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Thu 23rd June 2011

History Walk - Rothbury Walking Festival

History Walk - Rothbury Walking Festival

History was never my forte at school, but a history walk around Rothbury was an opportunity I was keen to stand up to the mark for.

We all met at the Tourist Information Centre and our first stop was the original door of the famous ‘Three Half Moons’ public house which had been a focal point of the village for many years used for meetings, courts, excise sittings and parish business. The mail coach also started here for its daily run to Morpeth.

Further down the street we visited William Armstrongs grave before crossing the footbridge to the Haugh and the site of the old racecourse. The first official meeting was held on April 28th, 1762 and the final one was on April 10th, 1965.

We then passed Donkin’s Well, the first source of fresh water in the area before continuing up the 15th century road bridge, which originally had 3 arches. The 4th arch was added in 1759.

The old railway station was our next stop. The railway opened in October 1870 and the service closed to passengers in Sept 1952.

After descending steeply we stopped at the mart, next to the river. The mart started in 1871 and was located right next to the station so livestock could be transported away quickly.

The twenty stepping stones where crossed next and we made ourselves past Armstrong Cottages to the old Rothbury Garage. This was built by John Lee in 1904, who eventually became a motor bus operator. The interior was so authentic it was used to model the inside of the garage at Beamish open air museum. L C Wright bought John Lee out and set up Rothbury Motors (coach company), which eventually left Rothbury in 2001.

We continued up the main street looking at varies buildings including the old cottage hospital. The building was a gift to the village from the Dawson family to Doctor Fredrick Barrow. He made the former border house into a hospital.

The County Hotel was next on our journey before we passed down to the river, so we could see the gardens of this fine building.

A lovely walk back along the river was a great way to end this short walk looking at the history of Rothbury.

Tue 21st June 2011

YouTube Film - Windy Gyle

Tue 21st June 2011

Windy Gyle - Rothbury Walking Festival

Windy Gyle  - Rothbury Walking Festival

My all time favourite walk, so who would not jump at leading this walk, especially as part of the Rothbury Walking Festival.

We met at Wedder Leap Car Park on what was going to turn out to be a superb day. Surprisingly everybody was early (first time ever for a Wedder Leap start) and we headed up the valley passing Windyhaugh.

We then started to climb and stopped on Hindside Knowe for our coffee break and what better place to stop and enjoy the view. We then continued along ‘The Street’, an old drover’s road as we continued towards the Border Fence.

It was decided to push towards the summit of Windy Gyle before lunch and that’s what we did and to see the group tucking into their sandwiches at the base of the large summit cairn was a lovely site.

After lunch we continued North East along The Pennine Way until we reached Clennell, which was our route for the initial decent, before passing over Middle Hill and continuing on to Barrowburn.

Luckily the tea shop was open which made for a perfect end to a superb days walking.