St. Oswalds Way, part 7 - Lordenshaw To Harwood
Thu 10th October 2013
Sundance had eased off during the week so that a concentrated shoft shoe shuffle the day or so before the walk would do the trick.
Sunday fantastic clear sky as the sun rose over the horizon it looked promising. By the time we were meeting up in Harwood the sky had clouded over it was not looking good. We climbed on to the mini bus for the short drive to Lordenshaw carpark the end point of last month’s walk. We quickly sorted ourselves out and started up the hill heading towards Spylaw Cottage.
Just before the crest of the hill Mike stopped for a witter about the view and an ancient wall that was a boundary for a medieval deer park. After a few more meters of climbing the path levelled out and other than a couple of small climbs out of the stream valley the route was relatively flat. Just before we reached Spylaw a call went out for a coffee stop, as usual Mike tried to ignore the demand. However after telling us that Spylaw was where he took his wife on their honey moon!! we had our coffee stop.in bright sunshine although the strong breeze took the edge off the break. After a very short break we continued on towards Coquet Cairn.
On the way Mike met a couple of people who he had not seen for about 35yrs and who like Mike used to be members of the Scout Mountaineering Club who used to rent Spylaw from the Duke. Mike eventually caught the group up to ensure we stopped at Coquet Cairn for lunch. The views from Coquet Cairn plus the bright sunshine and the fact that the trees were acting as a wind break made it an ideal place to stop and relax.
After lunch we entered Harwood Forest here we followed a well-defined track south before a short section on a forestry road. Leaving the road we walked through a recently re-planted area of wood land with lots of stones sitting on tree stumps to mark the way. Eventually we reached the farm Falllowlees. From here you could see the hillside north of Greenleighton where Jon used to be a shepherd. Once more we left a forestry road to walk alongside the Fallowless Burn before entering another section of forest; here the trail is marked by big green paint spots on the trees. Leaving the trees we walked past Redpath Farm after admiring a couple of small ponies. By now the skies had darkened and a light drizzle had started to fall. As we followed the forestry road back to Harwood village waterproof tops were donned in slow succession as people gave in to the fact it was wet. Once through the village we only had a couple of hundred meters to walk back to the cars. All except Mike who had parked about half a mile away and had bit more to walk in the drizzle (so much for the old soft shoe shuffle).
This marked the end of this year’s walks with most of us having started in March from Berwick down the cost to Warkworth then up the Coquet and then south west to Harwood.
To celebrate the end of good years walking we headed back to Rothbury for Coffee and Cake at Tomlinson’s.