The following photographs have been taken by group members whilst out on the programmed walks -
Lost yer car keys - on Saturday 11th October Chris Hodgson after a couple of weeks of being poorly and uncertain as to whether she would be fit enough to lead the walk was pleasantly surprised to be able to do so on the day. This walk had been reccied twice in very thick low hill fog whereby we had to walk on compass bearings, however on the day we had beautiful weather and a great day was had by all with fantastic views of the lower Cheviot hills. The walk was named after some car keys we found on the first recci at a gateway above Ewarthly Shank. Having pondered as to waht to do with them we decided to hang them on the gate post in case the owner came back to look for them. Later into the walk we came across two ladies walking towards us and we just jokingly said to them had they been walking in the area we had found the keys and hey presto one of them realised that yes she had dropped her keys and was internally grateful that we had happened upon them. Great to have saved their day we completed our walk and they went off to collect the said keys.
Get Carter - on Saturday 6th September Ricky Scott kicked off our autumn programme with 'Get Carter', one of his signature' forays into the Cheviots, and by pure co-incidence a commencement of our 'Pennine Way 50th Anniversary' celebrations. Ten of us met in Byrness for a prompt 08:30 start. This was classed as a strenuous, with a capital S, walk in the Cheviot Hills where we were promised fantastic views provided the weather was kind. As you will see by the photos we had a great day, yes it was a hard walk, not so much the ascent but the terrain was very difficult during the later part of the walk. Several members had more than one fall...We left Byrness following the Pennine Way to reach the border fence, then headed west to Carter Bar. After a bite to eat and fresh coffee from the Border Cafe we headed off through Whitelea Wildlife Trust Reserve to pick up a path to Girdle Fell before dropping down through the forrest to reach Catcleugh Resevoir and back to Byrness and off to the pub for a celebratory drink
Ure Rambling Again
The week after the famous Grand Depart of the Tour de France, a small group ventured abroad into the Yorkshire Dales with a native guide to see the impact of the event on the beautiful villages of Wensleydale. The Yorkshire weather did us proud again, even though by then the cyclists were toiling through the mud and rain of Flanders
By George He's done it! - Saturday 26th April 2014. Well after a total of 108 miles 79 attendees all told the group have completed the whole of the Northumberland Coastal Path thanks to organiser and walk leader Diane Smith. A programme of six walks was planned and over the last two years with attendance between 2 and 19 walkers on each day but the only group member to have attended all of them was George Elliott. George was awarded a special certificate at St Cuthberts Cave, a slight deviation from the planned route but well worth the visit.
Around and Around - Saturday 12th April 2014. A day of two halves. Whether Cairn, Cushat Law and Bloody Bush Edge were climbed in thick cloud and mist. Bitter cold wind, it was just like winter. Then just as we breaked at Davisons Lyn for lunch the clouds broke and showed a little sunshine. By the time we approached Windy Ghyle we had fluffy clouds, blue sky and sunshine. A great day, much climbing with a sting in the tail, Pass Peth at 22 miles, ouch. Final mileage was 23. One or two photos below by Chris McDowell
52 mile Durham Dales recci - Saturday 30th March 2014. Well with the event looming I thought it would be useful to look at the route from Rookhope to Wolsingham via Bolts Law, Waskerley and Salters Gate as this will be the nightime section on the day. Well, with visibility down to 50 yards at times due to low cloud and fog, it might as well have been nightime. Navigation was difficult at times but thankfully to a great team, myself and John, we completed 21 miles in 8 hours and never saw anything of what the route looks like,;it was like skiing in a white out and only being able to feel the terrain through your legs, haha. Anyone thinking of taking on this challenging 52 mile event, good luck, it's not going to be easy. Hopefully some of the mud and huge puddles will have dried up by May. Some photo's (by Chris McDowell) below to confirm what the weather was like -
Where's Wannie? - Saturday 8th March 2014. 25 brave soles set off on a challenging walk in search of Wannie. This was a very rewarding route as we walked amongst some of the wildest terrains in Northumberland aside from the Cheviots. There had to be a head for height for a short section where we had to scramble up to the top of Wannie Crags and across the top.
