The weather has finally turned a little more spring-like, after a particularly wet and windy March, so we’ve been able to do a little more exploring around our new home. The whole area is criss-crossed with paths and tracks. We managed two fairy substantial walks on consecutive days last week, one heading north from the house, the other west.
The first started out through a narrow valley, with a fast-running burn which was fortunately crossed by a foot bridge, before climbing and opening up to moorland.
The second, on what turned out to be the warmest day of the year so far, took in the tiny deserted chapel at Biddlestone, which is a lovely spot to pause for while. I don’t know who Albert Victor was, but he surely has a well-positioned bench.
It was a steady climb up from there to skirt Harden Hill, and the rather forbiddingly named Cold Law. Things got ‘interesting’ at this point, as there was no sign on the ground of the footpath that was clearly marked on the map. I’ve got used to walking in France, where the official routes are clearly marked, and they mostly follow distinct tracks or trails. Not so in the UK. We worked it out through a combination of using the map, spotting distant stiles, and the occasional way mark (thank you, Northumberland National Park!), and were rewarded with some spectacular views.
I’m rapidly falling in love with the landscape in this part of Northumberland, and can’t believe how quiet it is. We saw a total of three other walkers over the two days, one of which was a Saturday. It really deserves to be much better known, although there is something rather special about having all this to yourself, apart from some sheep, curlews and skylarks.