on the small bridge over the burn just before the road leading to Spittal Shield and as Mark was explaining how the nearby Devilís Water got its name, we were entertained by a pair of pheasant cocks jousting underneath the boughs of a tree.

We proceeded on a quiet country road before heading through the farmstead known as Lords Lot and on to the edge of the moors leading to Allendale at which point we received a brief history of lead mining in the East and West Allen valleys. Wonderful views to north Northumberland were enjoyed. Our lunch stop was in the peaceful and beautiful Dipton Dene where the trees which abound on both sides of the valley were turning to their Autumn colours. Here Mark recounted the legend of Queen Margaret and her son in the aftermath of the Battle of Hexham in 1464 and hence how the cave in the valley obtained its name.

Our route followed the Dene for nearly 3 miles before climbing on to the lane to begin our return  journey  to Whitley Chapel.

All the walkers  thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the weather remained perfect throughout. Mark thanked everyone for their company and said how much he looked forward to seeing them again on the 2018 walks.