AGM - 11th January 2014 - a good start to the year with 40 members attending the Wall to Wall walk of which there were 12 potential new walkers. The weather was damp, overcast, by lunchtime we even had some sunshine, thankully it did not rain. Few photographs were taken but please see selection below
Bless my soles - Saturday 23rd November 2013. Bless her soles we did...Diane completed the whole of her walk guiding 14 walkers down the penultimate part of the Northumberland Coastal Walk. I am not sure if Embleton residents were ready for the noisy rabble waiting at the bus stop for the 08.42 bus to Belford, further more the bus driver of said bus could not believe his eyes when we all got on, some with bus passes but most having to pay, his luck was in; probably the most he has ever seen in one go on that route. Anyway after arriving in Belford the walk commenced at 09.40hrs and an enjoyable day was had by all, well apart from Tuchi the little dog from Greece; she decided enough was enough in Seahouses and when her owner Siobhan, picked her up for a carry went to sleep. This became heavy for Siobhan so her rucksack was emptied and the contents passed to others to carry and little Tuchi took pride of place for the next couple of miles until we found a bus stop for them to jump on the next bus. The rest of the walk went by without further hiccups, in lovely weather, completing in the dark. The guide book said 16 miles however the walk mapped out at just under twenty. Well done to the three new walkers on completing their first 20 miler LDWA walk. See Tuchi in the rucksack amongst other photos that were taken as follows
Summer evening walks - June. Beware of the Bolam Beast and A roamin' walk
Durham Dales Marshals Walk, 8th June 2013 (30 mile). Photo's by Chris McDowell - thanks to all who turned out to pre-walk this route. The day was incredibly hot, the hottest day we had had this year for a group walk. Really pleasant day was had and the photo's acknowledge this a total contrast to three weeks earlier, thank goodness.
Durham Dales Marshals Walk, 18th May 2013 (16 mile). Photo's by Chris McDowell - thanks all those brave walkers who met in Wolsingham for a very wet walk, very wet being an understatement. In all the years that this area has been walked we have never encountered water like it. We have walked on ice flows, snow, dry and even sunny conditions but yesterday was just incredible.
As we left Wolsingham the walk up the road, well should I say the river to Sunnyside Edge was just the start, upon reaching the top to walk across to checkpoint A, bucket drop we encountered more rivers and lakes, none of the tracks were visible, just raging torrents of water. This along with the fact that the rain was still coming down like stair rods I was beginning to wonder if those two walkers who met us in the car park and then decided to go home and not walk had done the right thing. But no, we persevered and with a quick cuppa at the last place of shelter before Bollihope we continued over the moors to checkpoint 7. The B6278 was worse than ever, impossible to walk into the oncoming traffic due to the waves of water coming down the hill.
The track down to the mines was relatively straight forward but all around us was water running off the fells in great torrents into the valley below. Upon reaching Bollihope the rain had disappeared and the sun did try momentarily to appear, not for long but the remainder of the walk did stay dry, well perhaps not one's feet, we were all by now beginning to grow webbed feet.
After a lunch break at Bollihope listening to the raging river and taking a few more photo's we headed off along the river to White Kirkley. Was there a breach of the river or was it run off from the fells, getting to the stage where one was merging into the other. There was one sure thing if anyone had fallen in we would not have seen them again until they reach the coast days later. The walk turned into not only needing swimming costumes but we thought we were going to lose our boots in a large area of smelly swamp. By now we were starting to dread the farm at White Kirkley, the thought of the quagmire that this farm is usually in was putting us right off knowing how wet it had been. However, apart from the rabid dogs the farm yard was probably the cleanest I had seen it in a long while, but by no means free from slurry.
Negotiating away from the dogs we headed down into the caravan park, the river lapping almost at the feet of one or two static caravans and then onto the touring pitches where half of the field was under a foot plus of water, bedding and allsorts lying around trying to dry out. The river was like something you see on TV, I've not been near or heard anything like it, thunderous black water and at times you could hear boulders being washed down. A small section of the footpath had been washed away and the remainder was cracking and starting to look rather unstable.
