The trail from Morpeth to Bothal follows the river Wansbeck which is home to several species of birds including Mute Swans, Mallards, Goosander and Curlew. Otters are also very common.
Thursday, 26 January 2012
As you progress along the river you come across Lady’s Well and Lady’s Chapel. The Chapel was built around the mid 15thC by the first Lord Ogle and dedicated to the Blessed virgin. Further along the river you come to the site of the ‘old’ Bothal saw mill.
of St Andrew’s is within bow shot from
and was built in 882. The foundations of a stone church have been
traced under the present church floor. The Bothal Castle Anglo-Saxon
Church was replaced by a Norman Church
during the late 12thC by Richard Bertram, a , who married the Anglo-Saxon heiress
and in 1161 began to reside in Bothal.
It was his son, Robert, who was the first of the family to be called
‘Baron of Bothal’ and was given the title by King Richard 1 in 1199. Norman
Friday, 13 January 2012
The Morpeth to Mitford walk starts at
In1516 Margaret, sister of Henry VIII and widow of James IV of
Scotland, stayed in the Castle for four months as she fled and her enemies. In 1644, 500 Lowland Scots held the Castle for Parliament for 20 days against 2700 Royalists. Scotland
Thursday, 12 January 2012
Following a route through
bring you to the ruins of Newminster Abbey. The abbey was built in 1337 but quickly
destroyed by burning by Scottish raiders. It was rebuilt in 1180 and owned lands up to
the Scottish borders. It became a victim
of the first wave of dissolution in 1537 by Henry VIII High
The route back to Morpeth again follows the course of the river Wansbeck passing through parks, streets and roads steeped in history. Overall this particular route is about 5-6 miles, although it is worth noting that Morpeth, as a market place for drovers (the droving routes cross the Cheviots via Clennell Street and Alwinton) used to have the highest concentration of ale houses and the ‘Joiners Arms’ notably carries on the fine tradition of excellent ales.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Berwick–Upon-Tweed is situated on the east coast of Northumberland 2.5 miles south of
. It has been central to historic
border wars between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland for centuries. Berwick's strategic position on
the English-Scottish border during centuries of war between the two nations and
its relatively great wealth led to a succession of raids and sieges. Between
1174 and 1482 the town changed hands between Scotland England
more than 13 times, and was the location of a number of momentous events in the
English-Scottish border wars. Scotland
The Berwick Parish church is the only one which was built during the
(1599-1658). Built from stones and timbers of the 13th Century Castle
of Berwick-upon-Tweed The church yard
contains fascinating headstones, including Viking and Plague graves. Commonwealth
of Oliver Cromwell
To the south of Berwick (3miles) lies the
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Today Amble is an important fishing and leisure centre, however, it goes back to the very early days of Northumberland's history. There is evidence of prehistoric burial grounds on the links. Amble was little more than a hamlet before the construction of its harbour between 1838 and 1839, although it is suggested that a harbour has probably existed as far back as the 14th century. For great coastal walks check out www.northumberland-coast.co.uk
As you carry on along the coastal route you pass through some wonderful Northumberland coastline and eventually come to
Thursday, 5 January 2012
The Kings House Hotel stands at the head of Glen Coe and is a ideal spot to follow the river Etive along the length of Glen Etive. As you follow the road from the A82 towards Glen Etive you become dwarfed by the Mountainous crags of Stob a Ghlaise Choire on one side and the famous Buachaille Etive Mor ridge made up from Stob na Doire, Stob Coire Altrium, Stob Dearg and Stob na Broige (the latter two being munro’s – over 3000ft).
Just as I got back to the Kings House Hotel the light started to fade but a last glimmer of sunlight broke through the grey clouds highlighting one of the more awesome munro’s. If you are partial to lots of ale and a massive collection of whiskeys try the nearby Clachaig Inn. It is frequented by hikers, climbers and skiers and you will have a night you wont forget, that is, if you can remember it.
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Alnwick moor is a beautiful walk that can be accessed from the B6341 which runs between Rothbury and Alnwick. The best place to start is near to
, however, the prime farming stock appears to be grumpy bulls so you need to be wary at all times. There is a path which runs from Bottle wood on the B6341, past disused quarries and onto Mare’s Rigg. The path provides the opportunity to look over your shoulder and see the panoramic landscape of Edlingham. Edlingham Castle
As you progress further up the path there are several rock formations which are off the beaten track but are an ideal resting place for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich (if you have packed your burner, kettle and frying pan). There is nothing better than an early morning freshly made bacon buttie in the middle of nowhere! The crags here are steeped in history with numerous Bronze Age settlement sites and the adjacent Devils Causeway (remains of a Roman road).
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
This is the start of
Clennel Street from the . village of Alwinton Clennel Street is an ancient drover trail that joins Morpeth on the English side to Kelso on the Scottish. A previous name for this route is 'Ermspath', which is Old English for 'eagles path', again indicating a route across the Cheviot hills towards . In addition to drovers, the routes were well trodden by Reviers and Wardens guarding the Marshes. The Marshes had 'trysting places' where both English and Scottish Wardens would meet to discuss and adjudicate on criminality and trespass on both sides of the border Scotland
As you walk further up into the hills you come to the magnificent and vast Kidland Forest, where it is not unknown for people to become lost for several days. The mist can gradually creep between the forest pines or the cloud base can quickly descend giving an ethereal appearance to the landscape. The beauty of the Cheviot hills is the feeling of isolation, peace and tranquillity which is only broken by hardy hikers, sheep or the ghosts of times past.
Monday, 2 January 2012
Codger fort is near to Rothley Lake, Fontburn (and quite close to the unique 'Goats on the Roof' cafe). It was erected by Sir Walter Blackett after the Jacobite rising of 1745, probably to demonstrate his loyalty. The fort contained six cannon and would have proved a serious obstacle to any invading forces.