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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.


Sat 30th September 2017

Hulne Park Nordic Walk

Hulne Park Nordic Walk

Apologies for the late blog for the walk which took place on 16th September 2017.

This walk was suggested and recce'd by our lovely volunteer, Ruth. 

We had permission to go into the Park early (as it doesn't open until 11am) and a relativey small group met at the gates nice and early.  The forecast wasn't great and Anne surprised everyone by wearing a jacket (but not for long)!

We started walking along the Farm Drive passing a field with a couple of bulls in it.  Ruth said there may be 2 bulls in that field but there is 1 bull outside the field, everyone looked around and realised she was talking about herself "Ruth Bull".

We got to Brizlee Tower (which is a Grade 1 listed folly on top of a hill. The tower was erected in 1781 for Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and commands extensive views over North Northumberland and the Borders.  Photo opportunity of the ladies in the group on some stones which looked like a podium.

Next up we visited the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland's new burial ground for themselves and their descendants overlooking their ancestral seat and has a 12ft ornate gates (the gates took more than 5 months to create and reflect the personal interests of the Duke and Duchess). 

This was a beautiful walk and Hulne Park is definitely a place we will return to.

After the walk we headed to the Pineapple Cafe (part of the leisure centre) who very kindly stayed open for us.  Lots of sandwiches, cakes and brownies were consumed and they were delicious.  Ruth bumped into the shelves just behind her and the decorated Ostrich egg fell from the top but don't worry, Kim caught it to save Ruth's blushes.  We decided to put it on the table for safety.

Thank you to everyone for coming along and to Ruth for suggesting and recceing the walk and helping on the day. 

I hope to see you all soon, next walk is 8th October and is South of the river at Tanfield Railway.