The three football fields after White Kirkley were not to bad until the far end when you reach the railway line, more swamp! Upon reaching Wolsingham it was very apparent that water levels in the river had risen and water throughout the village had been diverted using sandbags, incredible. There were no sandbags out when we left and we were only away 6 1/2 hrs. The cars were all safe but driving out of Wolsingham the Black Horse car park had taken a reall bash, it looked like the water had come up from underneath and lifted it all.
This is just a brief rendition of the day, all in all we had a very interesting day, one I shan't forget in a while. At least now if this awful weather continues I can envisage what problems we may encounter on the day of the event, but hopefully we are now going to have a glorious summer, haha!!
Northumberlandia in all her glory, 1st May 2013 - this was the first of the "summer" evening programme of walks. Okay so it is not yet summer but we had a beautiful evening for this 8 mile walk through the private grounds of Bladgon Estate. 15 members came along for this priviledged walk through the grounds. Photo's by Chris McDowell
Photographs of Blagdon Estate, recci of the first summer evening walks - an exclusive walk through Blagdon Estate
Nowt to do with Adders and Stones, 23rd March 2013 - okay why break the chain, yep more snow. Thriteen very brave walkers set out on a day of biting easterly strong winds with a wind chill of around -5. Shiver me timbers. But the day was enjoyable and all were able to keep warm throughout. All photographs by Chris McDowell
Reeth Ramble, 16th March 2013 - once again a group walk with snow, fifth one on the trot. All photographs by Kon Conrad
A couple of hills, 9th March 2013 - this is the fourth group walk to encounter snow, see photo's by Chris McDowell for proof. Not many were taken unfortunately due to the conditions. 25 hardy walkers set out in awful conditions and 24 returned, oooops what happened?
North Pennine Resevoirs, 23rd February 2013 - this is the third group walk on the trot that we have walked in snow. Some of the newbies in the group had never walked in snow before now suddenly they are experienced winter walkers. 18 members turned out on a very snowy morning which continued to worsen. It was decided by our leader that the walk would be cut short due to white out and conditions. We had a lovely day, complete with snowball fight 'cos we are all children at heart! The photos were taken in colour, however the snow gave a black and whit look all day -
Kirby Stephen Weekend of walking - February 2013 - day 1 well attended 26 walkers including 2 visitors from Cumbria group, 2 from Staffordshire group and 1 from Yorkshire East Coast group. Another exciting day with the ascent of Wild Boar Fell looking like an expedition, deep snow drifts with fresh snow made the route tough going in places. Descent for some was made easier by sledging on map cases, waterproofs using ice axe arrests to stop. Day 2 brought out those most hardy of us; after partying until 01.00hrs it was surprising to see 17 members out to participate in a day that was bitter cold and the forecast suggested that there were blizzards due at lunchtime. These did not materialise thankfully and the day was ended in the local establishment for cappuccinos's not alcohol! See a selection of photo's -
Wall to Wall (AGM walk) January 2013 - well attended with 23 walkers who had braved it out into the winter wonderland when the Police were advising emergency journeys only.......this was an emergency we had a walk to attend, so glad we did as a fantastic day in the snow was had by all
Same old, same old - this was the first walk of 2013 and the most glorious start to the morning with a sunrise over the Northumberland Coast line, not seen very often these days.
