Monday, 16 April 2018

Great English Walk Day 29 - 16 April 2018

Blanchland to Plankey Mill
Walking 8.50am to 6.20pm
Distance walked today 17 miles
Distance walked so far 440 miles
Distance left 115 miles

Frank provided a magnificent breakfast - egg, bacon, sausage and black pudding rolls with coffee. What a star - and a good friend.

He drove me back to Blanchland. I forgot to mention in yesterday's posting that, having reached Blanchland, I am now in the final county of the GEW, Northumberland.

Following the route of the GEW, I went four miles west as far as the abandoned farm at Riddlehamhope. Just before then, the path went through a belt of woodland that would have made a very nice wild camp had it been at the end of the day.

The route then turned northward to the farm of Harwood Shield and then west, where it entered the long traverse of Hexhamshire Common, a wide open heather-covered moorland. Half way across I managed a late elevenses out of the constant wind in an unlocked shelter hut, presumably used mainly by grouse shooters. It was very welcome.

Hexhamshire Common
I eventually reached a road that took me down into Allendale Town. I was pleasantly surprised that the whole of the route was clearly defined, not what I was expecting. I bought a few things from the Co-op before moving on. I was last here in 2007, catching a bus to Hexham on a Lakeland to Lindisfarne traverse, having got quite wet after 36 hours of constant rain and heading to the youth hostel at Once Brewed to dry out.

From Allendale, I followed a lovely riverside path alongside the River Allen, which I largely remained close to for the rest of the day. Entering National Trust woodland, I came across the site of a hilltop fortification called Staward Peel, almost all evidence of it long since gone but interesting nonetheless. The path then meandered steeply down to join another up and down riverside path before emerging into a field at Plankey Mill, a farm. Here, my guide book told me I would cross the river by a suspension bridge but this had at some time been replaced by another bridge.

Over the bridge I entered the 29 acre Briarwood Banks Nature Reserve and, although I had intended walking further, I didn't think I would find a finer wild pitch so here I stopped. I was able to freshen up my feet in the nearby river.

A good day weather-wise, no rain and a decent distance covered.

1 comment:

  1. Gaffers
    Fired up with a good breakfast and 17 miles just roll off!
    Will you be into double digits by day's end?

    Hope the wildlife in the river fared well after encountering your feet!

    Stride on!