Staward Gorge and Allenbanks
Wed 19th April 2017
Staward Gorge and Allenbanks Guided Walk – Sunday 16th April
Our party of 13 walkers and two dogs met at Haydon Bridge and set off just after 10am in a light drizzle. Fortunately visibility was reasonably good and as we climbed steadily upwards towards the head of Staward Gorge, lovely views of the Tyne valley were enjoyed and the rain soon stopped. Two deer were also spotted grazing in woodland and the sight and sound of skylarks and other birds was enchanting.
Up to the point where we entered the gorge the going had been very dry, but parts of the track down to Allenbanks were very muddy. When we reached the ruined Staward Peel, Mark gave a quick talk on its history over the centuries before we proceeded down the gorge to Plankey Mill. This is always a delightful walk and today was no different with everyone experiencing the tranquil setting and the wonderful views of the Allen valley. Just as we reached our lunch stop at Plankey Mill it started to rain again. After a brief stop we continued to Allenbanks car park and saw at first hand the damage caused to the river banks by storm Desmond in December 2015. Mark again gave a brief summary of this National Trust site and the nearby Ridley Hall.
Although the rain became more persistent and low cloud descended we all enjoyed the trail back to Haydon Bridge on the other side of the valley via well defined paths and farm tracks. Despite the poor weather everyone enjoyed the walk and remained in good spirits.