From riverside to rich meadows in East Allen
Published at 01:00, Friday, 18 August 2006
THIS week we feature another walk from the award-winning Allendale Caravan Park.
The park’s owners, Mike and Verona Woodhouse, are keen walkers themselves and teamed up with the North Pennines Area o f Outstanding Beauty (AONB) Partnership to produce three leaflets featuring different walks from the park.
This walk takes you to Oakpool along the River East Allen before crossing the route of Allendale’s former railway line and then returning on the other side of the valley through farmland.
The walk is on rights of way with stiles to cross.
1 From Allendale Caravan Park turn right to reach Allenmill bridge.
2 Follow the footpath to the south of the River East Allen signposted to ‘Oakpool’. Follow this footpath until you reach a kissing gate.
3 Go through the gate and walk straight on for about one mile until you reach two old cottages at Bridge Eal. The path passes to the left of the front garden. Cross the stream and continue straight on to a stone stile. Go over the stile and turn left to cross the footbridge over Crockton Burn. When the footpath diverges take the right fork to follow the river.
4 Continue on past the house at Kittygreen until you reach Oakpool Farmhouse. Go through the gate, turn right at the tarmac road and cross the stone bridge over the river.
5 Continue up the steep hill, passing through the abutment of the arch for the old Hexham Railway, until you reach Staward Villa Farm. Just beyond the farm turn right to cross a stile signposted to Catton and continue straight on to cross two more stiles over walls and through a metal gate to reach Old Town.
6 Go through a field gate to enter the yard next to the farm. Turn right through another field gate and follow the edge of the field, to a stone stile keeping the wall on your left. Cross the stile and turn right. Cross a wooden stile over a wall then head diagonally left across the field to a kissing gate.
7 Pass through the gate, cross over a track and through a second gate, signposted to Catton. Continue across a field, bearing slightly to your right, until you reach a stone wall. Cross this wall via the stone stile. Walk alongside the wall on your left. Pass through the first gate to your left and immediately turn right.
8 Go through another gate, on to a rough track. About 200 metres further on cross over the stone stile in the wall to your right. Follow another stone wall which runs slightly downhill.
9 Cross the stone stile here and turn left on the rough track. After 100 metres turn right down a lane leading to the old railway track. Pass over a stile and head diagonally left downhill to a further stile in the fence on your left, situated just as the field drops steeply away. Cross this and continue downhill until you arrive at a stream.
10 Cross over the small bridge. Carry on to go through a kissing gate and turn right onto the footpath. Continue along the path following the river on your right, until you emerge at Allenmill Bridge on the B6295. Turn left to reach the start point of the walk.
A Hay meadows – the traditionally managed hay meadows of the North Pennines are internationally important. In summer they are bursting with colourful flowers such as wood cranesbill, yellow rattle, marsh marigold and lady’s mantle.
B The walk passes the abutment of the arch for the old Hexham to Allendale railway. The railway operated between 1868 and 1950, transporting passengers (up to the year 1930), lead and coal. The site of Allendale station is now Allendale Caravan Park.
C The farm at Old Town is reputed to be built on the site of a camp, most likely a Roman fort, but this has never been fully investigated.
Start/finish: Allendale Caravan Park on the B6295 between Allendale and Catton (grid ref: NY833567).
Distance: 6 km (4.5 miles).
Transport: There is a regular bus service from Hexham to Allenheads that stops in Allendale. For further information call Traveline on 0870 6082608.
Parking: On the B6295 between the caravan park and Allenmill bridge.
Facilities: Toilets, cafes, pubs and places to stay in Allendale.
Terrain: There are some hills, stiles and paths may be muddy.
l For more information about the AONB, call (01388) 528801 or log on to www.northpennines.org.uk
Contact the caravan park on (01434) 683362 or log on to www.allendale-holidays.co.uk
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk