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Mon 25th June 2018

Coquet Valley Challenge Walk 2018

Coquet Valley Challenge Walk 2018

On Saturday we held the 2018 Coquet Valley Challenge Walk.

The weather was superb as the walkers climbed up onto the carriageway North of Rothbury before dropping down to Thropton.

From here the participants climbed past Tosson Lime Kiln up onto the top of Simonside before dropping down to Rothbury via Lordenshaws and Whitton Hillhead.

Tue 19th June 2018

Warkworth to Craster

Warkworth to Craster

17th June 2018

After the thunder and lightning storms of Saturday, it was with some relief that the walkers for today met at Craster for the transfer to Warkworth with sunshine, clear blue skies and no wind.

Before setting off on the walk, Mark introduced himself and Martin and Jackie (Shepherds Walks Volunteers) and outlined the route for the day. He then proceeded down the wrong path for 200 yards trying to find the coastal path!

Once on the path, stunning views of the beaches and, Warkworth castle, Coquet Island and Amble to the south and Alnmouth to the north were enjoyed by all. At the first coffee stop, Mark gave a brief history of Alnmouth and the impact of the great storm on Christmas day 1806. We continued on the coastal path past Foxton, Seaton Point and headed for Boulmer. Lunch was on the beach looking at Boulmer Haven – a delightful and calming setting – before rejoining the path and walking through Boulmer Steel, past Sugar Sands and Howick towards Craster with the iconic Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance.

At various stops during the day, Mark talked about the fishing villages of Boulmer and Craster,  RAF Boulmer, the Earls Grey of Howick, Howick Hill Fort, the erosion of sections of the coastline, and the castles. Just before arriving at Craster he thanked everyone for their company and wished them a safe journey home. This was a beautiful coastal walk which all 15 walkers on the day thoroughly enjoyed.


Sun 27th May 2018

Bardon Mill and Roman Wall walk

Bardon Mill and Roman Wall walk

Bardon Mill and Roman Wall walk – May 19th

It was a beautiful morning as the walkers for the day’s walk met at Bardon Mill – a blue and cloudless sky, not a breath of wind and pleasantly warm. Almost certainly due to the other main event of the day our group was smaller than usual and the dynamics also different with more men than women walkers!

Mark introduced himself to those who had not walked with him before and after outlining the walk, set off through the pottery yard and over the A69 and up the quiet and very dry valley to the first place of interest, Vindolanda where he outlined the basic purpose and history of this Roman fort/township. Our route took us on a country lane to the Sill at Once Brewed – this is the new flagship visitor centre of Northumberland National park – and everyone agreed how impressive it is, especially with excellent views of “the wall” and the Whinsill in the distance.

We made our way to Hadrian’s Wall path and headed east towards Housesteads passing by the iconic tree at Sycamore gap. Rather than take the “low path” Mark led the walk to the path which closely followed the wall and overlooked the loughs below the crags. Absolutely outstanding views of the wall and surrounding countryside were enjoyed. Our lunch stop was just before we reached Housesteads and Mark gave a further brief talk about the wall, the soldiers who manned it and this best preserved of any Roman fort in Britain.

The route back to Bardon Mill took us over the Military road and on a poorly defined footpath over Thorngrafton Moor to Thorngrafton and from there on the road, under the A69 to our starting point.

All confirmed this was a lovely walk made all the more enjoyable with such a perfect day for walking.