The station with the funny name - The famous five began the day with a short metro train ride to Palmersville from Tynemouth, walking through The Rising Sun Country Park we came across Rhudolf being fattened up for his long trip this Christmas. After a climb up to the second highest point in North Tyneside we headed south down through Wallsend Dene to the second lowest point in the borough where we crossed the border between Northumberland and County Durham under the river Tyne. Climbing out from the bowels of the pedestrian tunnel (the escalator does not work so had to be climbed) we emerged into South Tyneside where we followed the valley of the River Don past the eponimous Metro Station, Brockley Whins to Boldon and then took Bede's Way over to the Cleadon Hills. Here we saw an old water tower and windmills on route to the sea at Whitburn. The route home was along the coastal path from Souter to South Shields and just before we finished up with a ride on the Shields ferry we shook hands with some aliens. Over to North Shields on the ferry, a short walk to Tynemouth passing the highlights and then the lowlights to a welcome pint at the pub before heading home. A very interesting doorstep 23 mile walk, sad that the majority of you missed a wonderful historic, sunny day.
Beyond the Pail -
Anyone fancy and Ice-cream? - a record number of walkers ventured out for a walk with a difference. There were 27 walkers and 2 dogs in total and the most since our AGM walk at the beginning of the year. This was a walk that was very relaxed with a moderate pace, lots of breaks and a very nice ice cream was enjoyed by most.
A Dove, a Drake and possibly a Duck, 29th September 2012 - 12 walkers set out to enjoy a strenuous walk walk with very varied terrain, flora and fauna on a beautiful day after a week of rain, thankfully as this walk would have been very different.
Back to the Future 18th August 2012 - 16 walkers set out on a day of two halves. After a dismal morning of rain and low cloud the afternoon became brigher and even some sunshine was spotted, walk through the day with us.
Northumberlandia - the beginning. 19 walkers met to walk the last evening walk on the summer programme and take a look at Northumberlandia, a work of art in the landscape, due to open in the summer of 2013
A year since the last one! A very brave group of walkers attempted a high level walk on a day that was not the best for the Lake District
Various summer walks and challenges 2012
Durham's Auld Railway Tracks - 30th May 2012
Faster View - 21st April 2012 by Chris McDowell
After days of continuous rain it was great to have a day out walking with only one short hailstone shower. 24 members enjoyed this 20 mile walk around the Coquet river, Caistron Quarries, Fallowlees Lough, Fontburn reservoir and Spy Law burn. Faster view is an anagram of the five waters! At the end of the walk most of the attendees piled into the pub for a pint, the heavens opened and it rained for the rest of the day, we were so lucky.
Faster View - 21st April 2012 by Kon Conrad
What a Hope - 17th March 2012
23 members took part on this fabulous walk in the Cheviots, reaching the summit of Hedgehope via Cunyan Crags the on to Cold Law cairn for a lunch in the gloriuos sunshine, a fabulous day all round
Winter weekend in the Lake District - 19th and 20th February 2012
Despite a difficult start to Northumbria group’s recent Winter Weekend was a great success and notable in attracting walkers from five different LDWA groups as well as several guests. Based at Helvellyn Youth Hostel our first day objective was a Helvellyn traverse, but this was abandoned fifteen minutes before it was due to begin owing to the snow and high winds. The resulting lower level walk proved to be just what was needed as twenty seven participants set off along the path on the eastern side of Ullswater. The weather improved markedly and although the wind remained blustery we ascended Hallin Fell and returned by way of Martindale with a brief splitting of the party to cross Beda Fell on our return to Glenridding.
The second day went according to plan and the wonderful winter sunshine showed the Lakes scenery off to its very best advantage. Leaving Hartsop in cold and icy but bright and sunny conditions enthused the walkers – some a bit too much – on the climb up into Thornthwaite Cove and on to the beacon. From here it was a long gradual downhill stroll back, but with clear views in all directions and a most pleasant lunch stop. It was not a late finish and so left walkers refreshed for the week ahead and not too worn out by a long drive home.
Black Adam - 21st January 2012
19 brave walkers set out to do this winter walk in the Cheviots on a day that was forcast for very strong gusty winds, and the forcasters did not get it wrong. We were on all fours as we climbed out of the Henhole and as for walking in a straight line once you stood up................................it could not be done! But all enjoyed the day, arrived back at the cars safe and it was a pleasure to show the group a hidden treasure! Chris
One Small Step for Man - 7th January 2012
An all time record, 49 group members set off on the first walk of 2012 and no-one got left behind!
A selection of photographs taken from various group walks throughout 2011 by George Elliott
Black Adam recci - 31st December 2011
Please view these photographs before making a decision to attempt this winter walk on the 21st January 2012. Photo's by Chris McDowell (Walk Leader)
Oh Come All Ye Faithfull
A merry band of 30 walkers turned out to work off the excess intake of food and beverages over the festive period to walk the 11 mile Red Kit Trail in the Derwent Valley. The Red Kites were on form too, there were several spotted ducking n diving about on the thermals.
With the forecast not looking very promising, gale force wind, gusts up to 70 mph and the risk of heavy showers it was very surprising to have 24 walkers turn up a the Dragon’s Den car park. The intrepid walkers set out on a 19 mile stroll around Wittonstone and Netherwitton following the river Font to Mitford, Howlett Hall, Low Angerton and on to Hartburn.
Before returning to the cars Diane took the group to visit the Hartburn Grotto. The Grotto or Folly is situated on the banks of the River Hart and was built by Dr Sharpe, vicar of Hartburn 1749-1792. Carved out of solid sandstone in the cliff face, it contains a large fireplace in one room and another smaller room. Above the main doorway are two niches with the statues missing, there is also an underground passage leading to the river’s edge. The two niches above the grotto entrance used to house statues of Adam and Eve. The tunnel is 15m long, roofed with large slabs (over which the path runs) but is now a crawl. It is said to have allowed discrete access for bathers from the cave to the river.
For further information go to -
As you will see by the photographs none of the group was willing to strip down, check out the tunnel and go for a swim, rather too chilly and no fire burning in the grate it was preferred to celebrate a good day and visit the local watering hole for a pint. No-one was brave enough to try out the Dragons Den beer.........at 7.5% it was feared they would not get home!
Rookhope Incline - The Girlie Way
22 walkers set out to enjoy a lovely sunny November day with temperatures around 15 deg c. on a historic 17 mile walk around Weardale.
The route left Stanhope heading east through the Ashes Quary to the transmission mast at Rodgerey High Plantation, over the fell by Collier Law to Fell Haven. The route then picked up the C to C traveling west via Wilkinsons Cut and then south down Bolts Law incline (down being the girlie way....) to Rookhope. From Rookhope we walked south on the Weardale Way to reach Eastgate. The walk finished by travelling east along the riverside footpath back to Stanhope. It was a realy nice day with good views, historical and industrial areas visited with lots of very interesting facts given to us about the area by Jim Arden
Heaven 'n' Hell (24th August 2011) - This was a very strenuous 18 mile walk into the heart of the stunning Cheviot Hills. The route was that of the Chevy Chase which is a challenge walk held each July. This event is always massively oversubscribed, so this walk was on the programme for those who would have liked to have competed but felt that they were not fit enough or could not get a place, this was an opportunity for a taster at a more leisurely pace.
The bakers dozen left Wooler Common and headed up Broadstruther via Hell’s Path, then off over rough fell to join the east side of Scald Hill and then onwards and upwards to the summit of Cheviot 2,676ft which sadly was shrouded in low cloud.
Leaving by the south flank of Cheviot we headed straight down to the Harthope Burn where a leasurly lunch was enjoyed in the sinshine. We immediately climed up to Hedgehope at 2,348 ft. This part of the route is on challenging terrain, open fell with no footpaths, but gladly not to many bogs.
With the hard bit of the walk over we left Hedgehope in glorious sunshine and headed down hill over to Langlee Craggs and onto Brands Corner to eventually drop down to the Langlee Valley. Picking up a good path, hurrah was the cry, we followed the Carey Burn up and back once again to Hell’s Path.
This walk took us deep into the heart of the “land of the far horizons” with unrestrained freedom of the hills. All were glad to have completed the route but were rather tired at the end -
'Don't Shoot. It's a Baguette' (10th September 2011) -
John's Birthday Jaunt (6th August 2011) -
A bit of a Chew (9th July 2011) -
Bouncy Castle (23rd July 2011) -